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Govt committed to connect less developed areas with modern ICT services: Khalid Maqbool

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Thursday said the government was committed to connect all unserved and less developed areas including erstwhile Fata through modern Information Communication Technology (ICT).

He said it was aimed at providing speedy and reliable information to people besides broadening their knowledge on national and international issues.

He expressed these views while addressing at Universal Service Fund(USF)- Jazz contract signing ceremony of the project Broadband coverage for South Waziristan as chief guest here at local hotel.

Adviser to the Chief Minister on Merged Areas, Ajmal Wazir, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on IT, Kamran Bangash, Chief Executive Officer USF Haris Mahmood Chaudhry, Jazz Chief Corporate and Enterprise Officer Syed Ali Naseer and elected MPAs of South Waziristan besides tribal elders and maliks attended in large number.

The USF has awarded the new contract worth Rs 90 million to Jazz under its broadband for sustainable development project in South Waziristan. The contract signing ceremony took place between USF CEO Haris Mahmood Chaudhry and Jaaz Chief Corporate Officer Syed Ali Naseer in presence of the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication. As per the agreement, Jazz will work towards provision of inexpensive and reliable cellular access to people of South Waziristan.

Under this project, cellular services would be provided to more than 0.64 million people in 411 unserved villages in South Waziristan.

Speaking on the occasion, the Federal Minister said today was an era of information technology and the government was striving to connect all unserved areas including merged tribal districts with state-of- the art ICT services as per the vision of Prime Minister for Digital Pakistan.

He said today event was the milestone for people of South Waziristan as ICT services would help them to get fast 3G and 4 G services in a single click besides bridging digital divide in South Waziristan.

“We are moving towards Digital Pakistan that would change destiny of our people,” he said, adding extending of ICT services to South Waziristan was a landmark step forward for a well informed and knowledge based society in erstwhile Fata.

The minister said bio technology was making strong inroads in the modern world and it would bring revolution in lives of people.

He said peace has been established from Karachi to Khyber due to supreme sacrifices by people and security forces, adding extending of ICT services to merged areas including South Waziristan and North Waziristan, has testified establishment of durable peace in merged areas.

Later talking to media persons, the Minister said Karachi which contributes 65pc financial resources for Pakistan and 95 percent for Sindh province, was confronted with a number of problems like clean drinking water and solid waste management and it was the responsibility of PPP Government to address it.

He said Article 140-A of the Constitution laid great emphasis on empowerment of local government system in all respects, aimed at quickly addressing civic problems of people including Karachi.

He said around 3000 tons of solid waste was being generated in District Central Karachi against which only about 1200 tons were being disposed daily, saying this situation could easily be addressed by empowering local government system in Karachi.

Ajmal Wazir, CM Adviser on merged areas said that today was landmark day in lives people of South Waziristan as the Government has fulfilled yet another popular demands to provide reliable and speedy cellular communication services to tribal people as per vision of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister KP.

This would help tribal people to get in touch with their loved ones working in Gulf and other foreign countries besides providing them latest information through state of the art ICT cellular services.

CEO USF, Haris Mahmood said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Federal Minister for IT Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui had been the torchbearers of the vision for a Digital Pakistan and had established USF to transforms the lives of people of the country including erstwhile Fata.

In February this year, USF awarded a contract worth Rs 182 million to Jazz for providing cellular services to people of North Waziristan, former frontier regions Bannu and Lakki Marwat at their doorsteps.

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