Pakistan to Clamp Down on Use of Afghan SIM Cards in Border Region
Published on: 28th Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has been issued an order by the government to curb the use of Afghan issued SIM cards along the border within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
SIM cards from across the border are popular in the region as the mobile phone coverage offered by the Afghan networks can often be suprerior to that offered by the home networks.
However, the use of foreign SIM cards evades Pakistan's regulatory requirement that all SIM cards issued by native mobile networks have the users identity registered with them.
The Pakistan authorities claim that unregistered SIM cards issued by Afghan networks poses a security threat.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the Senate that "During December 2013, around 17,000 Afghan SIMs were recovered by FIA after a raid on an illegal VoIP set-up in Peshawar,"
The government is also considering a ban on roaming agreements between networks across in the two countries to curb the use of foreign SIM cards in the border regions.