This sudden change fueled rumors that the new government has eliminated the hefty tax on expensive smartphones and has advised PTA to unblock all non-approved devices. The telecommunication authority has clarified that it has unblocked an unspecified amount of non-approved phones only to encourage people to pay taxes and get their phones unblocked the proper way.
On their PTA-blocked devices, Pakistani consumers have been mysteriously restoring cellular connectivity. The happy users posted instructions on how to activate their SIM cards on their restricted phones on social media. For the uninitiated, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continues to block imported phones with unpaid taxes, preventing them from using any cellular networks in Pakistan. However, they can still connect over WiFi. Over the previous few weeks, some individuals with non-approved phones had their phones arbitrarily unlocked, allowing them to reconnect to cellular networks once more.
PTA spokesperson Khurram Ali Mehran has said that this was only a persuasive drill to get people to register their phones and pay taxes, as hefty as they are. He said that PTA chose to unblock the phones at random and all of them will be blocked once again within 60 days.