Rehman Malik Gets in Action Against Cellular Operators

By Ahmed Rayyan

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik is in action against cellular operators and directed them to come up with a new business solution in 15 days to post SIM (Subscribers Identity Modules) on buyers address.

He expressed his concern over the selling of pre-activated SIMs in the market and warned operators stop doing it at any cost to avoid terrorist executing their activities in the country.

Mr Rehman was briefing the media following a meeting on the incidents of targeted killings with provincial top brass of the Sindh.

He asked all mobile phone companies to ensure SIM registration with Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) number of subscribers.

“I am telling all cellular operators stop selling out pre-activated SIMs and do make it mandatory for its buyers to get registered SIMs identity with National Registration Database Authority (Nadra),” he said.

I was told by my intelligence that 50 SIMs are issued on single CNIC; it should be stopped because SIMs could be bought with the registration of stolen CNIC, he added.

It merits mentioning here that Rehman Malik has issued similar statements before, which are never materialized.

Cellular Operators Viewpoint

Reacted strongly on his statement, cellular operators’ officials said selling SIMs is systematic process dealt by franchises and retailers of the company.

The selling SIMs on post is a unique idea to be considered as mere statement because it is an organized chain of business not to be taken place by postal services. The SIMs registration process is done through proper system established last year in conjunction with Nadra.

About Deadline

Government is crazy to issue deadlines to cellular operators because it utterly neglects the technical issues of the system. Recently provincial authorities issued 15-day deadline to all cellular operators, asking them to switch over their electricity supply to cell sites from solar energy.

A couple of days later, they had taken back their deadlines after subsequent intervention of Ministry of IT and Telecom on the request of operators. Mr Rehman Malik has earlier threatened many times to block SIMs used to send SMS for “negative purpose” (carrying insulting and funny jokes on Zardari). But PTA denied following his directives because it was beyond of their authority.


  • I like the idea actually. The process would generally look like:

    You order the connection online (Pre-paid or Post-paid) giving all your information, like the CNIC number. If you don’t have internet access (jump off a building), then you can go to Service Center or Franchise and order through there. They would still use the same service to place the order online using your CNIC number.

    The operator verifies the CNIC number and gets the relevant information of the user from NADRA’s database which includes Name and Current Address. Then the operator ships the SIM to the address obtained from NADRA and NOT an address given by the user while ordering.

    Doing that would keep people from using someone else’s CNIC to place orders because they wouldn’t be able to collect the SIM then.

    I don’t really see any unresolvable issue by using this method.

    In fact, Telenor already is doing something very similar with Persona Web Lounge and last I heard they were planning to make Web Lounge the default system for ordering new connections discontinuing the older method. They just have to integrate NADRA’s information system to verify the users.

    Adopting a system like this would greatly reduce the amount of unauthorized SIMS in the market.

    • What about 789 system and the time and investment PTA and cellular operators have put in previous two years?

      All ideas are workable, but all players are needed to be on the same page before they finalize anything.

      Sending a SIM to home address will cause issues, for instance, if i am residing in Islamabad, while my CNIC address says am from Lahore, it gonna create probs for me.

      • Yes that was exactly me point actually. You are legally obliged to keep your CNIC information updated. If you change your residence, you need to change the current address with NADRA as well. That’s part of NADRA’s system.

        So if you keep yourself registered legally, then you’d have no problem. That’s why I said there are very few chances of any unauthorized usage.

        As for the 789 system, It would still function. To activate the SIM your receive via mail, you still have to call 789.

        • I do not think that condition of CNIC is necessary to avail SIM. We have relevant condition in Saudia Arabia. In Saudia, they issue SIM without CNIC. (IF SOMEONE THINKS IT IS FALSE, HE MAY CONFIRM) We need a system, which should be capable of tracking real time.
          .
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          If one thinks that there is no such type of condition in Saudia then we can become example for others… WE SHOULD TRACK REAL TIME AS LIKE CARS ETC

          • For more we can do following steps.
            1) Proper verification of SIM + Delivery at home.
            2) Binding of SIM number with IMEI number of mobile and buying and selling of any mobile should be updated with cordination with local market.
            3) There is family number option in CNIC… A new mobile subscriber gives all numbers, which are using under one parents.
            4)REAL TIME TRACKING (Most Important)

          • Government tracking someone is basically a violation of privacy rights. Besides what good would tracking do? You won’t be able to tell who is a terrorist and who isn’t from over a 100 million users.

            The only real way is to prevent unauthorized sales and the best way to do it is by locking delivery to addresses given on the CNIC (or if necessary, the credit cards).

            • UzEE
              Dear bro Sim tracking will not conclude that who is terrorist … It Will tell where are roots of terrorism…. (LINKS ETC)
              Privacy will not be compromise untill it remain in hand of few persons.

            • We are in state of WAR. Privacy is words use in normal life.
              .
              .
              awake… Go… Mobile snatched… Go…. Sleep
              .
              .
              Real Time Tracking will find the location of your phone+snatcher+his friends

              • Somebody also tell me that, which service the operators will use to deliver the SIMs to the real customer. Either it will be Pakistan Post or some other like TCS, DHL, OCS and Leopards etc. ALL the couriers are hevily unreliable. What is the surity, that the exact owner will get the SIM?

  • That would be great if adopted. I think if this method is adopted , the pta must insure to make the current users the part of this method.their sims should be deactivated and then re activated upon verification . And the process must be fair .

  • the biggest culprits are retailers(shopkeeper). they took information from illiterate people or from people who cant or don’t want to activate sim by themselves. retailers after activating their sim use their information like mother name, place of birth and activate other sims as well. this must be stopped

  • i will even suggest pro pakistani to write about this issue in detail in separate post as well so that people could know how their ID cards are used illegally and cusomers even dont know about it

  • hmmmmm problem also from the frinchies as well they also use the damy CNIC for re-gestation .

  • Actually in Pakistan when business starts, govt don’t think & take tension of its after effect. now after when 10 years are gone they are behaving like mad bull.. telecom companies sucks.. they just need money. they are no pakistani so why they will worry about security.

    • It has nothing to do with foreign owned or not! The telecoms industry is better managed than any industry in this country so it’s easy to make demands on them! Everyone is quick to blame telecoms for terrorisim and such! But Malik and his kind don’t address the real issue – but I won’t elaborate here

  • yes they issue sim without seeing nic just they want money and nic copy but user have to activate sim by telling his nic details such as mother name

  • ھم ایک ایسی قوم ھیں جہاں پر:

    روزانہ سیکڑوں کی تعداد میں لوگ سڑکوں پر تیز رفتاری کے باعث حادثات میں مارے جاتے ھیں لیکن کسی کو بھی سپیڈ لمِٹ کے قانون پر عمل کروانے میں کوئی دلچسپی نہیں ھے۔

    روزانہ سیکڑوں کی تعداد میں لوگ نِیِم حکیموں، جعلی ڈاکٹروں اور نقلی پِیروں کے ہتھے چڑھ کر اپنی جانوں سے ہاتھ دھو بیٹھتے ہیں لیکن کسی کو بھی ان کے خلاف قانون بنانے یا موجودہ قوانین پر عمل کروانے میں کوئی دلچسپی نہیں ھے۔

    دلچسپی ہے تو بس مال بنانے میں اور سیٹ پکی کرنے میں چاھے پھر اس کے لئے کوئی بھی ناجائز طریقہ اختیار کیوں نہ کرنہ پڑے؟

    ایک ایسے معاشرے میں سم رجسٹریشن کا عمل کیسے شفاف ہو سکتا ہے؟

  • The idea of posting SIM on the address is not workable. I am a Mobilink Blackberry user, went to Northern areas with my family on vacations where Mobilink was not working. I had no choice but to buy a SIM from a shop, activated it and used it while I was in the area where Mobilink services are not available like Nathia Gali, Naran and Shogran areas etc.

    I, however, agree that pre-activated SIMs should not be available in the market.

  • This is good approach. However, I don’t like it for 2 purposes (I heard it through different people, so not confirmed how true the charging figure its, but it’s confirmed that NADRA do charge for verification).

    1. NADRA charges quite a lot of money. I heard like 15 rs per verification.

    2. If a number has to be re-verified, the operator has to pay again. So multiple verification of single number requires to pay multiple times.

    Beside this, there are a lot of cases where the number has been tracked in illegal activities, but no action was taken.

    The other dilemma is that, our Ministers themselves get SIMs issued on some other id cards etc, which is supported by our govt.

    If this is being done for national interest, NADRA shouldn’t charge at all or charge very less to facilitate the process.

    To me it seems as Govt just want to make money and thats why such regulations are introduced.

  • PTCL website is down, and after a long delay shows following error.

    Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in D:\inetpub\vhosts\ptcl.com.pk\httpdocs\functions\paths.php on line 2

  • i totally agree with Adnan…
    In many ares, retailers take information from uneducated people or from people who cant activate sim by themselves. After activating their sim, they use their personal information including thier mother name, birth place etc, and activate other sims as well.

    And UzEE, I don’t think so we should talk about Privacy rights here. In this situation, government has every rite to access all of our personal info to verify our properties. If we compare our government system with developed countries, they have complete access to their citizens’ data in case of need of verification. This is the best solution which we can have right now, to prevent unauthorized usage.

    Personally I have experienced 789 activation process thrice (for my family numbers), and trust me, you can make those operators fool easily. Because all you need to provide is some basic info, which anyone can know about you.

    And once the sim is registered to yourself, you will not even get notify by any letter or call at your resident number.

  • Where was Mr. Rehman Malik when PTA was busy in minting huge license fees from operators who now have invested quiet a lot in this worn torn country where operational cost continues to rise and operators are just surviving, waiting for the good days, heavily taxed, govt. is already benefiting a lot.

    What has the government done for ordinary citizens and I see them acting hastily before analyzing the situation. The hard fact is that the very business model from the first day is franchises, whose owners are not very educated but better then many of the other FMCG distribution channels owner but stiff competition demands that company must push it sales for that employees are pressurized who in return pressurize the franchises and they push the retailers, either by hook or crook company wants sale because of the huge investment, rising cost and other understandable factors.

    On the name of so-called money and support from USA we continue to support drone strikes in FATA and else where, are they not Pakistani citizens, their security is not the responsibility of government? This system has been in place from 1999, why only now we are pointing our fingers at CMTO’s. Mr. Malik problem lies somewhere else, you know it, I know it and everybody else knows it. First clean your own house, we have a system where we even can’t prosecute the convicted, the known corrupt and fake degree holders, forget about the man using his illegal mobile connection to sabotage our society at least he’s paying tax to the government and thats all you need…

  • REHMAN MALIK SAHEB KA LATEST ORDER KA PREPAID MOBILE CONNECTION KHATEM KIA JAIN. KION KA EID PA MOBILE SIGNALS OFF KERNA SA CRIMES BOHT KUM HOA HAIN. AGER TARGET KILLING MOBILE YA MOBILE CONNECTION SA HOTI HA TO ZAROOR PREPAID SERVICE BAND KER DAIN MAGER ILLEGAL WEAPONS KE SALE PURCHASE NA ROKAIN 80% TARGET KILLING WOH LOAG KERTA HAIN JINKO AAP SUPPORT KERTA HAIN JAISA LYARI GANG WAR WALA OR AAP KA POLITICAL PARTNERS MAGER UNKA KHILAFT KOI ACTION NA KEJIA GA WOH NARAZ HOJAIN GA. SARKAR SAUDI ARABIA OR 95% DUNYA KE COUNTRIES MAIN MOBILE PREPAID SIM WITHOUT NAME MILTI HAIN SAUDIA MAIN HER SALL HUJ PA 25 TO 30 LACK MOBILE CONNECTION HAJI LAITA HAIN WITHOUT ANY DOCUMENTS MAGER WAHAN CRIME NAHE HOTA KA SAZA SAKHT HA OR SAZA MILTI BHE HA WAHAN WEAPON EASILY NAHE MIL SAKTAY . PTCL WIRELESS ,WATEEN TELECOM,WORLD CALL BHE WIRELESS SERVICE HAIN MOBILE KE TARAH UN KA SIGNALS KABI KION BLOCK NAHE KIA JATAY ? KIA AAP KO LAGTA HAY KA MOBILE SIMS YA PREPAID CONNECTION BAND KERNA SA YA SIGNAL BLOCK KERNA SA CRIME RUK JAIN GA TO AAP KE BHOOL HA CRIMINALS MOBILE PHONE ANAY SA PEHLA P.C.O OR PAGER SERVICE USE KERTA THAH WOH PHIR WOHI SERVICE OR AB TO INTERNET SERVICE BHE HA USE KERAIN GA. MOTOR CYCLE PA DOUBLE SAWARI HO YA MOBILE CONNECTION IN SA WAQTI TOOR PA CRIME KUM HOJAIN GA MAGER CRIMINAL NEW RASTAY DHOND LAIN GA. AGER AAP YEH PABUNDI LAGA DAIN KA CASH,MOBILE,CAR, LA KA BAHIR NA NIKLAIN TO BHE KAFI CRIMES KUM HO SAKTA HAIN. AAP KA PASS TO TECHNOLOGY HA KA KISI BHE MOBILE KE EXACT LOCATION TRACE KER SAKTA HAIN PHIR USAY USE KION NAHE KERTA AAP 789 SIM ACTIVATION SYSTEM KO UPGRADE KERDAIN US MAIN USER KA N.I.C FATHER MOTHER N.I.C NO ADDRESS AIK P.T.CL NO JO APNA HO YA KISI FRIEND YA RELATIVE KA HO POCHA JAY PHIR US PTCL PA VERIFICATION CALL KE JAY KA AAP IS USER KO JANTA HAIN YEH APKA PTCL KA BEHALF PA MOBILE CONNECTION ACTIVE KERNA CHATA HA AGER VERIFY HOJAY TO CONECTION ON KER DIA JAY PTCL KA 90% CONNECTION LEGAL HAIN OR CUSTOMERS KA ADRESS PA REGISTERED HAIN IS SA FAKE SIM CONNECTIONS KA KHATRA SA NIMTA JA SAKTA HAY OLD TAMAM CONNECTION KO STEP BY STEP SERIAL WISE OFF KER DIA JAY OR WOH DUBARA 789 PA CALL KER KA ACTIVE KIA JAIN TO TAMAM OLD CONNECTIONS KE BHE REAL INFORMATION’S MIL JAIN GE.

    ELECTION QAREEB HAIN OR PAKISTAN KA 95% MOBILE USERS PREPAID CONNECTION USE KERTA HAIN JO KA 9 CRORE HAIN TO MALIK SAAB PREPAID KO POSTPAID KERAIN AAP NA WAISA BHE PPP KE GOVT KA NAAM KAFI ROSHEN KIA HAY ITNEE TAKLEEF DAIN AWAM KO KA TOBA KER LAY KA ZINDAGI MAIN PHIR KABI PPP KO VOTE NA DAY

    SHYED KA UTER JAY UNKA DILL MAIN
    PAKISTAN KA GHAREEB MOBILE PREPAID USERS KE BAAT


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