A source with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) claims that the Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan regions have seen a rise in the use of smuggled mobile phones as a result of the Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) not being implemented. The Special Communications Organisation (SCOM) is the primary mobile phone provider in this area, in contrast to the rest of the nation, and the DIRBS does not apply to its connections.
In order to identify non-compliant devices using local mobile networks and eventually block them while registering compliant ones, the DIRBS was created. Despite a halt in local production and imports of mobile phones, the area nevertheless sees some 100,000 of them smuggled in each month.
Industry insiders have verified that non-duty-paid mobile phones that were smuggled out of Dubai have reached the area. According to Zeeshan Mianoor, Deputy Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturers Association, there were roughly 2 million local mobile sets sold each month, with 8–10% of those going to the AJK and GB region.
Unregistered phones do not function on Pakistan’s mainland, but they do on SCOM, and thanks to a partnership between SCOM and Ufone, the same connection functions on Pakistan’s mainland using the Ufone network, according to Muhammad Ishaq Jalal, a journalist working in Skardu, according to Dawn. Jalal added that pricey secondhand cellphones may be found in the GB region for affordable prices because many of them are blocked in Pakistan’s main island because they were either stolen or not registered with the PTA, and their IMEIs have been banned.