The Lahore High Court denied a petition seeking a ban on the online game PUBG in Pakistan on Monday due to the petitioner’s lawyer’s non-appearance. The case was filed in response to episodes of violence and killings committed by young players of the game. No one appeared on behalf of the petitioner when Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza handled the matter, resulting in the petition being dismissed.
Tanvir Sarwar, a citizen, submitted the case through his lawyer Nadeem Sarwar, claiming that internet gaming had become popular among the youth. He stated that while it was a fun pastime for some and a mood lifter for others, some people were addicted to these online games.
He claimed that such addiction to PUBG and other online games was not good for young people’s physical and mental wellbeing. He believes that spending too much time playing online games can have a negative impact on one’s personality and health.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified gaming addiction to be a mental health disease, according to the petitioner. He added that the WHO had also stated that video game addiction increased players’ levels of sadness and anxiety.
He said that PUBG gamers in Pakistan have been committing murders as a result of the game’s negative impact, citing a recent incident in which a young child allegedly killed his mother and three siblings after being inspired by the game.
The petitioner claimed that the PUBG game had become a severe hazard to the lives and health of its players and their families. He claimed that if the game was not banned immediately, it would damage the youth.
He claimed that government officials’ failure to act to ban PUBG in the face of horrific killings constituted a violation of the Constitution. He stated that a ban on the game should be implemented as soon as possible to preserve the lives of the younger generation.
He sought the court to force the respondents to immediately ban PUBG in Pakistan by restricting its access. The petition named the federal secretary of state for law, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority as respondents.