Prime Minister Ashraf undoes Rehman Malik’s directives about telecom companies

Friday, November 30th, 2012 1:00:57 by

Undoing all directives of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has dismissed the policy regarding delivery of cellular SIMss via courier services.


This development is completely contradicted with the rules earlier laid down by Rehman Malik. The prime minister held a meeting with mobile phone operators in Islamabad where he directed them to not send SIMs through courier and to only issue SIMs on verification of National Identity Cards (NIC).


The prime minister also lifted the ban on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, which allows cellular subscribers to change their service provider while retaining the same number.


The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), as directed by the interior ministry, had earlier ordered the cellular services companies to not sell new SIMs through franchises, customer service centres or retailers from November 30.


Service providers will also have to verify all unregistered SIMs by December 12. Unregistered ones will be blocked permanently using a 5% illegal SIMs per week formula, the PTA said.


“The ban on cellular services in Muharram was in the national interest and sometimes people have to bear some trouble for the sake of national interest,” said the prime minister.


Earlier, the interior minister had ordered a ban on the sale of unregistered mobile phone SIMs. He had said that prepaid SIM cards will now be dispatched to buyers’ residential address and will not be sold directly from company outlets.


He had also announced that mobile phone users will not be able to change their networks. Does he mean that Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will become inactive in Pakistan?

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