Senate Body Dismayed by PTA Failure to Block Unregistered SIMs

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has expressed dismay over the failure of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block the unregistered cell-phone SIMs and directed the regulator to provide exact data of SIMs blocked over non-verification as well as Mobile SIMs issued against manual (old) National Identity Cards (MNICs).

The committee met here on Thursday in Parliament House with Senator Talha Mehmood in the chair, and was attended by Senators Najma Hameed, Gulshan Saeed, Israrullah Zehri and Nayyar Hussain Bokhari. High officials from Ministry of Interior, PTA, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad, Commissioner of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and representatives of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Crime Investigation Department (CID) and other organisation were also present in the meeting.

PTA official briefed the committee that almost 76 millions mobile SIMs were referred to National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for verification and 10.2 millions were blocked for being issued on non verifiable documents.

The Parliamentary body recommended provision of access to database of mobile companies provided to the police to counter surge of crime and terrorism in the country. It was also decided by the Standing Committee to write a letter to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to accord approval to the proposal to give access to police to the call logs of mobile companies, which will enable police to have information about the record of phone calls of any specific person or alleged criminals during any specified time span.

IGP Islamabad Kaleem Imam informed the committee that police used to get access to required data of phone calls made by any proclaimed offender through lengthy correspondence with intelligence agencies, which made action against anyone belated. He maintained that performance of police could be improved with timely access to aforesaid data.

Committee also decided to recommend the government to invest maximum on the improvement of intelligence sources and security agencies to ensure safety of lives and properties of the people. Senator Talha expressed serious concern over issuance of large number of mobile SIMs on one CNIC saying that this provision has enabled the terrorists and criminals to get many SIMs to continue their subversive activities without any hindrance.

He directed the cell-phone companies to reduce the number of cell-phone SIMs to be issued against single CNIC to an individual. “Currently, any person can get 10 mobile SIMs issued against his/her CNIC from single mobile operator, which means total 50 mobile SIMS from five operators and it is too much,” he said.

“No war or campaign can be won without strong and effective intelligence network” said Senator Talha while talking to media outside the Parliament House after Standing Committee meeting. He said that Standing Committee has urged the government to invest more and more to make intelligence network stronger so that the menace of terrorism and crime rate will be brought to an end.

Via Business Recorder

  • for the subscriber that had their connections verified through 789, still don’t have their documents sent for verification, The solution can be starting to suspend number’s in batches and ask the customer to visit the nearest customer service center of their service provider, verify themselves and have their number activated, It will take time and effort, but would it be a better option, out of 76 million only 10.2 million we blocked, what a laugh, those were the SIM that didn’t have any data behind them (Un-Registered), what about the wrongly registered number’s, lots of people still don’t know that there are SIM’s registered in their name, we need to correct this, but nobody is interested in doing it just because they want a name to point finger at, they don’t not want correct data

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