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
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.