NACTA facing dearth of officers, resources, says coordinator

  • Ihsan Ghani says NACTA received 8,264 prank calls in 20 days

Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) Ihsan Ghani chaired a high-level monthly meeting of director generals and directors here on Thursday to monitor progress of the various ongoing NACTA initiatives.

During the meeting, the participants were apprised with the performance of the 1717 (anti-terrorism) Helpline which is operated and managed by the NACTA round the clock. The meeting was informed that although the NACTA was facing shortage of resources, including officers and trained staff, it operated a dedicated helpline to respond to any possible threat of countrywide terrorism through relevant law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

It was informed that the NACTA was endeavouring to save lives of many innocent people, but some irresponsible persons were creating hindrances by making hundreds and thousands of hoax/spam calls on Pakistan’s one and only anti-terrorism helpline.

The figures and data of calls received just in first 20 days of the month of July show that of the total 8,305 calls received, only 41 were legitimate, while the remaining 8,264 were either irrelevant or based on false information.

The NACTA high-ups were further informed that the SIMS (subscriber identity modules) of 75 frequent spam callers who had made more than 50 fake calls were blocked through the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to discourage such hoax callers.

It may be mentioned that by default, these spam callers are issued a warning of legal consequences for misuse of such an important helpline.

NACTA Coordinator Ihsan Ghani took serious notice of the situation and reiterated NACTA’s ambition to minimise the suffering of the nation. He made an appeal to the people not to get involved in unlawful practices which not only waste the precious resources of the government but may end up in irreparable loss of lives of many innocent people.

The meeting also decided to make public the names and numbers of hoax callers in order to hold them accountable for their highly condemnable act of making hoax calls on NACTA Helpline 1717.