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9 reasons PUBG ban shows PTA deciding things it can’t understand

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan wrote these lines in 1963 for his song The Times They Are A-Changin’ but he may as well have been talking about the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority’s temporary ban on the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) more than half a century later.

The authority has asked for public opinion till July 10 before it makes a permanent decision but even a temporary ban has caused an uproar among the gaming community. This is the first time a game has been banned in the country.

PTA claims the game is being linked to “cases of suicide” and “is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of the children.”

There are several major arguments against the PTA’s approach:

  1. Policing free time
    It is not the job of any governmental authority to determine what activities are a “wastage of time” because once that starts, all leisure and entertainment activities can be policed and banned for being unproductive. How a law-abiding member of society spends her or his free time is none of the State’s business.
  2. Ripple effect
    By banning one game, the PTA is paving the way for the suspension of other violent games.
  3. No small deal
    The popularity of PUBG across the world and in Pakistan should not be underestimated. It has over 600 million global downloads on mobile alone. That is nearly three times Pakistan’s entire population.
  4. Our freedoms
    By trying to ban PUBG, the PTA is stepping on the personal freedoms of a no-longer insignificant section of society: its youth. What is more worrying is the PTA’s authoritarian tone. This way of speaking alienates young people, who should feel that their government has their best interests at heart and cares for their opinion. As it is the government just pays lip service to the needs of young people. If you don’t believe me, just try looking for a clean open park with no boundary walls or gates, open spaces, skater rinks, playgrounds, sports fields. The space where young people can go, meet, enjoy themselves has been shrinking physically in Pakistan.
  5. Addictions
    Gaming addiction is a real and serious problem. The WHO classified it as a mental illness in 2018. It has even been fatal in some cases. But it is difficult to answer the question that games are definitively bad for us. The PTA’s decision is based on a lack of confirmed research.
    Gaming, like almost every other activity known to us, is only good in moderation. Cross that line and there can be dire mental, social, physical and financial consequences. But the WHO also claims 2.8 million people die each year of obesity. Yet few people would sign up for a system where the government decided what everyone eats or banned oil. Instead, such a system would horrify people because it would attack a person’s freedom of choice.
  6. Violence
    There is still the argument that games promote violence but there is research that both agrees and disagrees with that statement. A majority of games is based around either killing or sports but most people who play these games know that they merely provide a distraction from the real world and are just mindless fun. Games such as The Sims and Goat Simulator also exist, yet few people have started families or gone on goat-like rampages across cities after playing those games.
  7. Benefits
    Another problem with the PTA’s approach is that it mirrors the general view around video games in the country: they have no benefit.
    Even if PUBG’s entertainment value is ignored, there is more solid research on the advantages of playing games than there is on disadvantages.
    Research has shown that playing games has several benefits. Those who play video games show improved coordination, memory, problem-solving, concentration, speed and even social skills. Some research even shows that those who play video games are better equipped to have lucid dreams in which the dreamer is aware of being in a dream and can therefore assume some form of control over it.
  8. Responsibility
    The PTA has said that it has banned the game because of “recent media reports” and “numerous complaints” rather than because of any research. This is just a convenient way of passing on the responsibility to someone else.
  9. E-sports
    The PTA’s decision is damaging to the country’s budding e-sports scene. It has seen the emergence of Pakistan’s Tekken star Arslan Ash among other players. Several of the country’s best PUBG players have expressed concern at not being able to compete in events due to the temporary ban. The people who play other games professionally or aspire to will also have second thoughts about their career choices.
    Instead of helping or supporting these talented players, the government has decided to actively hold them back.

When the PTA’s members do make the decision about a game that they almost certainly have never played and most likely will never play, it is important that they understand that The Times They Are A-Changin’.

Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quad-copter after it violated in Pak airspace for spying

Pakistan shot down indian drone

Pakistan shoot down Indian drone

According to a press release issued by the (ISPR) Inter-Services Public Relations. The Indian quad copter entered 600 meters inside Pakistan’s territory for conducting surveillance. Pakistani troops aggressively responded to the ‘quick act’ by shooting down the Indian quad-copter.

Unwarranted acts by Indian Army are clear violation of established norms, existing Air Agreement between two countries and reflect Indian Army’s consistent disregard to Ceasefire Understanding of 2003, the ISPR said.

Pakistan reports sixth death from coronavirus, number of confirmed cases rise to 799

The death toll from novel coronavirus in Pakistan rose to six on Sunday, after the country reported its first death from Balochistan.

coronavirus alert in pakistan

Balochistan government’s spokesperson, Liaquat Shahwani confirmed the province’s first death from the virus on Sunday in a tweet.

The deceased was a 65-year-old man, under treatment at the Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital, according to Shahwani.

Earlier, a doctor from Gilgit Baltistan was reported as the country’s fifth death.

The doctor who screened suspected pilgrims returning to Pakistan from Iran tested positive on Friday, Dr Shah Zaman, a senior member of the Health Department and focal person of GB government for coronavirus.

According to Zaman who met the physician on Thursday evening, the doctor looked fine and did not complain of anything. However, when his wife tried to wake him the next day, he did not respond.

The doctor was shifted to the Provincial Headquarter Hospital (PHQ) in Gilgit city where he was put on a ventilator and a swab test done which came back as positive confirming him as a positive case.

On Sunday morning, Adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir announced the country’s fourth death from the virus, while speaking to the media.

Wazir said that the test results of a woman who had arrived from Taftan and shifted to Dera Ismail Khan had come as positive today, making it the province’s third coronavirus related death.

On Friday, Pakistan had recorded its third death from the virus. Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho had confirmed the death of a 77-year-old COVID-19 patient in the province.

Last week, two patients from KP who tested positive for the coronavirus had died, officials said.

However, both had a travel history in countries that have been hit by the outbreak. The patient from Sindh who passed away on Friday was the first death from the local transmission of the virus.

Confirmed cases

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan rose to 799 on Monday after new cases were reported throughout the country.

Sindh remains the worst affected with a total of 352 cases. In Karachi alone, the numbers of cases are 130 with the majority said to be cases of “local transmission”.

In Punjab, according to Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, there are 225 coronavirus cases so far.

According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department, the number of cases in the province stands at 31 after four new patients were reported, while the number of reported cases in Gilgit-Baltistan is 71.

In Balochistan, the number of cases are 180, while one case has been reported from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

While in Islamabad, 11 patients have been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Globally, 192 countries have been affected, more than 14,000 people have died and more than 337,000 infected by the disease as it spreads rapidly to new territories.

The epi-centre of the outbreak has now shifted to Europe, especially Italy, which is recording a rapid rise in new cases and deaths every day.

Modi slammed as death toll in New Delhi violence rises

At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in violence across the Indian capital New Delhi that started on Sunday, according to hospital officials and local media outlets.

Police and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets in far greater numbers on Wednesday, and swathes of the riot-hit areas were deserted.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for calm on Wednesday after Delhi’s worst sectarian violence in decades prompted demands for a military curfew.

Modi’s appeal came after criticism from opposition parties over the government’s failure to control the violence, despite the use of tear gas, pellets and smoke grenades.

Sonia Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress party, called for the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah, who is directly responsible for law and order in the capital.

Sunil Kumar, the director of Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital where many of the wounded were taken, told AFP news agency on Wednesday almost 60 had gunshot injuries.

“People are asking why did it take four days. Delhi has a police force of 84,000, I believe, yet this violence was allowed to continue.”

While clashes racked parts of the capital, Modi hosted a lavish reception for US President Donald Trump in the capital on Tuesday, following a rally in his home state of Gujarat on Monday, attended by more than 100,000 people.

The violence erupted between thousands demonstrating for and against the new legislation passed by Modi’s Hindu nationalist government.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) makes it easier for non-Muslims from some neighbouring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.

Critics say the law is biased against Muslims and undermines India’s secular constitution. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has denied having any bias against India’s 180 million-plus Muslims.

The citizenship law has sparked months of nationwide protests, as well as clashes that killed more than 25 people in December.

On Wednesday, Congress’ Gandhi accused BJP figures of giving “inflammatory speeches spreading an atmosphere of hatred and fear”, including in Delhi city elections this month.

Since winning a second term, Modi’s government has revoked the partial autonomy of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and said it wants to conduct a nationwide citizens’ register to weed out “infiltrators”.

These measures, plus the citizenship law, have stoked fears that Modi’s master plan is to remould India as a Hindu nation, something he denies.

Modi, 69, was accused of doing nothing to stop religious riots in 2002 as chief minister of Gujarat when around 1,000 people died, mostly Muslims.