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Afghanistan ignores Pakistan’s proposal of MoU on Afghan SIMs

Afghanistan ignores Pakistan’s proposal of MoU on Afghan SIMs

ISLAMABAD – Despite reminders by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Afghanistan ignored the Pakistani offer to establish an agreed mechanism to curb the misuse of Afghan SIMs in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

PTA had proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Islamabad and Kabul to resolve current and future issues related to spillover effects of mobile signals in the bordering areas of both countries.

“However, despite several reminders, no response was received until now,” PTA said.

“To address the spillover effects of mobile signals at Pak-Afghan Border, the PTA had approached Afghan Embassy in Pakistan through Pakistan Foreign Office in August, 2014  but despite several reminders no response has been received so far,” the PTA official statement said.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has rejected the reports published in a section of media regarding free and unchecked use of Afghan SIMs and clarified that efforts were being made to address the issue. PTA also made it clear that it had approached Afghan embassy in Pakistan through Pakistan foreign office in August 2014 to address the spillover effects of mobile signals at Pak-Afghan border.

 A PTA official said that after realising that terrorists and criminals were using Afghan SIMs in Pakistan for kidnapping, ransom and other terrorist activities, the PTA directed local mobile operators to block roaming of neighbouring country’s SIMs in Pakistan.

“The roaming was blocked but in border areas the issue sustains,” he said, adding these SIMs can still be used in border areas due to the spillover of signals.

Meanwhile, investigations regarding Bacha Khan University attack are underway. It may also be added that Afghan SIMs can be used for calling in Pakistan from any part of Afghanistan.

Earlier, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa in a media briefing said that the terrorists who attacked Bacha Khan University were carrying mobile SIM cards of Afghanistan origin and one terrorist’s phone kept receiving calls from Afghanistan even after he was killed.

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