Islamabad has added another feather to its cap in the digital sphere where it is showing progress by leaps and bounds. The latest good news is that Pakistan has been ranked as a 4th Generation Regulator (G4) by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), becoming the only country in South Asia to have pulled off the feat. Out of the 38 economies in Asia-Pacific, only eight per cent states have managed to achieve G4 status. In the ITU report titled ‘Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020 (GIRO)’, Pakistan scored 88 out of 100. This shows that Pakistan’s ICT regulations are led by economic and social policy goals. Pakistan is also among the top five regulators in the entire Asia-Pacific region with a global rank of 48. The GIRO is structured on data provided by 193 nations, which forms the basis of ‘ICT Regulatory Tracker’. The tracker, developed by ITU, is an evidence-based tool that helps decision-makers and regulators monitor the rapid evolution of ICT regulation.
Pakistan’s telecom regulator, the PTA, is naturally delighted at the latest accomplishment. It says that it will continue to achieve new international benchmarks by showing its commitment to protecting consumer interests and enhancing public-private collaborations for the digital transformation and socio-economic benefit of Pakistan. It is indeed a gladdening sign that state institutions are committed to unlocking the exponential potential for new ICT products and services in the country with a view to carving out a respectable niche in the global telecom marketplace. The government and the private sector have often expressed their pledge to work towards digital transformation in Pakistan. A recent special report has highlighted expert analysis of Pakistan’s readiness to embrace future technologies and suggestions to use digital platforms for better service delivery and governance. Initiatives taken for the advancement of ICT sector hold promise of one day securing the country a high berth on the telecom landscape.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2020.
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