Market Insight

The deadline for biometric registration of SIM cards in Pakistan has passed.

April 22, 2015  | Subscribers Only

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The deadline to re-register SIM cards in Pakistan passed on 13 April 2015.1 The registration of SIM cards using biometric data had been proposed in Pakistan after the Peshawar school terrorist attack in December 2014. The scheme required all SIM card holders to re-register SIM cards not only to the Computerised National Identity Card number, but also to the user’s set of fingerprints.

By 22 February 2015, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority chairman Syed Ismail Shah2 stated that 53 million SIM cards had been registered in the previous five weeks and the remaining 49 million were expected to be registered within three months. 2

On 14 April 2015 the figures suggested that the government had been successful at registering 71 million SIM cards and blocking 26 million SIM cards.1 The government also stated there are now 70,000 biometric registration devices situated at mobile-phone vendors. 2

While SIM cards were not used directly in the Peshawar attack, to detonate an explosive device for example, they have been seen as a facilitator in both terrorism and organised crime. With widespread public support for a robust response in the wake of these attacks, the Pakistani government has been able to achieve widespread registration in a short time.....

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