Pakistan Model for Emerging Telecom Markets: Khosa

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani during the signing ceremony between the PTCL and Universal Service Fund (USF) on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani during the signing ceremony between the PTCL and Universal Service Fund (USF) on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Minister Incharge/ Advisor to Prime Minister for Information Technology, Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa has said it is a known fact that the success of Telecom sector in Pakistan is globally recognized and Pakistan has emerged as a role model for other emerging telecom markets and reiterated the present government’s resolve and commitment to promote and support the initiatives to enhance Pakistan’s technological capacity to develop and produce a globally competitive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and industry.

The Minister Incharge/ Advisor expressed these views while addressing a ceremony on World Telecom and Information Society Day 2010 in a hotel here on Monday.

He said with continuous dedication, Ministry of IT will keep running more productive programmes, for the promotion of IT and Telecom related services, in tune with the foundations and vision contained in the Manifesto of the PPP as announced by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and got registered by me with the Election Commission of Pakistan as Chairman Election Monitoring Cell PPP.

He said the PPP heralded the information age into Pakistan with colour television, fax machines, emails and satellite television. It laid fiber optic lines in 1989 and digitalized telecommunications. In 1993, it began computer literacy programs to herald the computer literate generation. Software technology parks were to be established in the major cities by the PPP.

The PPP fully supports the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Task Force (UNICTF) goals. Working with the UN, the PPP will create an enabling environment to map UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We believe that ICTs play an important role in development, poverty reduction, empowering women, reducing gender gap and communicating and practicing democratic values. We will replicate the best practices in Pakistan and will develop a comprehensive e-Government Strategy, he added.

He said the PPP will implement an ICT policy and program to bridge the digital divide and to enable Pakistan to join the ranks of world leaders in IT. A comprehensive program will include: expanding telecommunications bandwidth capacity, expand training institutions for IT professionals, promotion of IT and software exports.
He said during the present government’s tenure, this sector is achieving unprecedented successes and its benefits are being passed on to the ordinary citizens of the country. It has now become essential to pursue a futuristic approach to achieve sustainable growth for the sector.

He said Information and ICT infrastructure in the whole world is becoming an increasingly important component of the economy. The significance of ICT can be seen from the fact that it has penetrated every aspect of daily lives of people from business to leisure especially in the cities. Today PCs, cell phones, fax machines, email and internet have not only become an integral part of our official work but also play an essential role in our day to day activities, he maintained.

In general, with recent developments in ICT, latest activities linked to the use of ICT are becoming evident in every aspect of urban society. With a requirement to make things simpler in the everyday life and with the technological prosperity, more and more daily activities are shifting online. However at the same time even though ICT can be a very beneficial tool but it can be a daunting proposition too, he added.

The Minister Incharge said while we are familiar with the countless facilities provided through the use of ICTs, it is difficult to stay abreast of all the changes and the potential risks, presented by them. Therefore it is also very important to use research and development to improve the security of computers and communications systems and the information created and stored within them.

In this scenario, the theme for this year’s World Telecom and Information Society Day, ‘Better city, better life with ICTs’ is most appropriate as ICTs have already started playing a huge role in enlightening the urban societies all over the world, encouraging positive use of ICTs in all spheres of city lives. I hope that it goes a long way in making our lives more productive, meaningful and prosperous, he maintained.

Universal Service Fund, Ministry of IT, awarded a contract worth Rs. 1.5 billion for providing subsidy for optic fiber connectivity to 12 un-served Tehsils in Central Balochistan. The contract signing was held at an event to commemorate World Telecom and Information Society Day 2010. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was the Chief Guest at the occasion. Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa, Advisor to Prime Minister and Naguibullah Malik, Secretary IT also witnessed the ceremony. SEVP-PTCL, Sikandar Naqi signed the contract with CEO-Universal Service Fund, Parvez Iftikhar.

Through this project, 786 Kms of Optic Fiber Cable will be laid to connect 12 Tehsils of Bhag, Sanni, Dera Bugti, Phelawagh, Sui, Gandawa, Jhal Magsi, Kahan, Kohlu, Maiwand, Chattar and Lehri. The project will benefit nearly 1.5 million people