Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has supported a proposal by Interior Minister Rehman Malik to suspend prepaid mobile phone services and allow post-paid services only.
Shah said on Wednesday that the interior ministry should immediately convene a special meeting to discuss steps to implement the proposal. He said the results of suspending cell phone services in Karachi during Eid were ‘encouraging’ and that Sindh government’s effective measures have foiled terrorists’ plans.
The chief minister said that in light of recent events, keeping an eye on mobile phone services has become necessary. He added that the proposed steps would not only help prevent the misuse of mobile SIMs but also help the government in collecting details of cell phone-users, which would help stem terrorism.
On Tuesday, while talking to the Police Line headquarters, Interior Minister Malik said that cellular services were suspended for a few hours because there had been reports of “conspiracies being hatched by enemies of the country” to carry out attacks during Eid.
The minister added that a large number of prepaid mobile phone connections were issued on fake documents and were used in terrorist attacks. He added that all concerned authorities would be consulted to immediately block such prepaid SIMs for security reasons.
Malik said that such mobile SIMs were also used in ‘extortion activities’. He added that prepaid SIMs would be blocked in phases.
“The final decision, however, will be made after consultation with all stakeholders and experts,” he added.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.
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