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Rough weather hampers work

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Attempts to repair an undersea cable linking Pakistan to the rest of the world are being hampered by rough weather, according to the head of the country's telco.

Difficult conditions in the Arabian Sea just ten miles off the coast of Karachi have made detecting the fault extremely difficult for engineers as they struggle to restore services to Pakistan.

Last week internet and other telecoms services in Pakistan went titsup after a cable - the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-3 (SEA-ME-WE3) - suffered damage. Although Pakistan telco PTCL has managed to prop up services in the country using satellite links, communications services are still flaky.

Junaid Khan, the president of PTCL told Pakistan daily newspaper Dawn: "Frankly, the fault has not been traced. Previously, we had narrowed the defective portion down to 15 kilometres.

"At the moment engineers working aboard the ship sent in by a UAE-based company, E-Marine, were scanning five kilometres of the 39,000-kilometre-long fibre-optic link, which is believed to contain the defective portion."

Pakistan has some 10 million net users but the disruption has also hit businesses, call centres and financial institutions. PTCL is considering laying a second cable to prevent such disruption in the future, ®

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