Pakistan Telecommunication Authority chairman summons meeting on prepaid SIMs
By: Hanif Khalid
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has summoned an emergency meeting of the representatives of the mobile companies to block illegal prepaid mobile SIMs.
This meeting will be held next week at the PTA headquarters and PTA Chairman Farooq Awan will chair it. The meeting will not only make a decision to take strict action to block illegal pre-paid cellular SIMs but also in the light of Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s orders, mobile companies will take immediate action to block mobile SIM connections issued on fake Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) with immediate effect.
While talking to The News, Chairman PTA Farooq Awan said that the PTA had blocked about four million mobile phone connections issued on bogus CNICs. He said that new pre-paid SIM connections would be delivered through couriers on the concerned address on verification of Nadra.
Mobilink, Ufone, Zong, Telenor and Warid will not be able to issue mobile SIMs to their customers through their offices, customer service outlets, franchises or agents and it will be considered a crime if they issue the same. It will be made mandatory to produce original CINCs for getting mobile SIMs.
Farooq Awan said that implementation of the system of delivering mobile SIMs at the applicants’ address given on the CNICs would be assured and the franchise of the shopkeepers who sell cellular phone SIMs to the customer without implementing this system would be cancelled. He said the licences of the cellular companies which do not implement the regulations of PTA would also be cancelled. He said that strict legal action would also be taken against those companies which do not implement PTA regulations.
The PTA chairman said that the decision would be taken in consultation with all stakeholders. He said that officials of the Ministry of Information Technology, Interior Ministry, intelligent agencies, IG police and other senior officials are being invited to attend this emergency meeting.
Farooq Awan said that positive results had been attained by blocking mobile phone services in different areas of Pakistan for a limited period and this showed that Pakistan should regularise the issuance of pre-paid cellular connections like India, Iran, the Gulf countries, Europe and the US.
He said the incidents of terrorism, kidnapping for ransom, robberies, car-lifting, theft and murder can be eliminated by blocking illegal mobile phone SIMs issued on bogus CNICs.