If you are worried whether your mobile phones would work after October 20th in Pakistan or those will be blocked by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority as announced earlier, here comes a sigh of relief for you. In the latest development, the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology has barred PTA to block illegal or smuggled mobile phones in the country.
The Senate body sought a briefing from PTA regarding its decision to block un-registered IMEI mobile phones after October 20th. The Committee raised questions on non-action against dealers/importers, and delay in implementation of policy directives.
As per media reports, the parliamentary panel headed by Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair expressed its concern over a message being circulated by PTA regarding non-compliant devices being dysfunctional after October 20th, 2018.
While discussing the matter, the Committee asked PTA to consider the fact that not all of the 150 million mobile users can understand this message and do not have enough time to check the status of their phones or cannot afford to buy new phones altogether.
The Committee directed PTA not to block un-registered IMEI mobile phones even after October 20th, which are currently working. However, the Senate body proposed blocking of non-compliant/invalid mobile phones, new sale/purchase after the due date.
The committee also raised questions over DIRBS. Senators wanted to know how a system worth millions of rupees was procured and who sponsored it. In response, PTA officials submitted that the move was taken as per the Telecom Policy. However, the Committee raised question on timing of the decision. Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh termed it a move against the PTI-led government.