Three months ban proposed for Skype, Viber, Whatsapp in Sindh

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to ban instant messaging and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications such as Skype, Whatsapp, Tango and Viber for three months.

The decision was taken after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah to review the law and order situation.

Following the meeting, Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon announced that a ban would be imposed on the use of Skype, Whatspp, Tango and Viber. “Terrorists and criminal elements are using these networks to communicate after the targeted operation was launched.” Memon added that the Home Secretary would contact PTA to have these networks banned in the province.

According to the provincial information minister, the Sindh government would also contact the federal government to ensure that illegal SIMs would be shut.

Memon added that the brandishing of weapons had also been banned and an operation would be conducted against individuals in possession of illegal weapons.

Memon said that targeted operation in Karachi is not against any particular party but it aims to eliminate the criminals. ‘No one will be allowed to go house to house to collect hides of sacrificial animals during Eid-ul-Azha’ he said. People are free to donate animal hides to anyone they want’ he added.

This is not the first time communication services have been blocked in the name of security. A number of temporary cellular service blocks were implemented in 2013 by the government as an anti-terrorism measure.