LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the authorities concerned to consult mobile phone operators to block unregistered and illegal SIMs (subscriber identity modules) “before launch of the Karachi operation”.
The prime minister presided over a meeting at Raiwind on Saturday as part of ongoing consultations to come up with a mechanism to rid the country, especially Karachi, of “anarchic elements”.
Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani also attended the meeting.Director-General Sindh Rangers Maj Gen Rizwan Akhtar briefed the meeting on the “operational and strategic aspects” to curb extortion, kidnapping, terrorism and targeted killings.
According to the Press Information Department, Mr Sharif expressed satisfaction on the progress (on the plan). He underlined the need for immediate blocking of the unregistered SIMs because they were being used by criminals, making it difficult for the law-enforcement agencies to track them down.
A few years ago, cellular companies had blocked over 4.5 million SIMs on the instruction of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority for lack of ownership verification.
At present, there are 4.7m SIMs which have genuine ownership issues.
The prime minister said: “Extraordinary circumstances require a sustained response of the law-enforcement machinery for bringing back tranquility in Karachi as policies do not change on a daily basis.”
Mr Sharif said his government would provide all possible assistance to the Sindh government to restore the confidence of citizens of Karachi in law-enforcement agencies.
He directed the authorities concerned to expedite the process to address gaps pertaining to prosecution to ensure a foolproof security of citizens and a sustained deterrence against criminals.
He also directed to make necessary amendments in the law following guidelines of the Supreme Court.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also briefed the prime minister on the strategy on the Karachi operation.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and Director General of ISI Zaheerul Islam also attended the meeting.