Block all SIMs, hand them over by Nov 30, order issued


The government on Tuesday issued drastic directives to Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) for blocking all SIM stocks available in the market and handing them over with effect from November 30, 2012.

According to directives of the Ministry of Interior titled SIMs—National Security,, all SIM stocks available in the market for sale shall be blocked including blocking the capability of dialing 789 short codes on subject SIMs by November 30, 2012.

No SIM stocks shall be available at any sale point including customers’ service centers, franchises and retailers with effect from December 1, 2012. All CMOs shall allow roaming facility only to registered/verified satellite phones subscribers.

A meeting was held at headquarters of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) here on Tuesday in order to communicate the directives of Ministry of Interior to all CMOs. Despite making hectic efforts made by this scribe, no official of PTA including its chairman was available for comments.

All CMOs shall inform all sale channels in writing that no SIMs shall be handed over to them at customers’ service center, franchises or retailers after Nov 30.

CMOs were directed to retrieve SIMs from the market in systematic, confidential, foolproof and methodical manner so that no single SIM is misplaced and proper record of issued, sold and retrieved SIMs from each sale channel shall be maintained.

The delivery of SIMs through couriers at home addresses will be ensured and the project of delivery of SIMs shall be exclusively handled by the mobile companies through their own employees and this will not be in any case delegated to sale channels.

For regularization of illegal/unverified and blocking of 5 percent SIMs per week, CMO shall conclude re-verification of all illegal/unverified SIMs correctness of anecdotes having incomplete addresses as per the target date already communicated in the finalized working procedures of “SIM Information System- 668, Phase IV” ie. by 12th December 2012.

On December 15, 2012 all CMOs shall render a certificate, signed by not less than the Regulatory Heads, that 100 percent verification of subscribers’ credential has been done through NADRA’s database and all unverified/illegal/having incomplete antecedents SIMs have been blocked.

The directives further stated that CMOs shall ensure sale of SIMs on provision of at least two original IDs (CNIC plus Utility bills/driving license) with effect from December 1, 2012.Handing over of SIMs to customers by the sale channels including Customer Service Centers, franchises, retailers or any other sale point shall seize with effect from November 30, 2012.

There are minimum requirements which shall be ensured by the mobile companies while concluding agreement with courier services such as the courier would ensure delivery of SIMs only to authorized persons, the courier agent will ensure original CNIC and shall record the CNIC number and signatures of addresses on the receipt.

In case of wrong delivery of SIMs, the responsibility shall be on the mobile companies.All CMOs have been directed to implement the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding limiting number of SIMs to 5 per CNIC whether one or more service providers. This has been communicated to CMOs through official communications and compliance report should be submitted by November 30, 2012.

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