Rehman Malik asks Mobile Vendors to Install Biometric System

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister A Rehman Malik on Saturday asked the mobile phone operators to install biometrics system, including fingerprint readers, for checking terrorism.

Talking to media persons here outside the Parliament House, Malik said the biometrics system helped confirm the identity of mobile phone users as unregistered SIM’s had become “instruments for terrorists to unleash violence.”

He said the mobile phone service was suspended on Friday to avoid any untoward incident on the auspicious occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAW). Blocking of the service was necessary for the security purposes as no terror incident occurred in the country due to this action, he added.

He said that the Federal Government did not suspend the mobile phone service on its own, rather it was done on the request of provinces, including Punjab.

Responding to a question, he said that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had been directed to install filtration system for blocking unwanted websites. After the installation of the (filtration) system, Youtube would be unblocked.

According to experts, the biometrics system can communicate instantaneously with the data servers of the cellular companies to validate the Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) holders.

In addition, there is another module that can use GPRS/EDGE service as a communication channel and can be deployed at retail outlets to verify the customer’s identity against his/her CNIC before selling a SIM.

After banning the sale of SIMs at retail outlets, the telecom regulator had asked all the mobile phone companies to install a biometrics system for verifying the identity of customers till February 28.