32,400 SIMs have been issued to Afghan refugees on the basis of 28,800 PoR,

ISLAMABAD ( MEDIA )
After placing mechanism of verification through Biometric Verification System (BVS), thousands of illegal SIMs being used by Afghan nationals but issued on Pakistani identity cards have been blocked in order to wage effective war against terrorists.

Before placing BVS, Afghan nationals had obtained illegal SIMs, which were initially activated on Pakistan’s national identity cards across the country. These SIMs have been blocked because no one had come forward to undertake biometric verification of these SIMs.

After blocking of illegal SIMs being used by Afghan nationals, pace of getting legal SIMs for Afghan refugees on the basis of Proof of Registration (PoR) has increased in the last couple of months.

“In recent weeks, over 9,000 SIMs have been issued by all cellular operators on Afghan refugees’ cards all over the country,” said the official.“A total of 32,400 SIMs have been issued by all mobile operators on the basis of 28,800 PoR,” official sources in Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) confirmed The News here on Monday.

There was a system in place for Afghan refugees to obtain legal SIMs on the basis of PoR under which the franchises and retailers of mobile operators were not allowed to sell SIMs to them.

Only the outfits of mobile operators are allowed to activate SIMs for Afghan refugees on the basis of complete documentation under the prescribed procedures where they had to show their PoR first and to comply with the instruction of the regulator.

In case of involvement of legal SIM issued to Afghan nationals in an unwarranted activities, the security agencies were used to conduct detailed inquiries about the officers of the operators who had issued the legal SIM so the mobile operators had always ensured to accomplish the required procedures with more care and caution.

The illegal issuance of SIMs at retail level has been stopped after placing of BVS which will now help for waging effective war against criminal activities.Pakistani government, said the official, had stopped international roaming on Afghan SIMs unilaterally in order to curb terrorists’ activities inside the country.

The official said that there was an issue of signals alongside the bordering areas of Afghanistan within jurisdiction of 10 kilometres and there was a need to allow Pakistani operators to provide their network facilities in expanded manner that could handle overlapping of signals through Afghan networks effectively.

“There are certain areas along Afghan borders where Pakistani operators are not allowed so instead of curbing Afghan signals, Pakistani operators should ensure their effective networks after placing BVS which can help the security apparatus to trace any unwarranted activities of terrorists,” the official remarked.

After slapping restriction for allowing two SIMs per identification (ID) of foreigners, the PTA had collected the data of previous SIMs issued to them. For previous thousands of SIMs issued to foreigners, the PTA is devising new mechanism.

The limit of having two SIMs for foreigners was imposed for future mechanism on per operator basis. If foreigners including Afghans possessed more than two SIMs, it would be blocked accordingly during the due process.

– See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-307404-Illegal-SIMs-used-by-Afghan-nationals-blocked#sthash.3vfbwwn3.dpuf

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