After the biometric verifications of SIMs, the government is planning to authenticate local SIMs used by Afghan refugees.
“SIMs of people of Afghan origin having refugee cards will be verified,” Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Ismail Shah told a seminar. The SIMs used by Afghan refugees will be brought under biometric system on the cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Shah said in a statement. The biometric verification process of SIMs of about 1.2 million Afghan refugees may be initiated soon, the PTA chairman said.
He said by 2025, there will be need of about two billion SIMs of all mobile operators and the government is properly planning for it.
He said that after biometric verification the total number of active verified SIMs reached 108 million on April 12, however, about 0.2 million blocked or unverified SIMs were being verified on daily bases. In this way, he said the number of verified SIMs would rise with the increase in the verification process.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2015.
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