Mobile signals ‘intrusion’ irks PTA
LAHORE: The signals of Indian and Afghan mobile operators continue to spill over into Pakistan territory.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has confirmed occurrence of “cross-border interference” along Pakistan’s borders with India and Afghanistan.
“We have taken measures to curb the interference. The ministries concerned and the law-enforcement agencies have been asked to take up the matter with their counterparts in India and Afghanistan to do the needful,” a PTA official told Dawn.
Some Indian and Afghan operators have set up towers in close proximity of borders, which is the main reason behind spilling over of their signals into Pakistan.
Officials said the Ministry of Information and Technology was in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with the Indian and Afghan governments for mutual cooperation and “amicable rectification of the issue”.
Besides, the sale of Afghan SIMs in the border areas has been reported and the authorities concerned have been directed to take immediate steps to stop this. Such SIMs have reportedly been used in kidnap for ransom cases and other illegal activities.
“Since the SIMs of both the countries are in use in border areas here because of their signals spilling over into Pakistan territory, the law-enforcement agencies are left with the only option of intercepting the phone calls if any illegal activity is taking place,” a source in the telecom industry said.
The local mobile companies have the data of the users for five years and the intelligence agencies often take help from it (data) to reach criminals.
No Pakistani telecom operator has set up tower in close proximity of the border area in line with the SOP (standard operating procedure).
“The authorities concerned should strongly take up the matter with the Indian and Afghan governments to ensure removal of the towers along the border areas,” he suggested.