PTA blocks over 5m unregistered SIMs
ISLAMABAD, May 31: A Senate body was Saturday said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked 5.6 million mobile phone (SIMs) during a campaign against unverified SIMs.
PTA Chairman Maj-Gen (retired) Shahzada Alam Khan told the sub-committee of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior that efforts were underway to ultimately block all unverified SIMs and the completion of the process would take another three to four weeks.
He apprised the members of the committee which met with its convener Senator Mohammad Talha Mahmood that an online verification system would become operational from June 1 under which details of customers would be verified from Nadra through SMS.
He said the new mobile connections would only be issued after the antecedents of the applicant were verified. He said it was possible to get all connections verified through this system by June 30.
Later, speaking at a press conference, Senator Talha Mahmood directed the PTA to provide complete data of the 5.6 million SIMs blocked by it so that it could be seen if the numbers had been permanently blocked or not.
The committee asked the PTA to complete the process of verification of SIMs in the minimum possible time and strictly monitor the new connections to ensure that no SIM could be issued on the basis of fake documents.
The committee said the connections obtained by persons having no record with Nadra must be blocked. The members pointed out that there were a large number of connections in use in the far-flung areas with no record of the subscriber.
Talha Mehmood said no SIM should be activated until the data of the applicant was verified from Nadra. He said out of the total 1,370 franchises of the mobile companies in the country, 500 were checked and 30 of them were closed down for violation of relevant rules.
He said these 30 franchises should be re-opened after giving stern warning.