Pak to replace `insecure` US border watch software
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 08, 2011, 20:42
Islamabad: Pakistan has rejected the US offer to upgrade a border security watch system supplied by it and instead decided to replace it with locally-developed software so that "the integrity of data will be secured."

"The government was inflexible on the matter" and insisted it would develop its own system, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director-General of Immigration Chaudhry Mohammad Manzoor was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune daily.

The US provided Pakistan and 16 other countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, the Personal Identification, Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) in 2002 as part of its Terrorist Interdiction Programme to enable immigration and border control officials to document and identify people exiting and entering the country.

The FIA is currently phasing out PISCES and replacing it with the Integrated Border Management System (IBMS), which is budgeted at Rs 421 million, the daily said.

The IBMS software allows the integration of biometric data and gives access to visa-issuing authorities features which, Manzoor said, PISCES was missing. Also, the PISCES hardware is expensive to maintain, the daily said.

But the US offered to upgrade the PISCES software to give it the missing features, as well as to provide the hardware, Manzoor said.

"The US repeatedly offered to upgrade PISCES with the government's requirements, including biometric data," he said. The offers were turned down.

The US State Department's budget for the fiscal year 2011-12 featured a USD 42 million funding request for the upgrade of PISCES in Pakistan and 16 other countries.


First Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2011, 20:42

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