Legislators express concern over SIMs issuing mechanism

Ijaz Kakakhel

Legislators of Lower House of Parliament on Friday expressed serious concerns and reservations over issuing of different telecom operators SIMs only on computerized national identity cards and directed the regulator to check and rectify it as quick as possible.

Without proper thumb impression, how a telecom operator may issue a SIM over the name of any person.

These questions were asked during NA standing Committee on Information Technology, which held today in parliament house while Ali Khan Jadoon was on chair.

Members of the committee said it was very dangerous that a SIM might be issued in the name of an innocent person, and it might be used in different financial scams or in terrorist activities.

They regretted that telecom operators were selling their SIMs in the market without proper security standards.

They objected the mechanism of issuing the SIMs.
The committee directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) ministry of Information Technology and NADRA to sit to-gather and find solution of the matter.

Member PTA Compliance and Enforcement Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar informed the committee that SIMs of telcos could not issue without biometric verification.

But NADRA DG told the committee that telcos should made biometric verification through life finger devices instead of ordinary one.

However, the PTA Member informed the committee that some illegal SIMs were issued for uneducated people along with thumb impression.

The PTA raided different franchises randomly and huge penalty was imposed if found any violation in SIM issuing process.

He said that the PTA has identified about 50 million SIMs which according to him required proper verification from NADRA.

Chairman of the committee Ali Khan Jadoon was of the view that the way telecom operators issuing SIMs was not right and stressed that proper mechanism should be adopted.

He directed the concerned stakeholders i.e. PTA, Ministry, Operators and NADRA to resolve the issue as quick as possible.

The committee also discussed non-availability of 3G and 4G services in some areas of Balochistan.

PTA informed the committee that on the direction of ministry of interior the 3G/4G services were stopped due to some security concerns. It can be restored over the direction of ministry of interior, he maintained.

The PTA told the committee that in next meeting will provide details where 3G/4G services were stopped by the direction of ministry of interior and also the services availability across the province of Balochistan.

Secretary Information Technology Shoib Siddique informed the committee that Prime Minister has directed to spread the broadband across the country.

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