Government unlikely to block unregistered prepaid SIMs (Report)
Interior Minister Rehman Malik previously said that government has the top most responsibility to ensure protection to the lives and property of the people and all efforts will be made to keep them secure. On this issue, the minister assured to consult with all the concerned authorities to immediately block such prepaid sims to foil nefarious designs of terrorists’ elements. This statement created tension among stakeholders. Some of the top main problems were:
Tax payment to government will be reduce.
It will affect the 3G licencing process.
Telecom sector will suffer.
Counter Terrorism experts has also criticized it that it will increase their work burden.
This policy will discourage FDIs to do business in Pakistan.
It will create unemployment.
96-97% of prepaid customers will suffer.
& many more..
Now Mr.Malik has clarified that the government has no intention to block unregistered prepaid SIMs immediately as it would inconvenience users and negatively impact revenue. He further said that a meeting of all stakeholders would be convened to finalise a strategy on how to deal with the issue of SIMs issued against fake identity cards.
The minister proposed that SIMs should be verified with a thumb impression of applicants through National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) database. He vowed that a mechanism would be devised to ensure that mobile phones are not used as tool for terrorist activities.
Malik had said that the government was planning to block unregistered prepaid SIMs issued on fake national identity cards in order to prevent possible use in terrorist activities. But now he has announced on radio that the government has no intention to block unregistered prepaid SIMs immediately as it would inconvenience.