Minister of State for IT Mrs. Anusha Rehman has said that we wish to ensure the provision of telecom services across the country including FATA.
She stated that provision of rural telephony to the far flung areas of the country including FATA is the utmost priority of the present government; we intend that the whole country should be connected and telecom services are equally provided to the people of urban and rural areas. Minister of State for IT Mrs. Anusha Rahman said while chairing a high level meeting regarding provision of telecom services to FATA.
Federal Secretary Defense Lt Gen (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik, Additional Secretary IT Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha, Chairman PTA Dr. Ismail Shah, DG SCO (Special Communication Organization), CEO-USF Mr. Faisal Sattar, Member Telecom Mr. Mudassir Hussain and other officials from Ministry of Interior,IT , PTA and Defense were also present.
The Minister observed that the majority population of FATA is deprived of Telecom connectivity. The Minister said that considering the concerns of the CMOs (cellular mobile operators) regarding difficult terrain and security issues, there is a need to try our level best to address those issues.
CMOs have established a number of towers in FATA but a significant proportion is dysfunctional either due to security or damage to infrastructure. Now it is the need of time to move on it to expand the coverage being legitimate right of people of FATA region.
Minister directed the Additional Secretary IT to establish a Working Group instantly which will comprise of officials from MoIT, USF, Defense, PTA, SCO and reps from CMOs.
This working group through consultative mechanism will find out short, medium and long term solutions for the provision of telecom services to FATA region.
This working group will work out implications and will come up with the viable recommendations and multi-pronged and sustainable strategy so that we could materialize the vision of rural telephony and national connectivity in true letter and spirit. This working group would submit their recommendations within the next 6 weeks.