Pakistan axes 'immoral' mobile phone love chat
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan has cracked down on "immoral" love chat services offered by mobile phone companies, stifling hopes of illicit romance in the conservative Muslim country where dating is frowned upon.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said the ban was enforced last month due to protests from parents and lawmakers, but critics warn it is the latest attempt at creeping censorship.
The PTA first pulled the plug on dirt-cheap chat rates and late-night discounts in November, but operators simply started offering the services under different names.
So the regulator tightened the ban late last month, ordering telecommunication companies to scrap immediately "all kinds of chat services, irrespective of the time of day".