Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, during a meeting yesterday with Etisalat delegation led by Mr. Abdul Karim Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, at the Prime Minister House, has asked the UAE based group to clear the pending USD 800 million that it owes to government of Pakistan for privatization of PTCL.
Prime Minister suggested that Etisalat nominate a team which should sit with the representatives of the government of Pakistan to resolve issues till January 23rd, 2013 — so that we can move forward.
While encouraging Etisalat representatives to participate in the bidding process, the Prime Minister said, “We are very keen to see Etisalat participating in the auction of 3G License Spectrum.” The Prime Minister pointed out that the government had recently formed an oversight committee comprising people with impeccable integrity and repute to ensure transparency and fairness in the auction process.
Etisalat Chief Executive Officer, Mr Abdul Karim Ahmad Julfar, said that Etisalat was a leading telecom operator globally and had a potential to invest considerably in the Telecom sector of Pakistan. He further said that he saw Pakistan as a huge market.
Etisalat, the CEO said, would like to improve the quality of broadband in Pakistan and informed the Prime Minister that his company intends to enhance its operations in the country.
The Prime Minister pointed out that there were some pending issues regarding sale of PTCL to Etisalat.
The Prime Minister assured the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat that government of Pakistan as part of its policy to encourage foreign investment shall extend all possible assistance to Etisalat.
The CEO of Etisalat said that the expansion of broadband was a key to development in the country and his company would be ready to invest in the telecom sector so that Pakistan could benefit in the process.
Those who attended the meeting included Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Salim Mandviwala, MoS & Chairman Board of Investment and other senior officials of the government.