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A communication in public interest

July 18, 2013

ON July 12, I received a call at 12 noon at my landline at Chaklala. It came from phone 041-4016236 . The caller , who identified himself as Tariq Wasim , said he was speaking from the PTCL. He wanted to inform me that I had won a prize amounting to one million rupees under some PTCL scheme.

As I had not entered any contest, I realised it was a fraudulent call. However, in order to inquire into the matter I asked him to let me speak to some responsible person. He told me to dial 922, after which I was connected to a person who gave his name as Zeeshan, Manager, PTCL, Islamabad.

He also asked me to provide my CNIC number and wanted to know where my phone was located. The conversation was being conducted in a dramatised fashion, reminding me all the time that it was being recorded at their end.

I did not provide them any information and put down the receiver.

Immediately after that, I obtained from 1217 the phone number of the GM (Ops), PTCL, Islamabad, to report the matter and to have my landline connection placed under surveillance. I phoned, but no one picked up. Then a second operator, followed by a third one, gave me two more numbers which also were unattended.

Later I explained the background to yet another operator, and was given a fourth number as well as the numbers of the PTA complaint centre, Islamabad. Only at the complaint centre was I greeted with recorded messages that duly assured me that I would be put through to a representative. I waited and waited, but no one attended to me.

The foregoing is a picture of what I think is a dysfunctional PTCL, Islamabad. There are phone numbers galore but no arrangement to receive incoming calls. To repeat, I could neither report the matter to a responsible official, nor lodge a complaint, nor get my phone placed under surveillance for detection of any suspicious calls in the future. As for the original call, I should like to have the identity of the callers as well as their motive investigated. They appear to be operating in an organised manner and devoting considerable time and resources to their operation.

M. IQBAL Islamabad