ISLAMABAD  - While the government has been making efforts to curb the use of illegal SIMs [subscriber identity modules], violators have come up with a unique formula to go through the activation process, for their unlawful activities whatsoever.

It has become a challenge for the government to eliminate those integrated circuits not being used by the bona fide owners. Fake details are being furnished by violators, cyber criminals or terrorists from the electoral rolls to activate new SIMs.

Normally a person purchasing a subscriber identity module has to make a call to a certain number and provide his/her credentials, such as name, national identity card number, mother’s name, for activation of the SIM, bought from retailers.

This unlawful activity is on the rise in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province worst hit by the scourge of terrorism. Here illegal active SIMs from Afghanistan could also be purchased from any seller. Nothing could facilitate terrorists or anti-social actors more than such unlawful SIMs, commented a source.

In a recent raid on Shareefabad area of Mardan district, the Federal Investigation Agency and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority arrested two persons involved in illegal activation of SIMs. A huge stash of unlawful SIMs was seized from the two retailers, registered with a couple of cellular companies’ franchises.

Besides illegal SIMs, some voter lists were also confiscated by FIA, a PTA statement said, adding the two accused had been detained for investigation.

Any developments into the case may lead to many such retailers/sale points.

A similar action resulted in similar results in which continuous efforts of highly-technical professionals and dedicated workers of PTA checked and monitored a bulk of SIMs activated through licensees’ sales data analysis.

The government has issued strict orders to curb the illegal use of SIMs. As per the rules and regulations of PTA, any SIM used by one ought to be registered in one’s name.

The government had directed all cellular companies to register each SIM in the right name of the user or block all those SIMs remaining unverified in terms of ownership.

But the novel way the violators have invented is even more dangerous for those people whose details are being used from the electoral rolls even without their knowledge.

The PTA has suggested to subscribers to check SIMs registered under their names and if they come to know that there are any registered wrongly in their name, they must report to the mobile company concerned and get them blocked.