‘IT revolution can help Pakistan overcome lag in tech advancement’

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: Minister of Defence Pervez Khattak said on Thursday said Information Technology (IT) revolution can help the country overcome its lagging in technological advancement and uplift of under privileged areas.
He was addressing a contract signing ceremony held between Universal Service Fund (USF), Ministry of Information Technology and Telenor for providing High Speed 4G Mobile Broadband Project in Nowshera, Swabi, Mardan and Charsadda districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said, the contract signing was a major step in mainstreaming the less developed rural areas that would ensure a bright future. Khattak said, “The Ministry of Defence extends its full support to the Information Technology Ministry in this endeavour to reap maximum benefits of the prevailing age of technology and competition.”
He opined that youth is the future of the nation that comprises 40-45% of the total population and they can be facilitated through the IT revolution. Khattak urged all the stakeholders to chip in the endeavour of IT Ministry and help the country overcome its gap in IT domain as the country was lagging behind in this field.
He requested the IT Ministry to give priority to the less developed and undeserved regions of the country as halfhearted efforts would not reap desired outcomes of bringing the nation among advanced societies.
Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque the project would cover 70 villages in the above mentioned districts benefiting some 163,000 masses. The project would be completed in record duration of 16 months, he added.
He said the Ministry has targeted KP especially its undeserved districts to bring digitization and initiated around six projects with an allocated amount of Rs5.3 billion. Haque noted that the projects would cover a population of 2.3 million in the tribal districts of Khyber, Bajaur, Kurram, FR Peshawar and others would get broadband facility.
The IT Ministry, he said has also extended similar projects to other federating units of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan whereas the Sindh government’s response was very cold in this regard. “I urge the Sindh government to cooperate with the IT Ministry for better of the less developed and unreached districts of the province which is an apolitical agenda,†he added.
“The Ministry has allocated some Rs18 billion for atleast 30 projects to be completed by July 2022 and would prove to be revolutionary steps in transforming IT infrastructure,†Haque informed.
He hinted to the future target of IT ministry that it wanted to transform the entire parliament as a cyber efficient institution with a complete paperless administrative apparatus.
CEO Telenor Pakistan Irfan Wahab Khan thanked the USF and Ministry of IT and Telecommunication for the endeavour putting their trust in the corporation to materialize the project.
Khan added that telecommunication sector was an enabler for other sectors of the economy and social strata which has become a basic right of the people.
He concluded that the project would bring a revolution in the lives of the local masses through enhanced connectivity improving education and business opportunities.