A few months back when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the telecommunication regulatory body, introduced SMS and On Line SIM Verification System, the first ever step in public interest, thousands of people had already had many SIMs registered in their name without their knowledge. I was lucky that there were just 2 SIMs of one operator registered against my name. But a third of another operator, was missing. In December 2009, I subscribed to three operators and, as per procedure, got their SIMs 'activated. Today, on 31st January 2010, the PTA system shows only 1 SIM registered in my name instead of the actual total of 5, the numbers having decreased from the previous record. That means the PTA On Line system introduced was either valid only for a short period, say till mid 2009, or as is usual with our functionaries, after introducing a thing with much fanfare, no one is interested to keep the On Line system alive. The PTA, apparently, has no interest to observe that the mobile companies keep it updated with record. In the name of 'activation by dialing 789 from the purchased SIM, a so-called system has been introduced, claiming there is no chance of misuse of SIM now. But the fact is that it is easier, and what is worse officially legalized, for the culprits to get a SIM and abuse it. Earlier it was not necessary to get the SIM registered. On establishment of On Line system last year, thousands found SIMs registered in their name with out they having done so. All such illegal SIMs were issued by the active hands of the mobile companies. Today, for example, the staff of a company with whom I have legally got registered a SIM can easily pass on my name, CNIC number, mother name, date of birth to 'anyone who can get three SIMs in a minute in my name. No scheme should ever be introduced without tactfully including in it the hidden vested interest. PTA would not and cannot dare annoy any mobile company, the so-called 'foreign investor. In the general situation we are in today, there is no way we can check the abuse unless every new SIM is sold through a prescribed performa, duly signed and thumbed by the purchaser and counter-signed by staff of the company. This performa should remain in duplicate with the company as well as with the PTA. Though it may look a bit complicated but in view of the present circumstances, such an inconvenience has to be borne by all including the so-called foreign investors. -JAVED, Karachi, February 1