Pakistan telecommunication Authority told Parliamentary Panel that SIM card used in the Peshawar Army Public School attack on December 16 last year was issued in Bahawalpur.
SIM Card Used in APS Attack was Issued in Bahawalpur- PTA Chief
Referring to Punjab home minister Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada’s assassination on Sunday, a senior interior ministry official told Major (retd) Tahir Iqbal – head of the sub-committee of National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, that despite biometric verification, the communication network of terrorists could not be dismantled. PTA blamed that the reason for this failure is weak monitoring mechanism.
The interior official claimed that PTA and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials were working together against criminals, because of which
“grey trafficking and misuse of SIM cards could not be disrupted thus far”.
He said the PTA had failed to deliver.
“Our only concern is that incidents of terrorism could not be stopped even after SIM verification, as the existing legislation on telecom doesn’t suggest harsh punishment for those who issue SIM cards.”
FIA refuses to take responsibility of this failure. As the FIA official present in the meeting said:
His agency does not interfere in such cases until they receive a written application asking them to participate.
Moreover PTA Chairman Dr Ismail Shah took exception to the interior ministry official’s remarks.
“We can’t guarantee ending SIM misuse only through biometric verification.”
He also said:
The capability of the relevant institutions and agencies to capture criminals through an effective monitoring system needs to be enhanced
Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Shazia Marri also gave suggestion that PTA and the FIA needed to enhance the capability to deal with such crimes.
Another controversial point was that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) forwarded the proposal to book minors for cybercrimes. However Babar Sattar, a prominent lawyer, opposed the proposal and suggested that to exclude children from criminal liability.
An ISI official said militants had been using children in terror-related activities. He said that in the modern era, even a child of seven years could misuse a mobile phone in his excitement.
“Therefore, it is appropriate to include minors in the ambit of the cybercrime law.”
This viewpoint of ISI is supported by Khawaja Zaheer and Barrister Zafarullah Khan, legal advisers of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.