Islamabad: Pakistan’s telecom regulator authority has blocked over 2 million SIM cards across the country under a campaign launched by the government for authentication of details of mobile phone subscribers.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) earlier this month gave 91 days to verify 103 million unverified SIMs through the Biometric Verification System (BVS), as part of security measures following the December Peshawar school massacre that killed 150 people, the Dawn reported.
National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication which met here on Wednesday was informed that a joint working group formed by the Ministry of Interior had been working on the process since January 12.
The group comprises members from PTA, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information Technology, National Database and Registration Authority, Federal Investigation Authority, Intelligence Bureau and mobile phone operators.
Since the exercise began on January 12 this year, PTA has re-verified 8.72 million connections.
The three-month period to verify mobile phone connections through the BVS expires on April 13.
“Three months is not realistic time for such an uphill task but such are the directions from the Ministry of Interior,” PTA Chairman Ismail Shah told the standing committee.
SIMs not verified within the 91 days, would be blocked, the PTA chairman said.
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