To empower the people of Swat, the Ministry for Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication has started two significant information and communication technology (ICT) projects. While the second project has been launched through the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) to construct a 22,000 square-foot Software Technology Park (STP) in Mingora, the first project, worth approximately PKR 781 million, was awarded to Telenor through the Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide High-Speed Mobile Broadband services in un-served and under-served areas of Swat district. Syed Amin Ul Haque, the federal minister for information technology and telecommunications, and Murad Saeed, the federal minister for communications, were present at the contract signing ceremonies on Thursday in Islamabad.
Usman Nasir, Managing Director, PSEB, and Abdul Aziz, Chief Executive Officer, Vertexsoft Private Limited, signed the STP contract. Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, USF, and Kamal Ahmed, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor, signed the agreement for the provision of High-Speed Mobile Broadband services. Dr. Sohail Rajput, the federal secretary of IT and telecommunications, Member Telecom Muhammad Omar Malik, Member IT Syed Junaid Imam, and Member IC Mr. Ajmal Anwar Awan attended the ceremony as well.
“Swat district is famous for its historical civilization and its most beautiful valleys, rivers, and mountains, which make it a tourist paradise,” Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque stated during the ceremony. In order to connect this lovely region to the internet, we wanted to provide it with ICT infrastructure. Today, as we digitally transform Swat’s most distant and isolated regions, this goal is becoming a reality.
According to the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, 65,695 persons across 50 muazas distributed across 1,501 sq. km would take advantage of High-Speed Mobile Broadband services. He also mentioned the region’s numerous obstacles, including the mountains and rough terrain, and he viewed it as a significant USF accomplishment.
A cutting-edge STP is being established in Mingora thanks to public-private cooperation between PSEB and Vertexsoft, according to Syed Amin Ul Haque. The STP will give thousands of skilled young people from the Swat and Malakand divisions, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, the chance to interact with the entire global market. This is only the start! We aim to offer fantastic possibilities to the young people in this most beautiful location so they can make decent and alluring profits.
According to Syed Amin Ul Haque, the software park will allow more than 500 IT professionals to launch their own businesses, creating prospects for over 2,000 individuals to find direct or indirect work. Additionally, he stated that we are forming PPPs to set up STPs and that by the end of this year, there would be more than 25 STPs nationwide. According to the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, exports of IT products increased by 45.8% from July to April of this year, reaching $1.7 billion, and are anticipated to reach the aim of $5 billion by 2023.
Murad Saeed, the federal minister for communications, congratulated Syed Amin Ul Haque, the federal minister for information technology and telecommunications, for establishing the ICT projects in the Swat district during his speech at the ceremony. He praised the Ministry of IT and Telecommunications’ commitment to realizing the Prime Minister’s vision for a “Digital Pakistan.” He added that Swat area inhabitants will be able to display their skills and talents to the rest of the world through these ICT projects since they are not only kind and welcoming but also extremely competent and skilled.
According to Kamal Ahmed, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Telenor Pakistan, “We believe ICT is one of the biggest equalizers in bridging the digital gap. “Connectivity has developed into a fundamental right and a necessary utility in today’s digital society! According to us, the spread of connection and digitization will foster Pakistan’s national development. Telenor works to connect people to what matters most every day for this reason. Over time, Telenor and USF have collaborated successfully to offer digital access to a number of neglected regions of the nation. The great people of Swat will now have access to the wonders of the digital world thanks to a contract that Telenor Pakistan and USF inked today to offer cutting-edge cellular services to the underserved portions of the Swat Valley.
Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, CEO of USF, also spoke at the ceremony and stated, “USF is aggressively working to deliver robust connection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. We are doing our part to close the digital divide and realize the vision of Digital Pakistan. To better the lives of the underserved and unserved communities in the Swat district, we look forward to partnering with Telenor.
Usman Nasir, Managing Director of PSEB, spoke at the occasion and stated that, under the supervision of the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, the establishment of a nationwide network of STPs and raising IT exports to record heights are our top priorities.
Senior representatives from Telenor, USF, PSEB, and the Ministry of IT were also present during the occasion.