More than 53 million mobile phone SIMs have been verified through the biometric verification system during the last 38 days, according to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Syed Ismail Shah.
Shah informed that the remaining 49 million SIMs will be verified within 91 days.
Telenor Corporate Affairs Vice President Aslam Hayat said the sale of verifiable SIMs had remained a challenge in Pakistan. “SIM is not a primary source of crime but a useful tool for investigation,” he claimed.
Highlighting the importance of putting in place the required infrastructure for coordinated efforts, Pakistan Institute of ICT for Development Chief Executive and former additional DG FIA Ammar Jaffri stressed the need for maintaining a balance between the vital need of registration of SIMs and the comfort level of people, especially in rural areas.
Jaffri admitted that criminals in every society take advantage of technological advancements, and thus registration and regular documentation of SIMs has become a priority for good governance in all countries.
As many as 70,000 biometric machines have been installed at sale points of cellular mobile operators. SIMs are now being sold and activated only after online verification of the purchaser’s biometrics (thumb/finger impressions) by the National Database and Registration Authority.