Sindh High Court has ordered to to sale all new SIMs after the verification of biometric process. Court ordered further to verify all existing SIM holder by biometric system as well.
Installation of Biometric Verification System at the customer sales center was moved by the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) after giving demonstration to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and telecom operators. It was initially expected to be ready for launch by 28th February 2013.
Telecom companies were reluctant to install biometric systems at all service centers and franchises due to high cost of installation.
An official of a leading telecom operator while commenting on the current situation said, “we are fully ready for the installation of biometric system at our facilities and only waiting for the direction from PTA. The moment we get instruction from the regulator, installation will be done in no time”.
PTA officials said, the decision can be easily implemented but the timeframe given by the court is insufficient to put the system in place. The PTA and the cellular companies have been trying to install the system at sales centers for the past six months after being directed by the interior ministry for the same but the latter failed to meet the Feb 28 deadline and requested for an extension. The change of government, however, pushed the matter to the backburner and the officials expressed hope that the court order would give the issue fresh impetus. They also said that the system should be introduced on a priority basis as it is a matter of national security.