As we reported yesterday, a judgment has been issued by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority(PTA) to bring an immediate halt to illegal sale of mobile phone SIMs in Balochistan.
Judgment was issued by a three-judge bench hearing a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan at Quetta Registry of the apex court.
Preliminary judgment said that PTA should take measures necessary to make sure that only one SIM could be issued against a single CNIC in Baluchistan Province.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, in this regards, is waiting for detailed order to get the orders implemented. A PTA official while speaking with ProPakistani said that short order has been received, however, authority is waiting for detailed judgment to proceed further in this regards.
Cellular companies are internally working out to see how best to act on the judgment. They have obtained the short order from supreme court at their own to know the details.
It merits mentioning here that cellular companies can not proceed directly on supreme court’s orders. Instead, they will wait for PTA’s directive to implement the highest court’s order.
An official of cellular company confirmed ProPakistani that nothing has been communicated by PTA on one SIM per CNIC rule as of now. However, a meeting is expected in next few days to detail down the implementation of SC order.
As per details we have got, Supreme Court judgment, directed PTA to make sure that no mobile subscriber (in Balochistan) posses more than one SIM of one operator on one CNIC – or in other words, a mobile subscriber can not have more than one SIM of one operator on his/her CNIC in Balochistan.
More details (such as deadline for the implementation of One SIM per One CNIC, and other modalities) are to follow, when supreme court will issue detailed order.
Officials of mobile companies aren’t sure of the impact of this order – “it is too early to comment on it” an official maintained, however, he was of the view that this won’t impact the subscriber’s’ count at large, mainly due to low mobile phone penetration in Balochistan region.
Reports suggest that Balochistan has less than 4 percent of total mobile phone subscribers’ base. Stats for Baluchistan’s share for Traffic and revenue generations aren’t much different than the subscriber base.
in December 2009, as per PTA, cellular penetration in Balochistan was mere 32.6 percent, compared to 59.6 percent countrywide penetration. PTA then said that Balochistan had 2.6 million subscribers out of 97 million total mobile subscribe base in the country.