Raiding Illegal International Incoming Traffic After Increasing it

group handsI am sure you have watched one of those movies in which Hero himself gets his girl attacked by some gangsters and then he pops up out of no-where to save the girl to become her hero.

This is exactly what has happed in the case of international illegal traffic in Pakistan. The stake holders, i.e. Ministry of IT and Telecom, PTA and LDI operators first paved the way for illegal traffickers and now they are raiding the exchanges to make headlines.

Yes, I am hinting the notorious International Clearing Hours or ICH, authorized by Ministry of IT and Telecom and executed by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. This ICH hiked the tariffs for international incoming calls by 300% to 800% since October 1st, 2012.

This irrational increase in tariffs for international incoming calls forced the Pakistanis abroad to use illegal means to make calls to their FnF on discounted rates. And hence the business for illegal international incoming traffic grew by many folds.

Interestingly, CCP had communicated its fears for possible increase in illegal traffic through its policy directive to MoIT. But apparently no one listened them then.

Same had happened in April 2008 when PTA had increased ASR (a part of international incoming call charges) and subsequently the international incoming call prices grew. So did the illegal voice traffic. There are evidences that this increase in ASR was without authority approval and decision was to benefit a single person.

Now here comes the million dollar question: Who is responsible for increase in illegal traffic?

  • MoIT and PTA? Who are now winning laurels for making efforts to stop the illegal exchanges?
  • LDI Operators? Who are now complaining against the increase in illegal traffic?
  • All three of these?

Even worse, government is going to spend million of taxpayers’ dollars to setup system to block illegal traffic. Hence, there becomes another vendor that will get benefited from ICH saga.

So many beneficiaries through a single approval of ICH from Ministry of IT and Telecom, on expense of pockets of common man.

I am wondering what is stopping the authorities to question the person who approved ICH or lobbied for ICH. And why he (or they) is/are not put on trial. Yes, you get it right: That’s only if authorities are involved.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK