The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has extended the deadline for bio-metric verification of mobile phone Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) till April 13, Express News reported on Friday.
The SIM verification drive was launched as a part of the government’s National Action Plan against terrorism.
According to government authorities, at least 72 million SIMs have been verified so far.
Earlier, it was announced that SIMs which were not bio-metrically verified would be blocked after February 26.
PTA Chairman Syed Ismail Shah said the regulator has to ensure that they strike a balance between demands of law enforcement agencies are met in the wake of the current law and order situation, and protect investments made by cellular mobile operators.
Telenor Corporate Affairs Vice President Aslam Hayat said the sale of verifiable SIMs has been a challenge in Pakistan. “SIM is not a primary source of crime but a useful tool for investigation.”
As many as 70,000 biometric machines were installed at sale points of cellular mobile operators.
SIMs are now being activated only after online verification of the purchaser’s biometrics (thumb/finger impressions) by the National Database and Registration Authority.