ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has taken up the issue of Afghan Sims with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

State Minister for IT Anusha Rehman on Monday while meeting Secretary-General, ITU, Houlin Zhao, apprised the visiting delegate that Afghan SIMs are reportedly being sold in Pak-Afghan border area.

According to the ministry officials, she requested the international body to intervene and help in resolving the matter. Zhao is in Pakistan to participate in the ITU-PTA Asia-Pacific Regulators’ Roundtable.

Use of Afghan SIMs in Pakistan is not new and law enforcing agencies in recent past have been claiming that most of the criminal activities in KP have been carried out with those alien SIMs. This is the first time Pakistan has asked any international body for help.

Through Foreign Office, the PTA has tried to secure some agreement with Afghanistan to curb the use of Afghan SIMs in Pakistan but Afghanistan never showed any interest.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced this year that the attackers of the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda used Afghan SIMs.

According to KP officials, traders, industrialists and other prominent from different parts of the province have been a target of the extortion calls. Those who refuse to pay the money are targeted by assassins. In some cases, houses of some who refused to pay were targeted by bombs.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa authorities have recently sent a letter to the Interior Ministry reportedly to consult the issue with the Afghan authorities.

In the letter from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Nasir Khan Durrani to the Secretary Ministry of Interior Arif Ahmad Khan, a list of cellular numbers being used by the extortionists from across the border, were also attached.

Minister Anusha Rahman, during her meeting with Secretary-General, ITU, also pointed out that the Cyber Security has become a global concern.

She suggested that ITU may constitute an advisory committee comprising all stakeholders to study this new emerging phenomenon and could take policy measures on recommendations of Advisory Committee.