Smuggled cellphones to be blocked after Dec 31: Fawad Chaudhry

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday announced that the government will block all the smuggled cellphones after December 31 in the country.

Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, Fawad Chaudhry said that the government will introduce Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS), which will block stolen and smuggled cell phones, rendering them useless.

The system will ensure that stolen and blocked phones, as well as phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers are blocked.

Fawad Chaudhry said that the government was mulling to impose ban on the import of used cellphones to promote local phone industry.

It is pertinent to mention here that the new policy will be applicable on the phones smuggled after December 31 in the country.

Upon the directions of Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), on October 18, agreed to extend the deadline to block unregistered mobile phones by two months.

The Senate body was informed by PTA Chairman Mohammad Naveed and PTA Director Talib Dogar — who had appeared before the members — that the public was not properly aware of the move and demanded that an awareness campaign be launched for the masses.