PTA claims 75.5 million SIM cards registered via biometric verification

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As many as 75.5 million SIM cards have been registered via biometric verification in a bid to encounter their usage in immoral and terrorist activities triggered by cellular devices in the country, as per the latest statement from government authorities.

The provision of Biometric Verification System (BVS) was launched prior to the conflict arise due to several mobile phone connections issued to anonymous identities as they played a key role in carrying out plethora of terror attacks in the country. The law enforcement agencies then urged upon government officials to take strict action to curb this menace. The Information ministry declared that the last day for SIM authentication was not later than May 15, 2015.

The ministry mentioned is a statement that out of the aimed 103 million active SIMs, nearly 75.5 million SIMs has been registered whereas the remaining 27.5 million active SIMs were abandoned forever.

The Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) undertook initiatives to implement and enforce the process in a smooth and transparent manner in order to facilitate general masses awareness.

Nationwide awareness campaigns through SMS, electronic (TV and radio), digital media and print media launched were run.

Besides this, a substitute verification scheme was launched to facilitate the aged, disabled and overseas citizens of Pakistan.

At first, MoIT and PTA were ordered to accomplish the task of verification of overall existing SIMs via BVS in January 2015 but later the deadline was prolonged till April 12.

The government has also told PTA to initiate a third party audit of the entire process to ensure its transparency and authenticity. For this purpose, the Expression of Interest (EoI) for hiring of a third party auditor has already been floated.

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