The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to decide license application of Nayatel for Azad Jammu & Kashmir within 120 days.
The court order, which has been seen by ProPakistani, directed PTA to expedite the matter and decide Nayatel’s application within four months.
Nayatel had approached IHC with a plea that its license application for the provision of fiber broadband in AJK is with PTA for more than a year, but the decision is still pending at the authority’s end.
Nayatel had adopted that as per the Telecom Rules 2000, any application for a telecom license must be decided within 120 days, however, its application is yet not decided, citing some security clearance.
PTA, in response to the petition, submitted that due to security concerns, Nayatel had approached the relevant agency for clearance which is still not responded.
Nayatel said that the Government of AJK issued right of way (ROW) permission to the operator, which was subsequently withdrawn, and a new permission was issued in which Nayatel was asked to get a NOC from Special Communication Organization (SCO), a government owned organization under the Ministry of IT & Telecom providing telecom services in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.
Nayatel alleged that in order to protect the business interests of SCO, PTA deliberately delayed the issuance of the license which was required under Pakistan Telecommunication Rules, 2000 to be decided in 120 days.
When contacted, a PTA spokesperson said that High Court’s orders, when received by the authority, will be implemented in true letter and spirit. The statement further added that Nayatel was to acquire some security clearance along with some other procedural formalities, and upon completion of all formalities and security clearance, the said license will be issued.
Residents of AJK have been long complaining about poor Internet service and speeds which hampers the educational socio-economic development of the valley.