New Delhi: UAE-based Etisalat, mired in the 2G scam due to its association with Swan Telecom, said that it is concerned about its image as well as its country's because of allegations that it poses a security threat to the nation.

Etisalat Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications, Ahmed bin Ali said, "We (have) talked about anything that would relate to the security or even to image of the company. We are really very much concerned about all these issues. We want to make (it) clear for everybody."

Ali said, "Overall, we have operations in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have been highlighted concerning security issues in these countries."

Etisalat, as a foreign partner, holds a 45 per cent equity stake in Etisalat DB.

Etisalat DB (originally Swan Telecom) was awarded a licence in 15 circles, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Madhya Pradesh.

The 2G scam that cropped up under the regime of former Telecom Minister A Raja is estimated to be worth over Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has sent notices to Etilsalat DB along with other new operators for cancelling their licences as it failed to start services even after two years of getting spectrum, which is a violation of the licence terms and conditions.

The company is in the process of filing its response within the stipulated 60-day period and will clarify that it had already rolled out commercial operations in all 15 service areas.

The CBI has arrested Etisalat DB's former Managing Director Shahid Balwa for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam of 2008. After his arrest by the CBI, Balwa had resigned from his post.

The company is under the scanner of various government agencies like the CBI, a Joint Parliamentary Committee and Parliament's Public Accounts Committee.

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee has summoned DB Etisalat CEO Atul Jhamb in connection to the 2G scam.

The original holder of the licence (Swan) is also facing charges of acting as a front company for a leading business house in India and the matter is being investigated by the CBI and other agencies.

Talking about Etisalat's relationship with Chinese companies, he said Etisalat is sourcing equipments from the same Chinese companies that supply equipment to other telecom companies.

Etisalat marks its presence in 18 countries like any other MNC.

(Agencies)

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