No plan to block prepaid SIMs
LAHORE: Days after creating a stir among prepaid mobile connection users in the country, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday that the connections will not be blocked entirely.
“We did not say that the prepaid connections will be blocked, only the SIMs registered on fake identities will be blocked,” said Malik, while speaking to the media at the inauguration of the Integrated Border Management System at the Allama Iqbal Airport Lahore.
He said thousands of SIMs (subscriber identity module) is being sold on fake identity cards or some people oblige others to purchase SIMs on their identity cards.
“If change of possession on fake identity cards is not to be accepted then why we should accept issuance of SIMs on fake identity cards,” he said.
The interior minister pointed out that while mobile phone connections were being issued to the people, criminals were also using the same illegally as there was no effective mechanism in this regard. A transparent policy would soon be introduced in this regard, he said, adding that no action would be taken that would cause inconvenience to the public.
Malik said that terrorists were using mobile phones for detonating bombs and explosives. “As interior minister protecting people of the country is my responsibility and I will not let anybody use mobile phone connections illegally.”
The interior minister also announced that the validity of passports will be increased from five to 10 years after September 15, while task forces will be deployed at airports to prevent bribery.
Malik said he would make public the list of persons involved in terrorism and anti-state activities and the details of funds they were getting for stoking unrest in Balochistan. He claimed that the wave of terrorism in Balochistan had ebbed after he exposed the names of top terrorist leaders during a briefing on Balochistan in the Senate.
Malik said he would now expose the hands bankrolling the Baloch insurgents. He said his mission is to end terrorism in Balochistan. In the past, he said, he had pointed out many hideouts in Afghanistan being used by Baloch insurgents.
Asked about sectarian killings in Hazara, Gilgit-Baltistan and Quetta, he replied that it was not a Shia-Sunni clash but a plot to destabilise the country. Malik said that ‘shoot-at-sight’ orders had been issued for terrorists who opened fire on buses. He said that the government would soon bring under control the law and order situation in Gilgit-Baltistan.