The Islamabad High Court has directed the Information Technology Ministry to reconnect the tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the cyber world and said that the public cannot be prevented from accessing the Internet.
The High Court Chief Justice Athar Manullah approved the hearing of a petition filed by a student Syed Muhammad, in which the Ministry of IT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was made a party.
The court adjourned the hearing till April 20, directing the concerned authorities to submit the report by April 20.
It is to be noted that students from different universities belonging to the seven tribal districts have demonstrated against the absence of 3G and 4G internet facilities in the tribal districts which have been badly affecting their education during lockdown.
The aforesaid applicant belongs to Para Chinar district of tribal districts, whose lawyer Abdul Rahim Wazir took the stand in the court that the parties had denied him the right of public access to the internet.
He further said that the right to access the Internet is guaranteed which is a fundamental part of fundamental rights under Article 19A of the Constitution.
The lawyer added that in view of the lockdown, students needed access to the Internet.
He said that people and students of tribal districts could not be denied their constitutional rights by refusing to give internet access.
The court directed the parties to nominate the officers authorized to appear at the next hearing to clarify why the applicants and members of the tribal districts were not being given internet access.
In addition, the court directed the parties to submit a report at the forthcoming hearing and ordered the IT department to take steps to restore 3G and 4G internet facilities in the tribal districts during this period.