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The National Assembly Session has been prorogued on Friday, the 22nd October, 2021

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NA Standing Committee on Information Technology & Telecommunication meets
Tuesday, 31st August, 2021

The Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications has directed Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and NADRA to bring a plan of action to stop the illegally issued Mobile SIMs. The Committee expressed its concern on the indifferent attitude of both the departments for not complying with its directions after lapse of considerable time. The Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication meet with Mr. Ali Khan Jadoon, MNA in the chair.

The Committee was apprised that PTA had introduced stringent measures to check the illegal issuance of SIMs and the problems had been considerably reduced. The PTA representative informed that PTA had also taken punitive action against Mobile operators whose sales centers or franchises were found involved in issuance of SIMs without fulfilling mandatory requirements and verification. The Committee was not satisfied with the reply, therefore, directed PTA and NADRA to bring a plan of action before the Committee with 15 days.

The Committee also decided to call Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in next meeting of the Committee to discuss issues related to cybercrimes. The Committee observed that FIA was lagging behind in curbing cybercrimes due to its capacity issues. The Committee also decided to call Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in its next meeting to discuss Media Development Authority Ordinance. few Members of the Committee expressed their concerns on the Ordinance and termed it an attempt to contain the growth of social media.

The Committee while discussing the Calling Attention Notice moved Ch. Faqir Muhammad, MNA regarding failure of the PTA to curb pornography, blasphemous content and hate speech on social media. The Mover contended that PTA had not been able to stop such content which had destroyed the social fabric and also created intolerance in the society. The PTA Representative apprised that the Authority had taken stringent measures to block such content, however due to technological constraints and limitation the content hosted by the websites offshore, action cannot be taken. He apprised that PTA was constantly in touch with all social media platforms and actions were taken time to time. He said that action had been initiated against violators under cybercrime laws. The Committee pended discussion on The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) (Amendment) Bill, 2020” and The Electronic Transactions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 moved by Mr. Amjid Ali Khan, MNA till its next meeting.

The meeting was attended by MNAs; Sahibzada Sibghatullah, Mr. Sher Ali Arbab, Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi, Mr. Muhammad Abdul Ghafar Wattoo, Mr. Muhammad Aslam Khan, Ms. Nusrat Wahid, Mr. Muhammad Hashim, Mr. Ali Gohar Khan, Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam, Ms. Maiza Hameed, Ms. Shamim Ara Panhwar, Mr. Mahesh Kumar Malani, Ms. Naz Baloch, Syed Mehmood Shah, Choudhary Faqir Ahmad, MNA/Mover, Secretary M/o Information Technology & Telecommunication and other officers of concerned departments.