It is indeed an unfortunate moment to report that official website of federal ministry of information technology and telecom is promoting a commercial website that is primarily a buy/sell portal for used and new cars, in addition to education that they offer for car drivers.
MoITT wasn’t contended to favor this website with a banner or link, instead MoITT website dedicated a whole separate webpage to promote this car buy/sell portal i.e. car4u.com.pk, Even worse – yes keep reading – they have uploaded the company profile (a PDF File) to MoITT servers (the WTH moment of the year).
Have a look at MoIT website yourself:
We tried our best to get to someone at car4u.com.pk to know about the company or their services and reason for their publicity on a state website, but we were unable to grab any contact number. They haven’t mentioned any phone number on contact us page too.
Concerned officials of MoITT refrained from commenting on it.
However, whois record at PKNIC revealed that Mr. Sakib Berjees Tahir is the COO of car4u.com.pk. Following is the screenshot:
Further social engineering revealed that Sakib Berjees (Tahir) is son of Ch. Muhammad Berjees Tahir, a national assembly member from PML(N), who has been the Chairman for Standing Committee on Information and Technology.
Furthermore a news appearing on The News revealed that Mian Shahbaz Sharif recently inaugurated car4u.com.pk in a ceremony at Arfa Software Technology Park in Lahore. Mr. Umar Saif was also present at the event and so was Mr. Sakib Berjess Tahir.
I am not debating on why these high level politicians and rich elite of the country are helping each other, which is very much fine with me – they can do whatever they want to – but advertising a commercial company on a government website? Are they out of their minds or what?
Just to mention, Pakistan is trying to sell 3G licenses for which they are targeting international vendors. And it is very likely that they will visit MoIT website to better know Pakistan’s IT and telecom market. But what impression those foreign companies will get after seeing such a advertisement on MoIT’s website?
On a related note car4u.com.pk is copying/stealing content from PakWheels.com – a famous vehicle buy/sell portal in Pakistan.
PakWheels.com told me that they are depressed to know that Shahbaz Sharif and MoIT is encouraging a website which is illegally violating copyrights by lifting content from other websites. It said that they are considering legal action against car4.com.pk.
It maybe recalled that content management and development of all government websites is managed by Electronic Government Directorate which works under Federal Secretary. Also to mention here that all government websites are hosted with NTC, with redundant servers located in USA.