The cellular companies of the country have successfully completed the Biometric Verification of SIMs within the deadline that is provided to them by the interior ministry. The final date assigned to the operators was 12 April, 2015 but on the request of cellular operators the date was extended to 15th May, 2015 because of few SIMs that had been issued against a single computerized national identity card and which had been in continuous use for at least two years. For this purpose the CEOs of the respective operators requested the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to extend the deadline for 2 weeks.
The official sources confirmed that out of 103 million active SIM cards, the operators successfully verified 75.5 million, whereas some 27.5 million were blocked. The Government also asked the operators to re-verify the subscriber’s data, regardless of whether the SIMs were dormant or active. As around 21 million SIMs were verified.
In order to confirm the authenticity of the whole re-verification process, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was directed to hire a third party for audit. An Expression of Interest (EoI) has already been floated for hiring the auditor.
PTA official told DAWN that the whole process of SIMs re-verification was a great success and would serve the country long way in minimizing the misuse of mobile phones for terrorist activities.