Pakistani Canadians were taken by surprise when their calling card services dropped the number of minutes from 7,000 to 1,000 minutes. Flabbergasted, many tell us that they called again just to make sure that they have heard the information correctly. Indeed they had, only to find out later that the rate to callPakistanhas been increased. A number of these Canadians had taken services of companies like Comwave or Vonage, yet the rate increase to make phone calls toPakistanhas been so drastic that they dropped their service as it was not cost effective for them anymore.
Pakistani Telecommunication Authority has authorized PTCL’s Consortium to raise rates for international callers calling to Pakistan by 600 per cent, yes the rates have been raised by 600 per cent. The Government of Pakistan has increased the landing charges to a new cost of 8.8 cents per minute, thus skyrocketing the cost of calls from North America toPakistanto about 12 seconds per minute by international call providers.
This is the second time during the Zardari government that the rates have been shot up for international particularly North American callers. The rampant corruption and involvement of government officials in this rate increase reaches billions of dollars. Rehman Malik who has been disqualified by the Superior Court of Pakistan as member of Pakistani Parliament for holding dual nationalities, British and Pakistani, and had served as Pakistan’s Interior Minister lost his temper when a reporter questioned his involvement in this matter.
Overseas Pakistanis must protest this move by using alternate modes of communications. With technology so advanced, there are tons of ways for overseas Pakistanis to chat and see their loved ones in Pakistan online, free of cost. One can use google chat, msn messenger, skype, oovo, Facebook and a number of other sites free of charge to chat with their loved ones in Pakistan.