KARACHI: Illegal arms and SIM cards are the key elements in creating a law and order situation in the country, therefore, the government should devise a mechanism and pursue the officials of mobile phone companies to block the illegal mobile SIMs.
The misuse of illegal SIMs is deeply linked to crime and militancy in Pakistan, said Zakaria Usman after a meeting with Inspector General Police Sindh, Additional IGP Sindh at Federation House. The meeting was attended by a large number of the members of FPCCI and business community. He further said that the law enforcement agencies, including police and rangers, were worried about the illegal SIMs and they were demanding to block those SIMs since 2002. The IGP Sindh specially requested the President FPCCI to take up the matter with authorities concerned in the government and the mobile phone companies.
Usman further said that most of the serious crimes, including kidnapping for ransom, target killings and extortion, were being committed with the help of illegal SIMs. The business community is the direct stakeholder and is targeted by the criminals for extortion and kidnapping for ransom. “If the federal and provincial governments are sincere to control the law and order situation, they have to get more serious on this issue and revamp PTA which can force the companies to block every SIM that cannot be proven to belong to a specific individual.”
He said that favourable environment plays an important role in investment and industrialization. “The law & order situation of Karachi is improving as compared with the past for which Rangers and Police have played an important role and for that they are sacrificing their lives.”
He stressed on proper identification with photograph and said that thumb impression should be obtained before allocating SIM card by the mobile companies. He said that it was the international practice for issuance of mobile SIM card but regrettably, it was not followed in Pakistan. They also require copy of the passport from foreigners before issuing the new mobile SIM card. The authorities should follow this practice and bound all SIM holders to identify their ownership to the mobile SIM card, he urged. If the mobile companies or PTA have any issue or problem that must be brought into the knowledge of the government so that the issue can be resolved.
The FPCCI chief further said that the illegal SIMs should be blocked immediately and sufficient mobile locators should be provided to law enforcement agencies so that extortion and kidnapping could be controlled.