Supreme Court Limits Data and Voice SIMs Per CNIC
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has held that one CNIC (Computerized National Identity Card) holder cannot retain more than 5 voice SIMs and 3 data SIMs at a given time.
Back in 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had confined the limit of maximum of 5 SIMs issued per CNIC due to security reasons when anonymous and unregistered SIMs were used in terrorist activities. Since then, mobile phone companies have been pushing for removal of the maximum limit, especially for issuance of data SIMs, due to an increased demand in the number of gadgets that require data SIMs for internet connectivity.
During the hearing of CMPak / Zong’s application for the removal of the 5 SIMs restrictions per CNIC, the Supreme Court decided in favor of CMPak / Zong and removed the restriction by allowing a maximum of 3 Data SIMs in addition to 5 Voice SIMs per CNIC.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority also maintained that since all old and new SIMs now undergo biometric verification, the limit of 5 voice SIMs per CNIC should be removed whilst also taking on board other stakeholders, such as law enforcement agencies.