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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is facing administrative and security problems in providing mobile phone and internet services in some districts of Balochistan.

This was revealed in the meeting of the sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, which was held under the chairmanship of Committee Convener Syed Mahmood Shah, here on Friday.

The convener stated that people have elected them so that their problems may be solved.

He said that in remote areas of the country, especially in Balochistan, former Fata and some areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mobile phone and internet service is almost non-existent.

The sub-committee has been given the mandate to formulate for resolving these issues and present to the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication.

He said the committee would seek progress on a comprehensive strategy for solving mobile phone and internet service issues in remote areas.

Briefing the committee, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) officials said that 85 percent of the total population has mobile SIMs.

They said that at present, there are four mobile companies in the country. This includes UPhone, Jazz, Telenor, and Zong.

The PTA’s work is to provide telephone, mobile and internet services in the country. Around 48,000 mobile towers have been installed in the country. There are some problems with mobile phone service in some areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly due to technical issues for which the USF was working.

Member Committee from Balochistan said that there are several problems of mobile phone and internet service in Balochistan for which the concerned authorities have to take serious steps.

Another member of the committee said that 100 percent of the problems are not possible to be resolved; however, the PTA and the Ministry of Information and Technology are working to improve their service, which is commendable.

He lauded the steps taken to establish and improve the quality of mobile services by the USF.

Briefing the committee, the additional secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology said that the Ministry of Information and Technology and the USF were taking steps on priority basis to improve mobile phone and internet service in remote areas across the country.

Agreeing with the committee, he said that people in some parts of Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and former FATA are facing problems in mobile phone and internet service.

He said that the department is facing administrative and security problems in some districts of Balochistan.

The committee has decided to call the Chief Secretaries of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir in the next meeting to resolve the security and administrative issues. The committee commended the services of the USF.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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