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Plan to block pre-paid SIMs issued on fake ID

August 23, 2012

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that the government is planning to block pre-paid SIMs issued on fake national identity cards in order to prevent their use in terrorist activities.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, the minister said the proposal was to block all prepaid SIMs in phases after consultations with relevant sections and experts.

He said mobile phones had become the biggest weapon in the hands of terrorists and unauthorised SIMs were being used by terrorists and ‘extortionists’.

He said the blocking of mobile phone service in big cities on Eid day worked well because the decision helped to foil a conspiracy hatched by enemies.

Mr Malik said almost 50 per cent SIMs had been issued on bogus identity cards, but the government had succeeded in blocking about 10 million such SIMs.

He said flaws in the procedure of issuing SIMs would be removed and information provided by the subscriber would be verified.

He said the threat of terrorism still existed but things were improving gradually because the system had been strengthened and possibility of further improvement is being explored.

The minister said the government was taking necessary measures to protect people’s lives and property.

He said investigation into the recent attack on the Kamra air base was in progress and the process of identifying the detained people had begun.

Mr Malik said fresh recruitments in Islamabad police and work on its housing society would start soon.

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari has praised the interior minister and law-enforcement personnel for maintaining peace across the country on Eid.

In a message issued in Karachi, the president said it was a matter of satisfaction that no major untoward incident of law and order took place in the country during Eid days and people were able to celebrate the festival with their near and dear ones in a peaceful atmosphere.

He said this was made possible by the concerted efforts, vigilance and coordination among law-enforcement authorities in all the provinces.

He expressed the hope that the same level of vigilance would be observed in future to maintain law and order and to foil the designs of militants and extremists.

Mr Zardari said democracy was about exercising political options freely through ballot and not under threat or coercion. He said no-one would be allowed to use force, coercion and intimidation in exercise of political choices and options.