Pakistan province orders Whatsapp, Skype suspended over security concerns
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The Pakistani authorities have banned instant messaging and internet telephony services including Skype, Whatsapp and Viber in the province of Sindh for three months for security reasons, a government spokesman said on Thursday.
Karachi, a city of 18 million people and both the capital of Sindh on Pakistan's southern Indian Ocean coast and the country's financial hub, is plagued by Islamist militant and sectarian violence as well as kidnappings and contract killings.
Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon did not spell out how closing down the networks would improve security. But security services say instant messaging and internet telephony are used by militants and other armed groups to plan attacks.
It was also not clear if Pakistan's other three provinces would follow suit, or even if the ban could be practically enforced. Officials from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority did not return calls requesting comment.