News Source: Dawn
Author/s: Munawer Azeem
Originally Published Date: September 14, 2017
ISLAMABAD: To curb snatching of mobile phones and their trade, the Sindh government approached the interior ministry on Wednesday for registration of mobile phones against CNIC numbers.
In this regard, the Sindh home department wrote to the interior secretary, “A meeting for curbing sale and purchase of snatched mobile phones was held on July 31 under the chairmanship of the home minster with all stakeholders, including representatives from telecom companies and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
“During the discussions, it was proposed that a mobile phone set should be registered against a CNIC number so that the person whose phone is snatched or stolen may complain to relevant authorities, including the CPLC. The quarters concerned will then immediately block the IMEI, thereby making the snatched mobile phone useless.
“The PTA director, in the meeting, suggested that the ministry of interior may be approached to explore the possibility of registration of cellphones against the CNIC numbers. Therefore, we request you to issue necessary directions to the PTA to explore its possibility.”
An official, when contacted, said the decision was taken as large number of people did not inform police about snatching of their mobile phones which was encouraging mobile phone snatchers and thieves. He added that such snatched phones could easily be resold as there were no snatching and theft complaints.
Media officer of the interior ministry Yasir Shakeel was not available for comments.
Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.