Senate committee activates to evolve strategy against cyber terrorism

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications has decided to call FIA, PTA, Ministry of IT&T, Ministry of Law and NADRA in the next meeting to discuss the application of Cyber Crimes Law and to see how effective this initiative has proven in countering cyber terrorism, social media crime and cyber crime.

The meeting was held Friday with Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair and was attended among others by Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, Mian Ateeq Sheikh, Ghou Muhammad Niazi, Abdur Rehman Malik, Ashok Kumar, Fida Muhammad, Additional Secretary IT&T, Member IT, Member Telecomm, MD TIP and other officials of the ministry.

The committee was given an inaugural briefing about the role, mandate, functions, recent assignments, projects and achievements and an overview of the IT and Telecommunication sector. The meeting was told that Pakistan at present has 59.94 million broadband subscribers and the telecommunication sector’s revenue amounts to around 4 Billion US Dollars. The country has a total of 91,549 kilometres of optic fibre length. While briefing about the IT sector it was told that estimated exports of the sector are currently at 3.3 Billion US Dollars and the country has 1600 registered IT companies. The country produces an average of 20,000 IT graduates and engineers annually and IT and IT enabled services amount to 2.8 Billion US Dollars.

The Committee also deliberated upon the hitches in the PTCL agreement between Pakistan and UAE governments, high taxation on mobile cards, project of IT parks, digital Pakistan policy, e-commerce project, biometric verification of SIMs, telecommunication policy and online consumers’ rights. The meeting will take up all these matters in detail in the upcoming meetings along with the issue of fake IDs on social media and international roaming of Afghani telecommunication services near border areas.

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