An interview with Viqar Abidi, Chairman, hilinks.com
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Apr 17 - 23, 2000
Air Commodore (Retd) Viqar Ahmed Abidi, S.J., S.I. (M), was
commissioned in Pakistan Air Force on January 4, 1959, graduated from Air Force Staff
College in 1976. He did his Post Graduate in Resource Management from USA. He became
Director of Automation Pakistan Air Force in 1982 and remained in this position till 1989.
During his tenure, massive computerization and networking was done at various air bases.
After the retirement he joined Shaheen Systems, a software house which
developed a hospital management software for Alexander Hospital of Virginia, USA. In 1991
he was appointed general manager ICL Pakistan. He also established Global Net, an ISP in
1997. He was the first convener of the Computer Society of Pakistan, NWFP. He has
represented Computer Society of Pakistan at various meetings abroad.
"We are proud to have launched Pakistan's first ever international
portal. This portal like others in the Cyber world will offer a variety of services.
Besides, providing the usual services being offered by others, it will also provide news,
information on business, education, science, entertainment and healthcare, etc." This
was a brief introduction of hilinks.com by Viqar Abidi, Chairman, Hilinks Pak (pvt)
Limited. Following are the excerpts from an exclusive interview of Abidi with PAGE.
While many other portals provide general information about Pakistan, it
was felt that the Pakistanis living abroad as well as living here want not only more
information but also require a platform for interaction with fellow countrymen. This
portal was launched on March 14, 2000. They also want a vehicle to engage in e-commerce.
The immediate advantage of accessing hilinks.com is that the person will be able to get
the maximum required information from one source and there may not be a need to visit a
large number of web sites. We wish to transform Pakistan into a e-society. you can see our
press digest with ssubject wise brief giving news and views of all major publications.
A portal is defined as a gate or a grand entrance. The portal in the
Cyber space is exactly that to a Cyber colony, all good things grouped together. We all
know the famous yahoo in fact, without which our Cyber lives would have been fairly
The portal has been launched in response to the government's desire of
putting Pakistan on the world map of e-commerce. It is now for the Pakistani business
community to convert their e-dreams into reality. The hilinks.com is the first ever
electronic platform for the Pakistanis on the internet, whereever they may be in the
world. It is an opportunity for them to compete with the rest of the world on an equal
The primary consideration of hilinks.com is to offer worldwide free
services to bring people on to the web site. In the first phase services like free e-mail,
free chat, free greetings, free classified advertisements have been offered. There will be
various links. The UK link, specific to Britain, has been in operation. The US and the
Middle East links will be introduced shortly.
Launching of this portal was not an easy job. We wanted to be the first
as well as have the most comprehensive contents. We made a compromise by launching it with
a little lesser data and we are still in the process of adding new details. Apart from the
designing of the portal, the real task is to keep it most up to date. The sponsoring
directors have put their own money and real and substantial contribution has been made by
PODF. While we will be providing most of the services free of cost, our real income will
be from advertising and shopping malls etc.