KARACHI: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday said Pakistan should join the light-pace journey of digital development for its speedy progress as Information Technology (IT) was the optimum growing sector in the world.
He was addressing the signing ceremony of a contract between Universal Service Fund (USF) and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) for installation of Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) in Nausheroferoze, Shaheed Benazirabad and Khairpur, jointly hosted by MoIT and USF at a hotel here.
He said that IT Infrastructure development was also important because the world was ready and people were fully prepared to move on the digital highways to attain goals of progress. President Dr. Arif Alvi said that seamless Internet connectivity was imperative for growth of information technology (IT) sector which had the potential to materialize dream of exponential development in the current era.
The USF has awarded contract for installation of OFC to the PTCL for providing smooth and uninterrupted Internet connectivity in Nausheroferoze, Shaheed Benazirabad and Khairpur Districts.
Dr. Arif Alvi said people across the globe did convey their thinking and approach to the world through digital highways. The digital economy was growing very quickly and digital avenues of development were also being opened in Pakistan, he added. He said that Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoIT) Syed Aminul Haq had been entrusted with responsibility for the development of IT sector since people had formal exchange of views and ideas on digital highways. He said that the COVID-19 situation has made the world realize the fact that a lot of knowledge was available on the Internet and added the younger generation was receiving quick knowledge through digital highways.
President Dr. Arif Alvi said the IT exports of the country would eventually increase if the IT sector promptly achieved new milestones. He said that "Pakistan is second to none in the intellectual battle and we just need to teach latest skills to our youths at par with the modern era to make them our strength." President Dr. Arif Alvi also stressed the need to further improve IT education at all levels in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoIT) Syed Aminul Haq said Internet connectivity was first pillar of the Digital Pakistan initiative. He said that the huge amount of Rs 31 billion was being spent for providing broadband Internet facility to the far-flung and under-developed areas of the country. He pointed out over 80 percent of work had already been completed on OFC installation and infrastructure development in Dadu and Jamshoro.
Syed Aminul Haq informed the gathering that work was underway for establishing IT Park in Karachi near the Karachi Airport. He said "We want to launch 5G Internet facility in Pakistan by December 2022."
Earlier, President Dr. Arif Alvi along with Syed Aminul Haq witnessed the signing of contract by Chief Executive Officer of USF, Haris Mehmood Chaudhry and Group Chief Finance Officer PTCL Mohammad Nadeem Khan.
Expressing his views during the ceremony, CEO USF, Haris Mehmood Chaudhry said: "I am happy to share that, we have also expanded our OFCs project to the level of Union Councils on the direction of our Federal Minister of IT and Telecommunication. Today, as we speak, this project is a part of the entire program." He said that this project worth Rs 2.1 billion had been awarded to PTCL in recognition of their efforts for connecting millions of people across the country. Under this project, a total of 101 towns and Union Councils will be connected through 709.5 km of optic fiber cable, benefiting a population of 2.8 million residents of these areas, enabling the communities and ecosystem, on a broader scale, said and added this project would ensure economic prosperity, social inclusiveness, and general networking between communities.
On the occasion, GCFO, PTCL Nadeem Khan said: "PTCL, being the backbone of connectivity in Pakistan, continues to serve the country's communication needs nationwide. Our continued collaborations with USF have played a key role in ensuring that we reach far-flung rural areas to provide services to underserved communities." He said "We are glad to extend our Optical Fiber network to even more districts in Sindh including Naushahro Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad and Khairpur. With our aim to turn Digital Pakistan into a reality, we are committed to play our role as a national carrier to support the progress of the country by empowering our communities socially and economically."