The Kabul Times.

Concerns over increasing unregistered mobile SIM cards in country

SIM card

A number of residents of Kabul in interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent have expressed their concern over increasing of unregistered mobile SIM cards sold illegally in various cities of Afghanistan, saying a number of people, using unregistered SIM cards, are harassing the people and families through their mobile contacts.
“Unfortunately selling of unregistered mobile SIM cards is now a common business and has increased recently in Kabul city where a number of youth by purchasing such SIM cards have turned to harassing other people and families,” a university student Sanam said.
Ahmad Samir, another resident of Kabul, says unregistered mobile SIM cards are illegally and openly sold on streets of Kabul, the capital. “You can easily and cheaply purchase the SIMs in the city without providing National Identity Card (NIC) and a photo,” Samir added.
Kabul residents are asking the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to take a serious action against those selling illegally the unregistered mobile SIM cards on streets of various cities in the country as families in particular girls are harassed in daily basis.
Lawmakers have also expressed their concern over increasing of unregistered mobile SIM cards in Afghanistan cities.
“We have repeatedly raised our concern in this regard – we have summoned officials of the ministry of telecommunication and information technology and shared the problem with them, but no attention has been paid to the issue so far,” a lawmaker Nazifa Zaki said.
Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) says telecommunication companies, which are delivering unregistered mobile SIM cards to markets, will be soon fined.
“We’re working on a mechanism to address the issue,” deputy of ATRA Eng. Naqibullah Selab said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson to ministry of interior Nasrat Rahimi said that the ministry of would soon take action to prevent from unregistered mobile SIM cards sold illegally on streets of Kabul.
“In cooperation with the ministry of telecommunication and information technology, we’ll address the problem,” Rahimi added.
It is said that there are more than 20 million active SIM cards in the country and only few millions of them are registered.
Previously, ministry of communication and information technology had said that the government was planning in place to upgrade the registration system and process.
Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul Times.