Tech and Telecom

Govt to Launch Pakistan’s First-Ever National AI Policy Soon

The federal government will soon introduce the first-ever national artificial intelligence (AI) policy, Federal Minister for IT and Telecom (MoITT), Syed Aminul Haq, revealed on Sunday.

Addressing a conference on blockchain in Karachi, the minister said that a national AI policy is the need of the hour amid the increasing cybersecurity threats and a rising number of hacking incidents involving the country’s institutions.

The Minister added that a comprehensive AI policy is imperative for Pakistan’s strong economic system, suggesting that the policy will be focused on securing the country’s digital banking system primarily.

He said that achieving excellence in cybersecurity and AI are two core pillars of the Digital Pakistan Policy 2021 that was launched by the MoITT earlier this year.

Sharing their thoughts on the development, cybersecurity experts and AI professionals said that Pakistan’s banking industry and financial institutions would be the key beneficiaries if the federal government succeeds in strengthening the country’s cybersecurity and AI infrastructure.

It is worth mentioning here that the federal government promulgated the country’s first-ever cybersecurity policy in July this year, which declared a cyber attack on national institutions as an attack on national sovereignty.

Syed Aminul Haq’s remarks come more than a month after the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) suffered a cyberattack, disrupting its services nationwide, including the disbursement of payments and pensions for the public sector current and former employees.

Although NBP sources denied the loss of financial data of its customers, it took the bank’s IT teams a couple of weeks to restore the banking services completely.

Besides, the minister said that the MoITT is leading the digital revolution in the country. The federal cabinet has already been made paperless as all official work now takes place on tablets and cell phones, adding that MoITT is now working to make parliament paperless.

He added that MoITT has also taken several measures to enhance the IT expertise of 60% of Pakistani youngsters by providing them with 3G and 4G internet services, particularly in remote areas.

Published by
Haroon Hayder