Telecommunication infrastructure of Pakistan provides supportive environment for the sustainable growth: Anusha Rahman

Geneva, May 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): While presenting policy statement at the World Summit on Information Technology (WSIS) Forum 2015 in Geneva, the Minister of State for Information Technology, Mrs. Anusha Rahman highlighted that the telecommunication infrastructure of Pakistan provides supportive environment for the sustainable growth.

The goals of the telecommunication sector integrated policy to enable socio-economic growth are very much aligned with Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. With the rapid uptake of data consumption in Pakistan and usage of ICTs, we are getting increasingly mindful of other action lines such as building confidence and security in the use of ICTs, and are in the process of taking policy and legislative measure accordingly.

The Minister further highlighted that the government has now accorded due policy emphasis to building demand for consumption of these services to ensure sustainable and beneficial diffusion of ICTs in the society particularly broadband in the rural areas; and is committed to complete the ecosystem of ICTs from the development of application and services to the provision of access and delivery of the services and applications to all.

The Minister also highlighted that we believe that the access to internet should be available to every citizen. Internet goes beyond terrestrial boundaries. However, every state has its own legal framework and socio-cultural dynamics. Hence, it is the responsibility of the state to accordingly protect rights of their citizens, both online and offline.

Furthermore, the parameters of reliability of information available on the internet should be similar to that of information available on other mediums. Safety and privacy of the internet users is of utmost importance and without over regulating the internet there is a need to keep a balance to be determined by the respective states in accordance with their legal framework and socio-cultural norms.

To this effect, without over regulating the internet there is a need to keep a balance to be determined by the respective states in accordance with their legal framework and socio-cultural norms. To this effect, internet governance needs to be taken up in a conclusive manner on a relevant platform, such as ITU and member states may consider agreeing upon minimum common denominators.

The Minister also participated in a High-Level Dialogue on “Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and WSIS Action Lines”. This High-Level deliberated upon leveraging of WSIS process and Action Line follow-up to support the post-2015 development framework and SDGs.

During the dialogue, Minister IT highlighted the spread the telecommunication services across the country and initiatives taken by the government for making ICT services accessible to all, particularly, the initiatives taken under the Universal Service Fund Programs. Minister held bilateral meetings with the delegation of the United Arab Emirates. Both the sides discussed matters of common interest and agreed on mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Furthermore, the Minister also visited Pakistan Mission to World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. Pakistan Permanent Representative to WTO briefed the Minister about the activities carried out by the WTO Mission, particularly the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The Minister commended the efforts of WTO Mission for safeguarding Pakistan’s interest at the organization and assured of full support of Ministry of IT to realise completion of these Agreements in best interest of the Country.

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