The cutting edge information technology, which is
taking roots even in the lowest strata of society, is sure to weed out
all conventional ills created by the lethargic, inefficient and
Mustafa Kamal, provincial Minister for Information
Technology, though apparently youthful but with sharp and discerning
eyes, told PAGE that over 18 significant IT projects which are in the
final phase, would bring a pleasant surprise for the people at
economic and social fronts of the province.
Introduction of e-policing has been initiated in
view of making the police-citizen relationship easier as compared to
time consuming procedures while dealing with the police.
In fact, the automation was being introduced at all
levels in the province of Sindh which is bound to eliminate the nasty
and time consuming procedure and the much talked about nuisance of
file movements usually causing unnecessary delays in the most urgent
Having a clear vision about the things, Mustafa
Kamal expressed the hope that Karachi will soon be a focal point of
the foreign investment in the information technology.
When his attention was drawn towards the flow of
investment towards upcountry especially in Lahore, the minister with a
smile on his face observed that actually we were lacking in
self-projection, otherwise things are happening in Sindh as well. He
pointed out that the province was lacking in proper and aggressive
marketing of potential, quality human resource and strategic location
of Karachi. He, however, was quick to add that things are quite
different now and Karachi is going to be the hub of investment in the
Information Technology project. He explained that our neighboring
country India is at least 10 years ahead of Pakistan in the field of
IT, which is a known fact. Now is the time that the Indian market has
come to a saturation point. The foreign investors have no choice but
to look towards Pakistan for establishment of call centers business
due to various reasons including the excellent and neutral accent of
the people in Pakistan. He cited the example of Middle East and the
Far East region where the accent of the people does not suit to call
center business. He disclosed that the World Trade, one of the largest
group in call centers, has chosen Pakistan for setting up the call
centers in Pakistan and one of the projects is going into operation
from midnight of August 14 to mark the Independence Day in a befitting
The information technology in Pakistan is likely to
be beneficial for the current state of affairs, which is leading
towards better understanding and relations between the two countries.
Because of the saturation of the industry in India, outsourcing will
flow towards Pakistan, he expressed the hope.
Mustafa Kamal expressed his dissatisfaction over
the failure to take care of information technology in a proper manner.
He strongly recommended that IT should be taken out of the domain of
the Education Department and be associated with the Department of
The provincial IT ministry has undertaken a project
to impart a 6-month market oriented training to batch of 1000 students
with a view to help out people in their efforts to become earning
members of the family in a respectable way. He said depending on
others for donations or doles would do nothing except adding to the
strength of beggars.
Replying to another question regarding ban on voice
over Internet portfolio which is freely available in rest of the
countries, the minister after taking a pause observed that it's a
matter of demand and supply. With the demand growth the cap will be
removed from voice over hopefully in near future because the country
has almost attained a level where this should be allowed, he agreed.
He referred his recent visits to UK and US where he
successfully sold out his ideas for attracting foreign investment in
Pakistan in the field of information technology.
Currently, the Indian market is on saturation.
Taiwan, Middle East and China have the accent problem, luckily
Pakistan, Bangladesh and India have neutral accent and they are fit
for call center business. "We have succeeded in attracting
investment in call centers, and one of the major achievements is the
operation of the largest call center in Karachi from Aug 14," he
The 57-year-old manual system has been replaced by
automation at the Chief Minister House, Governor House, Sindh
Secretariat and the Police Department.
Now the CM and the Governor houses are linked with
all districts. The senior provincial offers would have to travel all
the way from their districts to Karachi to have a meeting with the CM
and other officials. But now things are just a click away and they can
be conferencing on computer with all their day to day issues. This
will save time and will help take timely decisions over the issues
confronting the people. IT would certainly bring a change in the
working style of the officials and the life style of the people at all
levels, Kamal said.
So far over 15,000 Sindh government employees have
been given IT training while 7000 more are under training. The skilled
manpower will certainly help develop a new culture in the provincial
government offices, he expressed the hope.