After a long session held between the government of Pakistan and mobile operators, the telcos have finally agreed not to offer any unregistered SIM card duly verified from NADRA prior to July 31, 2014.
Imtiaz Tajwar, Chairman NADRA and the respective heads of cellular operators namely Mobilink, Ufone, Zong, Telenor and Warid inked the agreement and concluded a two-year long dispute between the Federal government and the mobile networks.
The government has been repeatedly asking the mobile networks to ban the unregistered SIMs sales. Now, as per the deal, NADRA is going to supervise the whole verification process whenever a consumer asks for a brand new SIM from the operator.
For this purpose, Biometric verification system has already been deployed at the customer services centers’ of the cellular companies. The operators have installed this system at their own cost while an amount of Rs. 10 will be charged each time a user identity is checked in the NADRA database.
The Interior minister, Chaudhary Nisar quoted in a statement that “the procurement of advance Biometric SIM verification suite will offer optimized technological assistance to the security departments of the country thus ensuring secure law and order situation.” The cellular firms are also been ordered to curb and deactivate unregistered SIMs.
Apart from new SIM registrations, the government also wants mobile companies to authenticate some 129.6 million current SIMs, which in return might not be possible for the telecom firms as it will severely hurt their profits.
The government has been badly disturbed by the use of unauthorized SIMs in criminal and terrorist activities. With the deployment of biometric verification mechanism, bogus SIM acquisition can be reduced significantly to make the country more clean and at peace from unlawful activities.