PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Nasir Khan Durrani has requested the federal and provincial governments to enact stringent laws for curtailing use of illegal and fake SIMs by criminals and terrorists in the country.
He said that unregistered SIMs, issued on fake names, were one of the main instruments in the hands of terrorists and criminals operating across the country, according to a press release issued here on Tuesday.
The IGP said that investigations into a number of cases revealed that terrorists and criminals used unregistered SIMs for their nefarious designs.
“It in turn makes it difficult for the investigative agencies to track them down,” he added.
Mr Durrani said that recently police undertook an exercise to verify the mobile SIMs used by terrorists and extortionists operating in the province.
The exercise revealed that all terrorists and extortionists were using unregistered and fake SIMs. Although the federal government has made biometric verification a prerequisite for issuance of new SIM and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has also launched a campaign its verification, the fact remains that despite all these steps the terrorists and criminals continue to use fake SIMs for their nefarious activities.
Reportedly, the illegal use of SIMs is not an offence but only a violation under PTA Act 1996 and the authorities can only issue explanation and show cause notice to the service provider and franchise issuing such SIMs. “Needless to say, the existing regularity regime is not sufficient to handle such a grave situation,” the IGP said.
He requested the federal and provincial governments that possession of illegal and fake SIMs and issuance of SIMs without due verification by service providers should be made a cognisable offence in which police and Federal Investigation Agency might have concurrent jurisdiction.
Published in Dawn December 24th , 2014