The Universal Service Fund (USF) awarded contract worth approximately PKR 1.37 Billion to Telenor for providing High Speed Mobile Broadband services in Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari witnessed the contract signing ceremony held at the USF Office, Islamabad on Wednesday. The contracts were signed by Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, CEO, USF with Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor. The Federal Secretary for IT & Telecommunication and Chairman USF Board, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, and Chairman PTA, Major General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa were also present at the ceremony.
Chief Guest of the ceremony, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque said: “With the help of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), districts of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir can achieve better visibility, communication and integration into economic and tourism flows. High Speed Mobile Broadband services will enhance tourism and attract tourists, thus creating jobs. The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication will continue close cooperation to support the tourism industry of Pakistan and provide the basis for achieving sustainable rural development”. Furthermore, he extended his warm felicitation to the teams of USF and Telenor on the contract signing and emphasized on making Digital Pakistan vision a reality.
Guest of Honor of the ceremony, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari while congratulating USF and Telenor on the signing of the contract said, “The use of ICT in tourism is a welcoming step for the residents of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts. High speed internet connectivity will expedite activity in the region and make the travel process efficient and pleasant”. In addition, he expressed gratitude to the Federal Minister and the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication for the guidance and support.
Sharing his views on the development, CEO Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan said, “We are committed to ensure the basic right of connectivity to the people of Pakistan. At Telenor Pakistan, we are driven to continue empowering the country by bridging the digital divide, creating access to opportunities and uplifting the lives of millions. We stand firm in our commitment of connecting people to what matters most to them and aim to continue providing opportunities in the future.”
Also, sharing his thoughts at the ceremony, CEO USF, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary said: “This project will benefit an unserved population of 0.7 Million in 648 unserved mauzas, thereby covering an unserved area of 18,212 sq. km. of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts. We
are committed to empowering the unserved and unserved communities of Pakistan and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with Telenor”. Moreover, he thanked the Federal Minister and the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication for adopting policies and mechanisms that are supportive of the digital revolution of tourist places.
Senior officials of the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, USF and Telenor were also present at the ceremony.