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Pakistani PM Promises High-Speed Internet To Tribal Region

Students took part in a protest in June 2020 for 3G and 4G Internet across the former FATA districts.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that high-speed Internet connections will become operational in the tribal region of South Waziristan on January 20.

Students in South Waziristan have staged several protests in recent months complaining that the lack of high-speed Internet connection was affecting distance learning during the lockdowns imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

But two local residents contacted by RFE/RL in late afternoon said their mobile phones were receiving only weak Internet signals.

Residents in several other tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province have demanded Internet connections to be reinstated after the government suspended services about a year ago, citing security reasons.

Khan visited South Waziristan’s main town of Wana amid tight security, accompanied by senior provincial government officials.

Speaking at a ceremony, the prime minister announced that 3G/4G Internet connections would be provided to the region as early as January 20.

Local resident Said Wali of Karikot area in Wana district said his phone started receiving a 2G signal at around 4:30 p.m. local time.

Aziz of Azam Warsak area said local residents were also receiving “very weak” Internet signals.