According to SOPs issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, there is no possible way of re-verifying those Pakistani customers who are on roaming and are not planning to visit Pakistan before April 14th, 2015, we have officially checked with officials of cellular companies and PTA.
Such customers who are using Pakistani SIMs abroad — mainly because incoming SMS on roaming is free and they excessively use this facility — are apparently left with no possible way of avoiding cancellation of their SIMs, unless they physically visit Pakistan before the deadline and get their SIMs re-verified through biometric verification system.
Cellular companies told ProPakistani that they are yet to find a resolute way of getting such customers re-verified.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said that it is aware of the issue, however, it is yet to determine a way for international roamers to get their SIMs re-verified.
PTA said that there is small chunk of SIMs that are on international roaming as compared to the ones operating in Pakistan, and authority wanted to address larger issues first considering that time for re-verification is ridiculously short.
While we don’t have any stats about the amount of SIMs that are active with international roaming abroad, but as mentioned above incoming SMS on international roaming is absolutely free and there is a huge chunk that carries Pakistani SIMs while working abroad just because their FnF back in Pakistan can easily access them with just a text message.
Cellular companies and PTA are thinking about excepting the re-verification of those SIMs with NICOP (National ID Card for Overseas Pakistani). Meaning that if you have any SIM registered against a NICOP — ID card in English Language for people living or working abroad — then your SIM might not get blocked even after the deadline.
On the other hands, interior ministry believes that no SIM should be exempted, they are altogether discarding this proposal for exempting SIMs for re-verification that are registered against NICOP. However, chances are that interior ministry might agree for an extended deadline (say six months or nine) for NICOP registered SIMs.
One Way of Re-Verifying SIMs That are on Roaming:
Instead of waiting your SIM to get blocked, there is this unofficial way of re-verifying your SIMs if you are abroad and are not planning to visit Pakistan before April 14th, 2015. Keep reading to know further.
If SIM is somehow shipped to Pakistan — through letter or courier — then your local friend or family can get it transferred to their name and get this particular SIM re-verified and shipped back to you.
Anyone who has physical possession of an active SIM can simply walk in to a service centre of respective company and can change ownership of SIM to his/her name by presenting a CNIC.
Please note that change of ownership is not possible without presenting an active SIM.
Once ownership is changed and SIM is biometrically verified, this SIM can be shipped back to international roamer and that’s it.
International roamers can always get the same SIM transferred back to their names once they are here in Pakistan in the future.