LAHORE: Due to the non-appearance of the petitioner’ lawyer, the Lahore High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on the online game PUBG in Pakistan in wake of incidents of violence and killings committed by young players of the game. As Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza took the case, no one turned up on behalf of the petitioner, which led to the dismissal of the petition.
Tanvir Sarwar, a citizen, had filed the petition through his counsel Nadeem Sarwar saying playing games online had become a trend among the young generation. He said for some it was a pass time and mood refresher but some people got addicted to these online games.
He said such addiction to PUBG and other online games was not a positive sign for the physical and mental health of the youth in particular. He said spending excessive time playing online games could harm overall personality and health.
The petitioner pointed out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018 declared gaming addiction as a mental health disorder. He said the WHO also had declared that addiction to video games increased depression and anxiety levels among the players.
He submitted that in Pakistan PUBG players had been committing murders due to the adverse impact of the game as in a recent incident a young boy allegedly killed his mother and three siblings influenced by the game.
The petitioner contended that the PUBG game had become a serious life and health threat to its players and their family members. He said if an immediate ban was not imposed on the game, it would ruin the young generation.
He argued that inaction on part of the government functionaries to ban PUBG despite horrible incidents of killings was a violation of the Constitution. He said a ban needed to be imposed on the game at the earliest without further delay to protect the lives of the young generation.
He asked the court to order the respondents to impose an immediate ban on PUBG by blocking its access in Pakistan. The federal secretary law, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had been made respondents in the petition.