'Digital revolution' likely in Pakistan post-coronavirus pandemic: AJK president

Global pandemic has highlighted the importance of data-based government steps, says Masood Khan


​ Our Correspondent May 03, 2020
File photo of AJK President Sardar Masood Khan. PHOTO: ANADOLU AGENCY

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan has said that a digital revolution in the healthcare system, economic planning, education, business and governance is expected in Pakistan and AJK after the containment of coronavirus as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of data-based government steps.

He remarked while addressing a videoconference organised by "Digital Pakistan" in Muzaffarabad on Sunday.

President Masood said that the sustainable development goals have assumed primacy in the aftermath of Covid-19, especially those related to health, poverty, hunger, livelihoods, water and sanitation and energy. "Another cluster that is directly relevant comprises reducing inequalities and climate action."

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He added, "Digital technology played a key role in tracing coronavirus patients and their testing, and we also had been able to establish three digitised testing centres in Azad Kashmir."

“Our first priority in AJK was to diagnose and trace potential Covid-19 patients. For testing and contact tracing, digital technology was crucial. Three testing centres that we established in AJK, are enabled digitally,” he said.

But it is in the realm of track and traces that the IT alert control room is most helpful in identifying coronavirus patients, President Masood said, adding that the information technology department had also prepared a mobile app "Covid-19 MISAJK" which proved helpful in collecting data of patients and monitor activities at the quarantine centres.

He said that the latest digital data about coronavirus update is shared via the internet and on WhatsApp. The government in Muzaffarabad, he went on to say, was digitally connected with divisions and district offices and with rapid response teams in the field.

"The government and philanthropists together made sure that nobody goes hungry during Covid-19 crisis. Again digital database helped us identify the needy and the indigent."

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The AJK president said that five public sector universities in the liberated state are at present busy in preparations to impart online education to students, and efforts are being made to extend internet service to all areas with the help of service providers.

"Experiments are also being made to provide modern healthcare facilities to the people in far-flung areas with the help of telemedicine technology," he said, adding that the AJK universities have also started providing education to students in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotic blockchain, and cloud computing.

President Masood also said that at present, the revival of economy and resumption of business and employment which has been badly affected by a coronavirus, are the biggest challenge for us, while another target of sustainable development is the peace and justice.

Referring to the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), the AJK president said under the dark pall of the novel coronavirus, Indian forces in the occupied region are killing young men, abducting and illegally detaining people, falsely charging journalists, and manhandling doctors and paramedics.

"A nine-month-old siege and lockdown are in place. Now a plan has been unveiled to grab Kashmiris' land and jobs and settle non-natives in Occupied Kashmir. India is doing so to prevent popular opposition to its illicit rule."

He further said that we have started a virtual Kashmir diplomacy campaign because of Covid-19 lockdowns. "Under the cover of pandemic India is trying to remove Kashmir from the global agenda. I appeal to you:  Don't let that happen. Let us all work for a digital future that promotes humanity, harmony and peace."

He urged the organisers and participants of the videoconference to cooperate in foiling heinous designs of India and to work together for a digital future that promotes humanity, harmony and peace.

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