According to News24, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said the ban was enforced in August 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, the report said.
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,' the report added.
In a country, where parents keep young people on a tight leash and dating is considered inappropriate, late-night chatting over the phone or Internet can be a way to find love below the radar, the report further said.
--ANI (Posted on 14-09-2013)