Pakistan’s mobile operators confirmed on Monday, that they had to postpone the 1,700-obscene-word- ban list from text messages and have also explained that they had to go for the delay because there were a lot of words included within the list that needed
more clarification from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The ban list was released on November 14, which included words such as “fairy” to “Jesus Christ”, which had no linkage to obscenity. There were only seven days given to the mobile operators to implement the list, but since there is still a lot of room for
improvement, the operators have asked for further justification of the list proposed.
Overall, Pakistani public has also not responded too well to the list, because it is full of words which have no association to obscenity at all. However, the same set of words may have very important meanings too. Therefore, this step is widely considered
vague and is creating confusion even for service providers.
Since, the release of the list, people are more focused on finding out the hidden meaning behind each and every word, which may even have no obscenity attached to it at all. In my view point, the ban list of word in itself is a very disdainful act from the
PTA quarters, because through it, many young innocent minds are compelled to drive dirty meanings out of every enlisted word.
Previously, PTA has also blocked websites with pornographic or offensive to Islam material which was acceptable to public, but this is the first time the country has sought to censor text messages.
I feel that even if this ban list gets approved, there will be another one in the making and there will be no stop to it at all this way.