More than two weeks after the SIM re-verification programme was drawn to a close by sector regulator the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the nation’s Interior Minister has ordered the extension of the drive until 15 May. According to local news outlets, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was briefed by the PTA on the status of the SIM re-verification project during a high level meeting yesterday. The PTA told the official that more than 70 million SIMs had been verified whilst nearly 20 million had been blocked. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the PTA announced after the original deadline that 71.1 million SIMs had been registered whilst 16.7 million had been blocked and a further 9.2 million had not been verified and were due to be blocked.
Whilst the Interior Minister agreed to the belated extension of the programme, he made it clear that the deadline would not be pushed back further, saying that none of the SIMs currently in circulation would be verified after 15 May.