STAFF REPORT IBD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a directive to all cellular companies directing them to impose a permanent halt on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) services across the country.

The directive from PTA says that on the direction of Ministry of Interior a ban has been imposed on MNP, effective immediately and will remain effective till further notice. The ban has been imposed following a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, which advised to this for security reasons.

It is to be mentioned here that MNP was launched in the country in March 2007 and it proved to be a successful service that is availed by million of subscribers.

In June 2009 one million customers had availed MNP, which grew to 11 million in March 2011. According to fresh data, over 25 million customers had availed the MNP facility till September last.

It may be recalled that another directive issued by PTA said that cellular companies will have to shut down their entire sales network. It said that cellular SIMs will be sent to customers home addresses.

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