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August 1, 2021

AAA Associates set new benchmark of excellence for the Real Estate Industry in Pakistan

AAA Associates set new benchmark of excellence for the Real Estate Industry in Pakistan

AAA Associates set new benchmark of excellence for the Real Estate Industry in Pakistan

 

 Islamabad: AAA Associates, a leading group of Companies, has announced completion of 6 out of 9 construction projects within a record period of 6 years. The remaining 3 Projects are under construction, to be completed within a year. AAA Associates holds great trust among the investors primarily because of the timely deliverance, acquiring land at prime location, designing and construction of state-of-the-art residential and commercial buildings with unparalleled amenities. The six delivered projects are AAA RIVERIA, AAA Akron, ARCADE I, ARCADE II, ARCADE III, and Haseen Arcade based in the heart of Bahria Town Islamabad. Under construction projects are AAA Thirteen and AAA Business Center.

 AAA OCTA offers great returns on investments with consummate facilities and adds unique architectural design to the twin cities. AAA Associates takes care of the most important element of property i.e. location. All construction projects are strategically located keeping in view the contemporary commercial and residential requirements.

 AAA Riveria is situated at one of the most significant and striking location in Bahria Town i.e. Spring North Commercial. As the name suggests, it is right on the top of a river and offers breathtaking views. It is part of a twin tower project by AAA Associates which is going to be the first mini-mall of Bahria Town. It is also considered as the most exceptional location commercial activities especially startups. The whole property is well planned and well placed to add value to the investors.

AAA Akron is aesthetically the most beautiful project in the entire Bahria Town. It is located on hill top that offers mesmerizing night views of the beautiful city of Rawalpindi. The luxury apartments in Akron are sophisticatedly furnished and offer enchanting views of DHA and Bahria Town.

Arcade 1 is another spectacular commercial as well as a residential project.  This amazing building is situated right next to Arcade 2, in the heart of Theme Park Commercial, Bahria Town Phase 7. The building is located next to the well-known hypermarkets and popular international and national food chains of Pakistan. AAA Arcade II is a project that stands magnificently in the hub of the largest commercial zone of Bahria Town.  Not only it is located next to the top food brands, but also close to the basic commodities like banks, hospitals, schools, theme parks and a famous supermarket such as Green Valley. Arcade II hosts Nando’s, the only branch of the world’s favorite grilled chicken eatery in Rawalpindi. AAA Arcade III is a project that is ideal for both commercial spaces & residential purposes. The building is located at central position, between Bahria and DHA that further creates investment opportunities for investors from all over Pakistan.

AAA Thirteen is situated in the heart of Bahria Town Phase 7, near Nando’s, Green Valley, KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Hardees and Burger King. Construction will be completed within a year.

Haseen Arcade (Marketing) is located in Bahria Phase 4 Rawalpindi; first project of AAA Associates. The project is completely sold out.

AAA Business Center is located at the junction of Bahria Town Phase 7 and 8 that has direct access to Islamabad Motorway which is why the Business Centre has become the commercial face of Rawalpindi. It includes a rooftop restaurant with enthralling views, a shopping center offering of the best fashion brands of Pakistan and above all, it possesses an elite project known as the Executive Club. The Executive club membership will be offered to our investors in the Business Centre and Riveria, holding assets on the club floor. The club offers indoor sports, a mini theatre, an e-sports arena, Bahria’s largest fitness center, spa, pool, horseback riding, and numerous other activities. It will be completed in quarter 1 2022.

AAA OCTA, revolutionizing the real estate industry, is a project that fulfills the promise of luxury enmeshed with highest standards of living. It is one of the biggest projects of Rawalpindi, comprising of a unique architecture structure and a luxurious and comfortable lifestyle. This splendid project integrates both commercial and residential areas which are aesthetically and meticulously designed to cater for the needs of our clients. Hotel suite apartments with astonishing facades and dazzling finishes make AAA OCTA standout as an architectural wonder. Continuing its legacy, AAA Associates has achieved another landmark by hosting Pearl Continental Hotel at AAA OCTA, one of the most renowned and esteemed hotel chain of Pakistan. AAA OCTA is a project insured by one of the most reliable and well-known insurance companies of Pakistan, as AAA Associates believe in ensuring and protecting the interests of our prestigious clients. This phenomenal project endorses our claims of providing premiere services with the introduction of Mall of Streets (pedestrian shopping streets) which will become hub of activities and hustle bustle in the twin cities.

AAA Associates has a legacy of delivered promises and an ever more glorious future as they believe in timely deliverance of top notch quality products.

See Prime’s ‘Prince Charming’ Marks SheheryarMunawar’s Directorial Debut

See Prime’s ‘Prince Charming’ Marks SheheryarMunawar’s Directorial Debut

See Prime’s ‘Prince Charming’ Marks SheheryarMunawar’s Directorial Debut
Islamabad:- Superstar Sheheryar Munawar, after making waves as an actor on both the big and small screen, revealed the poster of his short film ‘Prince Charming’, produced under the See Prime banner, starring countries biggest stars Mahira Khan and Zahid Ahmed together for the first time.

‘Prince Charming’ is the Munawar’s directorial debut as a narrative/short film, who has directed commercial projects in the past. “Sharing the poster of my first narrative (short film) as director. From penning it to calling action to working on the post, each step has been magical” shared the star while revealing the first look of the film. https://www.instagram.com/p/CR_h73UCr3S/?utm_medium=copy_link

Munawar also gave a “huge shoutout to Mahira Khan, thank you my love for believing in me and being the first person to agree to be on this magical journey.”

“Thank you Zahid Ahmed for being a gem to work with. Big shout to my wonderful ADs, my brilliant DOP, art team, styling team, sound and music team and colour/post production team... and of course the experienced team at SEEPRIME.” added Munawar who has also penned this show film.

‘Prince Charming’ is set to release soon on See Prime, a platform that has been consistently telling original stories by multiple filmmakers in the short film format: https://m.youtube.com/c/seeprime
Zong Brings Amazing WhatsApp Offer for My Zong App Users

Zong Brings Amazing WhatsApp Offer for My Zong App Users

Zong Brings Amazing WhatsApp Offer for My Zong App Users


Lahore - August 1st, 2021: Offering customers exciting discounts, Pakistan’s cellular and digital services leader, Zong, has introduced an unbeatable WhatsApp offer for MZA users, as part of its newly launched flash sale on My Zong App.

Under the promotion, Zong subscribers can now get a massive 35% off on the popular WhatsApp offer if subscribed via My Zong App. The required balance to subscribe to the offer is as low as PKR 35 only instead of the previous cost of PKR 55.
The offer will be available on My Zong App on July 31, August 1, and August 2, 2021. Zong customers can subscribe to many other exclusive offers available on My Zong App, as part of the flash sale.

“We’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to facilitate our customers and deliver them more than they expect from our products and services,” shared Zong’s official spokesperson. “The flash sale on My Zong App is a testament to our commitment and we hope that the WhatsApp discount bundle will make connectivity easier and more affordable for our valued customers.”

Zong recently announced a flash sale of up to 70% on My Zong App, giving Zong users all the more reason to make the most of the app that regularly brings incredible offers.
The flash sale brings mega discounts on all favorite products and bundles on the My Zong App. Customers will get huge discounts on various products and services every month from now onwards, making their presence on the platform even more rewarding.

HBL and PayFast Sign Partnership to Enable Card-less E-Commerce Transactions in Pakistan

HBL and PayFast Sign Partnership to Enable Card-less E-Commerce Transactions in Pakistan

HBL and PayFast Sign Partnership to Enable Card-less E-Commerce Transactions in Pakistan

HBL, Pakistan’s largest commercial bank, has gone live with PayFast, Pakistan’s first commercially licensed payment gateway and fifth PSO/PSP overall, to facilitate card-less e-commerce payments (Mobile / Electronic Commerce Payments).

Under this partnership, HBL will empower its vast portfolio of e-commerce merchants on HBL Pay (IPG) to accept payments directly through bank accounts covered under the umbrella of PayFast, without the need for a debit or credit card.

Earlier, any merchant using HBL Pay for payment processing allowed its customers to make transactions using Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay, and PayPak cards, whereas card-less transactions were enabled only for HBL accounts. Now, every merchant using HBL Pay will have this feature enabled for customers that hold an account with any of PayFast’s banking and digital wallet partners.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Abrar Mir, Chief Innovation & Financial Inclusion Officer at HBL, said:

“HBL considers the expansion of digitalization and the empowerment of all customers as its core business value. This partnership is now enabling the financial inclusion of all customers, bringing the benefits of e-commerce to those who do not have access to a debit or credit card. HBL strongly believes this will also open up a much wider customer base for our e-commerce merchants and result in a true win-win partnership for everyone in the ecosystem. With a focus on facilitating the end customers and e-commerce merchants, HBL Pay has now enabled cardless payments for PayFast’s partner banks through our Internet Payment Gateway.”

Mr. Adnan Ali, CEO of APPS, said in a statement,

“HBL is the largest bank and one of the most innovative financial institutions in Pakistan that always prioritizes the needs of its customers. It is encouraging to see that HBL has partnered with us, thereby reasserting our mutual aim to collaborate and lead the disruption and transformation of digital payments in the country.”

PayFast’s partnership with HBL will impact over 30 million bank account and digital wallet users in Pakistan, empowering the customers with increased choices for making transactions on their preferred e-commerce websites

Bonanza Satrangi signs up with Muzaffarabad Tigers as their official partner in Kashmir Premier League

Bonanza Satrangi signs up with Muzaffarabad Tigers as their official partner in Kashmir Premier League

Bonanza Satrangi signs up with Muzaffarabad Tigers as their official partner in Kashmir Premier League



Islamabad:- Kashmir Premier League is associated with the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, backed by the Pakistan Cricket Board conducting a Twenty-20 league commencing from August 6, 2021 till August 16, 2021 in Muzaffarabad, AK.

Muzaffarabad Tigers has emerged as one of the best teams of KPL and this partnership is anticipated to leverage both organizations across the Kashmir division and nationwide also. With this collaboration, they intend to build a big success between Bonanza Satrangi and Muzaffarabad Tigers, creating a pathway to bring awareness to both fashion fans and the sports community alike.

“Bonanza Satrangi empowers the journey by becoming official partners, we are honored to sign this opportunity. It feels great when some of the biggest names of the industry become a part of this platform” said Ms. Marium Ejaz, Director Marketing Muzaffarabad Tigers.

“It is highly appreciated that Bonanza Satrangi brings life to our vision and mission” said Mr. Arshan Khan Tanoli, Chairman Muzaffarabad Tigers.

“Nothing could be better than contributing to recreation and sports in Kashmir. We are welcoming aboard Muzaffarabad Tigers as a part of the Bonanza family and we look forward to converging our aims” said Mr. Hanif Bilwani, CEO Bonanza Satrangi.


realme to Launch Android’s First Magnetic Wireless Charging MagDart at realme Magnetic Innovation Event

realme to Launch Android’s First Magnetic Wireless Charging MagDart at realme Magnetic Innovation Event

realme to Launch Android’s First Magnetic Wireless Charging MagDart at realme Magnetic Innovation Event

Lahore/Shenzhen, China: realme, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, will introduce Android’s first magnetic wireless charging MagDart ​​on realme Magnetic Innovation Event on Tuesday, August 03 at 12:00 PM UTC (05:00 PM Pakistan Standard Time). 

MagDart will be the world’s fastest magnetic wireless charging, bringing magnet wireless charging to a fast charging era. The first Android magnetic wireless charging smartphone, realme Flash, will be unveiled at the event. Besides, a series of MagDart accessories will together build a promising magnetic ecosystem together with the realme Flash and the MagDart chargers.

The launch event will be held online on realme official social media platforms, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook.

realme has always been bringing leap-forward technology to global young users. In July 2020, realme introduced the world’s leading 125W SuperDart Charge. MagDart will bring magnetic wireless charging to a new speed era. Stay tuned!


Minal Khan and Emmad Erfani reunite for Aik Aur Story

Minal Khan and Emmad Erfani reunite for Aik Aur Story

Minal Khan and Emmad Erfani reunite for Aik Aur Story

Karachi 31 July, 2021] The superhit on screen pair of Minal Khan and Emmad Erfani fresh off the success of 'Jalan' are coming together once again. The pair will be seen in a telefilm on Aik Aur Story.  The telefilm also stars Ushna Shah and Bilal Ashraf, among others. The telefilm is a modern, romantic comedy.

The Aik Aur Story telefilms will be directed by the likes of Bader Mahmood, Abis Raza and Fahim Burney - all acclaimed directors who have delivered hits such as Cheekh, Jalan, Yahan Pyar Nahi Hai and Bala. The telefilms aim to provide lighthearted entertainment and are written by acclaimed writers such as Muhammad Ahmed, Wasiq Awan and a host of young writers. OSTs will be another hallmark of these telefilms. 

Aik Aur Story is the first project of Express Originals. It is a unique initiative which will air every Thursday for two hours and feature telefilms, short films, and long-short films. The basic idea is to bring the diversity of the content of OTT platforms to the television screen.  The films aim to provide wholesome content that the whole family can view together on the same screen.


July 31, 2021

Huawei Digitizes Green Powered Pakistan with FusionSolar Club Pakistan

Huawei Digitizes Green Powered Pakistan with FusionSolar Club Pakistan

Huawei Digitizes Green Powered Pakistan with FusionSolar Club Pakistan



Lahore: - With the aim to lead green powered digitized power in the country the ‘Huawei FusionSolar Club Pakistan’ was held at the Pearl Continental Hotel to aid the energy sector in the struggle against climate change and to develop sustainable development. Mr. Tauseef H. Farooqi, Chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, Mr. Shah Jahan Mirza, CEO AEDB, Mr. Naeem Memon, Director Solar Alternate Energy Development Board, Ahmed Shahzeb Malik, Member Board of Directors Quaid-E-Azam Solar Pvt. Ltd and Sadaqat Ali Khan, Member Energy Planning and Division Board Energy Department attended the event. Also in attendance, Mr. Liwen, Managing Director, Lahore Regional Office Huawei.

Mr. Shah Jehan Mirza, Chairman AEDB mentioned during his speech, “The importance of RE (renewable energy) cannot be underestimated, the government of Pakistan has taken the right steps. For the next ten years, as it’ll be paradigm shift towards the energy sector.

Mr. Tauseef, Chairman NEPRA focused on the fact, “Prime Minister Imran Khan also wants Green Energy for Pakistan. NEPRA is working and upgrading on renewable energy (RE) and is prudent about regulatory framework. Digitalization is amazing but it has a lot of challenges too, which is why NEPRA recently had a meeting on cyber security standards with international experts.”

Mr. Liwen also added, “Many countries have committed to carbon neutralization at 2050, which is the future, it serves as a solution to customers and we will keep supporting Pakistan’s industry to improve digitalization. Today we are here to bring the latest innovation product FusionSolar to all of you.”

Globally, utilities are undergoing a cultural shift towards an information-based digital economy, moving away from the traditional business models that required heavy investment. Huawei FusionSolar Club Pakistan, partnered with Industry Stake Holders to create a platform for industry leaders to share the latest technologies, experiences and insights in regards to the digitalization of PV systems.

With all features best smartphone solution in PKR 25,000

With all features best smartphone solution in PKR 25,000

With all features best smartphone solution in PKR 25,000




Smartphone usage has multiplied many folds over the years. The consumer not only demands the best features in devices but also budget-friendly solutions for their everyday usage. Many smartphone brands have been catering to this requirement but the leading Chinese company, TECNO has been seen bringing the best devices that too at an economical budget. The brand’s latest mid-range smartphone, Camon 17 has amazed the masses with its exceptional features at an affordable price of only PKR 25,299.



Following the tradition of the previous Camon phones, the Camon 17 brings an incredible photography experience. The phone is equipped with a triple camera system including the 48MP main camera, 8MP Wide-angle camera, and 2 MP Bokeh camera with 2K video and 2K time-lapse video. With the famous TAIVOS camera technology, Camon 17 lets you capture clear photos and videos for making memories, video-chatting, and more. Not only this, the phone has a 16MP Selfie camera to take clearest selfies, raising your selfie game to a whole new level.

Along with these remarkable camera features, this pocket-friendly phone comes with MediaTek’s Helio G85 processor which supports Octa-core CPU with HyperEngine along with Smart load regulation engine and Web optimization engine. This powerful processor paired with a 5000mAh battery and 90Hz refresh rate makes the Camon 17 great for everyday browsing and gaming. Moreover, with the spacious storage capacity of 128GB RAM and 6GB ROM, running out of space will be the last of your worries.

In addition to these phenomenal software features, the Camon 17 has a modern and chic appearance with a rear camera design and a sleek body made out of organic glass. The device offers something for everyone with three different color options including Frost Silver, Deep Sea Blue, and Tranquil Green.  

Wow, all this for under PKR 25,000! Isn’t this great? Now you don’t need to look any further as Camon 17 comes as a complete package with the latest hardware and software features. The phone is available in the market for only PKR 24,999, so go grab your device now and enjoy an extraordinary experience.


July 30, 2021

Pak-Qatar Takaful Signs Mou with Mutex Systems for Sang for Vdi Solution

Pak-Qatar Takaful Signs Mou with Mutex Systems for Sang for Vdi Solution

Pak-Qatar Takaful Signs Mou with Mutex Systems for Sang for Vdi Solution



Karachi, 28th July 2021: Pak-Qatar Takaful recently signed an agreement with Mutex Systems for VDI Solution by Sangfor. With this solution, users can access their desktops virtually from any device or location, where all processing will be done on a host server. This will allow PQT to further minimize risk and enhance security protocols.

The ceremony took place at Pak-Qatar Takaful's head office. The MoU was signed by Mr. Azeem Iqbal Pirani, CEO, Pak-Qatar Family Takaful, and Mr. Adnan Siddiqui – Director Sales & Operations, Sangfor Technologies, along with senior officials from both organizations.

While speaking at the occasion, Mr. Azeem Pirani (CEO, PQFTL) said, “We are glad to sign this agreement as we will be able to offer more secure environment to our users with minimum risk. These kind of initiatives are the best way forward to offer convenience as everything is now going digital and security is of big concern for all of us.”  

Mr. Adnan Siddiqui (Director Sales & Operations, Sangfor Technologies) said, “Being the leading global vendor of IT infrastructure solutions, specializing in Cloud Computing & Network Security, we are confident that PQT will definitely benefit from this partnership by offering convenience to its users. It is also great honor for us to work as business partner with PQT Group.” 

Mr. Syed Yasir Raza (CEO – Mutex Systems) added, “For emerging modern-day enterprises, we focus to structure a technically permeated roadmap that facilitates the process of making IT investments reliable and easier coupled with an elevated ROI. We along with our partners are able to mitigate the complexities circulating in the information technology environment.”

Pak-Qatar Takaful remains committed in providing best-in-class services to it esteemed members.

Al Karam Textile Mills partners with U-Bank to digitize salary disbursement

Al Karam Textile Mills partners with U-Bank to digitize salary disbursement

Al Karam Textile Mills partners with U-Bank to digitize salary disbursement



In a move to streamline salary disbursement of its workers from cash to digital branchless banking solution, Al Karam Textile Mills Pvt Ltd (AKTM) has partnered with U Microfinance Bank Limited (U-Bank) to provide factory workers a fast, safe and convenient channel to receive remuneration.

Speaking about this initiative, Mr. Zaid Kaliya, Chief Financial Officer, Al Karam Textile Mills stated

“This partnership with U-Bank is a significant step towards bringing convenience to our employees, especially the blue collar workers and daily wagers who previously had to wait hours in a queue to receive their wages in cash. With this facility of salary disbursements 1,500+ employees benefited from this service by receiving their salary in a swift and timely manner.”

Ms. Ambreen Malik, Chief Business and Digital Officer U Microfinance Bank Limited added, “U Microfinance Bank aims to promote digital and branchless banking solutions to ensure our customers are able to benefit from a cashless and seamless banking experience. This partnership with Al Karam is another important step forward in furthering this mission.”


Foreign investors express continuing confidence on the security environment – OICCI Security Survey 2021

Foreign investors express continuing confidence on the security environment – OICCI Security Survey 2021

Foreign investors express continuing confidence on the security environment – OICCI Security Survey 2021

Karachi, July 30, 2021: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), the collective body of top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, released the results of its latest Annual Security survey 2021, covering feedback on the security environment in the commercial centers of Pakistan. The survey was conducted from May 21st till June 21st. About two third of the OICCI members have their head offices in Karachi with operations all over country.

Compared to the security situation in mid-2020, the overall security environment, according to 2021 OICCI Survey, has further improved, especially in Lahore (according to 61% of the respondents), KPK (59%), Rest of Punjab (53%) and Karachi (51%). However, some of the members have expressed concern in respect of growing street crimes, especially in Karachi.

Commenting on the survey findings, Irfan Siddiqui, President OICCI said “the positive perception of the security environment by the leading foreign investors operating in the country, is a matter of great satisfaction and also conveys a positive message to potential investors”. The OICCI President added “the foreign investors have appreciated the continuing focus of our LEAs in improving the security environment, one of the key components for attracting FDI in the country. Security remains one of the top three concerns for 62% of the respondents, a marginal improvement over 7O% respondents in the 2020 survey”.

It is highly encouraging that despite COVID-19 related travel restrictions since March 2020, the visit of foreign nationals visiting Pakistan for OICCI members business continued during the past one year, though at a lower frequency.  Foreign business visitors were mainly from China, UK, USA, Germany, Japan, UAE (where several member companies Regional HQ are located), as well as other European and Asian countries.

In terms of serious crimes, 87% respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or ‘not an issue’ in Lahore and 75% respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or ‘not an issue’ in Karachi. Similarly, 89%, 75% and 73% respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or ‘not an issue’ in KPK, Quetta and rest of Baluchistan. For street crimes, 17% respondents in Karachi, vs 7% last year, indicated significant increase over last year while up to 5 % respondents in rest of the country (Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar) indicated significant increase.   

In conclusion, M. Abdul Aleem, CEO/Secretary General, OICCI observed that “OICCI is encouraged with the continuing improvement in the overall security assessment of the foreign investors, which will help in further boosting potential FDI in Pakistan. Going forward, we are confident that the Law Enforcement Agencies will soon be able to also control the recent spike in street crimes and will further reinforce the positive security environment in the country.”

The OICCI 2021 Security survey was responded by over two third of the over 200 members and survey respondents included CEOs and senior management of member organizations. This security survey is being conducted annually since 2015.  OICCI Security survey is comprehensive and gives a detailed feedback of foreign investors operating in Pakistan on various aspect of doing business connected with security and its impact on their operation which is regularly sought by the headquarters of member companies, diplomats of over 30 countries represented at the chamber, security professionals and other stakeholders.

July 28, 2021

DEMO and KPITB delivered the first SheMeansBusinessTraining Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs in Durshal Peshawar

DEMO and KPITB delivered the first SheMeansBusinessTraining Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs in Durshal Peshawar

DEMO and KPITB delivered the first SheMeansBusinessTraining Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs in Durshal Peshawar



Peshawar (July 28, 2021;) DEMO and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) are pleased to share that they have launched SheMeansBusiness training workshops in Durshals, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The first 3-day digital marketing and financial management workshop was conducted in Durshal Peshawar.

Launched in 2016, the SheMeansBusiness program by Facebook supports women-owned enterprises to enter the digital economy through skills training and business inspiration. Global research reinforces the importance of women entrepreneurship as a building block in leading the economic progress of a country. To carry this mission forward, DEMO, along with KPITB, partnered to conduct a series of 3-day capacity building training workshops across the seven Durshal community spaces. Durshals are community spaces based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which aim to provide youth with an opportunity to collaborate, innovate, access training, and launch new businesses.

The training was attended by women entrepreneurs belonging to various industries; from hospitality and recreation, to healthcare and education. Through presentations and practical demonstrations, they were taught skills related to the use of social media tools, content creation, online marketing, and financial management.

Muhammad Bin Masood, CEO at DEMO, while speaking at the workshop commented: “I am very pleased to see the response and motivation of our participants. The launch of SheMeansBusiness program will help women from KPK to learn from a world class curriculum and apply digital and financial literacy tools to improve their businesses. I believe digital skills are the skills of the present and the future and it pleases me to be able to play a part in imparting knowledge to a talented pool of women entrepreneurs. I am very excited and looking forward to the response we receive in the upcoming workshops at the rest of the Durshals.”

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Sahibzada Ali Mahmud, Managing Director KPITB remarked, “The launch of this program has created an exciting opportunity for the entrepreneurs who want to equip themselves with the required expertise to be successful in this digital age, especially women-led businesses. Seeing the response, I am very hopeful that this initiative will help in advancing the scope of digital skills of KPK’s women entrepreneurs and bring a significant change in our economy.”

The next workshops will be conducted in the upcoming months in Durshals at Abbottabad, Swat, Swabi, Bannu and Mardan.

TECNO officially announced the launch of Phantom X in Pakistan

TECNO officially announced the launch of Phantom X in Pakistan

TECNO officially announced the launch of Phantom X in Pakistan

Phantom X is the upcoming premium smartphone device from TECNO that is expected to be launched in Pakistan in August 2021. Phantom X features to have a sleek and elegant design with a 3D borderless screen and the industry’s first silk glass back cover.

The new phone is expected to come with a combination of the 50MP Ultra-Night camera + 13MP portrait camera + 8MP ultra-wide shooter back camera. It also supports a 48MP Ultra-Clear Selfie camera with a 105° ultra-wide-angle provides a big leap in camera performance.

The phone supports a 6.7” Super AMOLED curved display, a 90Hz panel with 1080p+ resolution, and curved sides. Moreover, the Phantom is powered by a MediaTek Helio G95 chipset along with 8+256GB large memory and a newly-updated HiOS 7.6 system to empowers and support every experience of your life and work.

The HiOS 7.6 used in Phantom X is one of the most popular mobile OSes in the world today, with millions of users spread across the globe. Using Za-Hooc Security System, HiOs 7.6 provides comprehensive security protection for users.

The high-end phone is gaining much praise and success internationally and local fans are waiting for the phone to be launched in Pakistan. It is expected to land in Pakistan in August but nothing has been confirmed yet. Fans have high hopes for the launch. Let’s wait and follow TECNO social media for any updates on this.

PTCL sign partnership with PAKSAT for indigenization & delivering satellite services in Pakistan & region

PTCL sign partnership with PAKSAT for indigenization & delivering satellite services in Pakistan & region

PTCL sign partnership with PAKSAT for indigenization & delivering satellite services in Pakistan & region



Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), national flagship carrier in the country and PAKSAT, the national satellite company have announced the signing of a strategic partnership to develop and deliver state-of-the-art integrated satellite services in addressing the ever-evolving national needs of private and public sector in Pakistan.

Major General Amer Nadeem HI(M), Chairman SUPARCO, Sadaquat Liaquat, CEO PAKSAT Int’l Pvt Ltd, Hatem Bamatraf, President & Group CEO PTCL, Zarrar Hasham Khan, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL, along with key industry leaders and officials from both companies attended the signing ceremony.

Under the partnership, PTCL will be able to provide its national and international customers with a seamless connectivity through Pakistan-owned satellites, which are connected with redundant satellite hubs and the largest fiber backbone across Pakistan.

Through this initiative PTCL will enable PAKSAT as its partner for national satellite bandwidth requirements, while, PAKSAT will support PTCL in deployment of the existing services of PAKSAT as well as their upcoming innovative services. This partnership will ensure installation of satellite projects with a special focus on satellite gateway of Ka-Band and IoT space.

Zarrar Hasham Khan, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL, said, “This partnership will enable PTCL to serve its customers with seamless connectivity through Pakistan-owned satellite. This will help us play a pivotal role in driving digital transformation and technological revolution in Pakistan. It will create synergies to connect widely separated geographical areas with modern communication facilities, thus meeting customer expectations.”

Sadaqat Liaqat, CEO PAKSAT said, “Together PTCL and PAKSAT will be able to bridge the digital divide in Pakistan by connecting businesses and communities in the underserved areas. With the new satellite MM1 coming online, this will prove to be the key enabler of digital transformation in Pakistan. This technology will also help corporate sector and government institutions in the areas of IoT, telemetry and high-speed internet, where PTCL already has a vast experience.”

PTCL continues to develop such partnerships that enable innovation and transformation to realize the vision of a Digital Pakistan.

July 27, 2021

Digital connectivity holds the key to economic growth in Pakistan

Digital connectivity holds the key to economic growth in Pakistan

As Pakistan went into lockdown last year, residents used smartphones, tablet computers and laptops to work, study and stay connected. As new digital behaviors formed, the critical role of communications service providers to support a functioning society with flawless digital communication capabilities in times of crisis became obvious.

For service providers, being able to handle mobile traffic in a huge country like Pakistan is a challenge. Combined with the increase in smartphones and data use, service providers know they need to act to meet the expectations of subscribers. LTE, the 4G technology, today brings unprecedented mobile broadband performance to millions of users across the country.

From an end-user perspective, not only data rates are of interest. The latency, that is, the time it takes to send a small packet through the network, is also relevant for the overall service experience. In fact, several services, for example, gaming, are more interested in low latency than high data rates.

The latency is one of the key performance numbers visible to the end-user, often expressed as round-trip-time or “ping time”, for example when conducting a speed test. LTE already is capable of delivering low latency and this, for many users in Pakistan, is a major difference between 3G and 4G.

The evolution to 4G serves two major advantages – revolutionizing mobile broadband-driven data experiences for mobile users and opening up new enterprise opportunities in IoT, while laying the groundwork for evolution to 5G.

The Digital Evolution

With the overall vision of a Digital Pakistan, connectivity layer becomes the baseline for enabling a comprehensive ecosystem for interaction of users and platforms. There is a multitude of verticals from health and education to large scale manufacturing that stand to gain from high speed connectivity and digital transformation.

The advent of CPEC has brought renewed focus on logistics, transportation, and industry. In the medium to long term, the industrial sector needs to embrace Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is about the significant transformation taking place in the way goods are produced and delivered – moving toward industrial automation and the flexible factory. To stay competitive, factories and warehouses must leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and digitalization to become much more agile and efficient.

While industries have automated many processes, secure wireless connectivity allows industrial automation at a much larger scale. Huge gains await industries that cut the cord and go wireless. Wireless cellular connectivity supports business outcomes such as flexible production by allowing smart factories to rapidly changeover production lines to shorten lead times. In our case, we can start with inventory management, tracking and logistics before moving to inside the plant and the actual assembly line.

If the Internet of Things (IoT) era we are now entering is to be more inclusive and empowering, we need to start by examining the fundamental nature of the physical world fueled by digital connectivity. Mobile technology is essential for development and Pakistan cannot hope to achieve economic sustainability without adequate 4G service deployment and digital connectivity.

The Role of Service Providers

With the introduction of 4G in 2014, all parts of the network were transformed which will now also see a new 4G overlay formed over the next few years to complement the 2G and 3G networks. Mobile phones, radio, backhaul, and core networks went through a major change.

As service providers acted quickly to cope with the changes, holding the dominant market position means never standing still. For mobile operators already at the top, a growing demand for high speed broadband has led to an increasingly fast-paced arena in which to compete.

With mobile data traffic doubling every year, network modernization and expansion is key for Pakistan’s service providers to continue offering the best experience to their customers while reducing total cost of ownership. Modernization will not only facilitate future colocation of 5G on existing LTE network, but it will also gear it up with features that reduce energy consumption and footprint, making the network more environment friendly while reducing operating costs

By making digital transformation real and effective through 4G expansion, service providers will enable their customers to enjoy enriched experiences, whether that means fast video and media access for subscribers, or IoT business innovation and opportunities for enterprises.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of expansive high-quality connectivity, which is required to ensure social equity and a non-distortive platform for economic innovation. Remote connectivity for students across major cities and the rapid rise of freelancing are real life use cases on the ground. As Pakistan plans its recovery, there is a strong case for a policy rejuvenation.

If policy makers are serious about delivering gigabit connectivity and enabling cross-sector innovation that can drive growth and recovery, then we need increased focus on mobile broadband proliferation. What is now needed is a framework that embeds 4G (both network and device ecosystem) squarely in the efforts to address economic recovery and inclusive development in Pakistan.

Finally, ICT and broadband are central to our society’s development. If well managed, ICT can provide inclusive socio-economic development and has the potential for rapid service improvements and digital readiness. As such, 4G is a key part of the vision of a Digital Pakistan and a cornerstone of the overall 5G solution and will, as such, continue to evolve for many years to come.

Waqas Naeem : Country Manager, Ericsson Pakistan


Sindh Govt to block SIMs of unvaccinated people in four phases

Sindh Govt to block SIMs of unvaccinated people in four phases

Sindh Govt to block SIMs of unvaccinated people in four phases

Karachi (NNI) Sindh health department on Saturday conveyed a four-phase strategy to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to block mobile SIMs of unvaccinated people in the province amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to the handout, the action against unvaccinated people would be taken in four phases, and initially, a warning would be sent to them to get vaccinated or face blocking of their mobile SIM.

In the second phase, the health department has recommended a ban on social media accounts of unvaccinated people. The calling services will be suspended in the third phase, while the fourth phase will end up in complete blocking of mobile SIMs.

On Friday, the Sindh government decided to approach Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block SIMs of unvaccinated people amid a surge in COVID-19 infections in the province.

The decision was shared by the spokesman for the Sindh government and Adviser to CM Sindh on Environment Murtaza Wahab from his Twitter handle.

He said that the provincial government would approach the NCOC and PTA to block SIMs of unvaccinated people.

The Sindh chief minister has also said that the PTA would be approached through the federal government to send messages to users to get vaccinated and those not getting a jab in a week will face blocking of their SIMs.

The chief minister further directed the provincial authorities to communicate the Sindh government’s decision to the NCOC.

Shell Tameer Awards 2021 - Empowering Youth To Establish Sustainable Enterprises

Shell Tameer Awards 2021 - Empowering Youth To Establish Sustainable Enterprises

Shell Tameer Awards 2021 - Empowering Youth To Establish Sustainable Enterprises

Karachi: 27 July, 2021 – To promote and recognize Pakistan’s bright, young entrepreneurs, ‘Shell Tameer Awards 2021’ has been launched, opening the application process from now until August 8th.  This initiative is part of Shell LiveWIRE – a global flagship programme, locally named Shell Tameer, for enterprise development, envisioned to strengthen local economies, by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Start-ups and innovators in their prototype stage are eligible to participate under six categories.  ‘Clean Energy Solutions’ (CES) category includes disruptive technologies for access to energy, off-grid solutions, energy-efficiency etc.  ‘Empowering Women’ (EW) category invites innovative tech solutions that enable gender equality and new livelihood opportunities.  ‘Technology Innovation’ (TI) category fosters e-commerce, FinTech & smart solutions for Health, Education & Business. Other categories include; ‘Circular Economy’ (CE), ‘Transportation & Mobility’ (T&M) and ‘Bright Ideas Award’ (BIA).

The functional benefits provided by Shell-Tameer include access to financing and capital, mentoring, investor pitches, Shell global support platforms, media exposure, and high-value networking. 

Since its launch in 2003, Shell Tameer has successfully worked with more than 1000 startups and expansions, training 13,000 people through workshops, while engaging 800,000 youngsters. Till date, 26 entrepreneurs have already received Shell Global Awards, grants and trade opportunities, while nine participants have won the global ‘Shell LiveWire’ - Top Ten Innovators Awards, since 2015.

The Chief Executive Officer of Shell Pakistan Limited, Haroon Rashid stated, “We are eager to support diligent and talented youth of our society, in realizing their progressive dreams for a prosperous future. Shell Tameer is geared to help them transform brilliant ideas into sustainable enterprises.  Shell Tameer is proud of the great performance of its alumni, as we continue to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit, showcase their achievements and explore the nation’s potential.”

Promoting an entrepreneurial culture, Shell Tameer is nurturing creative ideas through universities and incubation-centers. Shell is making diverse social investments, based on insights, in a digital era which has already enabled many young minds to structure global businesses worth billions of dollars. For more details, please visit the website: Shell Tameer Awards 2021 | Shell

Mobilink Microfinance Bank Posts 98% Year on Year Growth in Revenues to Reinforce Market Position

Mobilink Microfinance Bank Posts 98% Year on Year Growth in Revenues to Reinforce Market Position

Mobilink Microfinance Bank Posts 98% Year on Year Growth in Revenues to Reinforce Market Position

Islamabad – July 27, 2021: Pakistan’s largest Digital Bank, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) announced its financial results for the first half of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. The Bank reinforced its market standing as the leading Digital Bank by posting a 98% growth in total revenue with the Profit before Tax (PBT) growing by 14601% compared to the first half of 2020. The Bank successfully continued its growth momentum from the corresponding year across all verticals, while acknowledging uncertainties related to COVID-19 on customer portfolio, behavior, and recovery trends. 


Contrary to the industry average of PKR 50,000, MMBL’s average loan ticket stood at PKR 168,000 during the first half of the year and continues to grow further. The Bank’s core banking revenue grew by 80% while branchless banking revenues witnessed a growth of 27% during the period.  Similarly, the Profit Before Tax of core and branchless banking increased by 467% and 285% respectively. 

Sharing his thoughts on the bank’s performance, Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam, President & CEO MMBL said: “We are glad to register impressive growth records across all verticals due to our strong commercial performance and commitment to maintaining the highest standards in services delivery. However, what truly fuels our efforts is our customers’ unflinching trust and loyalty in this bank. We are fortunate that the MMBL family is constantly growing nationwide to further strengthen the bank’s market standing. I would also acknowledge the hard work, commitment, and excellence of the entire MMBL team that propelled the bank to the highest pedestal amongst other digital banks.”

Chief Finance & Digital Officer, MMBL, Sardar Mohammad Abubakr said: “The current financial results are a testament to our revamped focus on strategic value creation through agile business models and differentiated customer-centric offerings. This has been instrumental given the uncertainties linked to COVID-19, the impacts of which the industry as a whole will need to navigate with out-of-the-box solutions, in coming days and months."

To further augment its customers’ digital experience, the Bank recently launched its complete digital banking application, ‘Dost- Powered by MMBL’ to provide convenient and hassle-free access to its expansive digital and financial ecosystem round the clock, from anywhere in the country. 

MMBL is committed to promoting financial inclusion for all through its wide array of digital and financial services, made accessible through its expansive branch and branchless network spread across Pakistan, including far-flung areas. The Bank places a prime focus on the underserved segments of the population, particularly women, and SMEs through customized products and services that facilitate efficient and convenient business operations and allow greater control over financial choices to foster the socio-economic wellbeing of the masses.

Only 12 percent homes in Pakistan have at least one facility of latest digital devices - via Dawn

Only 12 percent homes in Pakistan have at least one facility of latest digital devices - via Dawn

Only 12 percent homes in Pakistan have at least one facility of latest digital devices - via Dawn

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 12 per cent of households in the country, according to a government survey, have reported having at least one facility such as computer, laptop and tablet, making it least penetration of information and communication technologies in the country.

The Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey 2019-20, conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), covered 176,790 households across rural and urban communities, collecting information on a range of social sector issues — information technology, education and health by facilities and services.

The survey mainly covers indicators on household’s level with the facility of computer, laptop, tablet, mobile and internet for individuals who are 10 years and older using computer, ICT skills, internet and ownership and usage of mobile/smartphone.

The survey shows that percentage of ICT is higher with 19pc in urban areas as compared to rural areas with 7pc. Punjab is at top with 13pc households having at least one facility such as computer/laptop/tablet — 22pc in urban and 8pc in rural areas — while Balochistan is at bottom with 6pc households using any of the facilities — 13pc in urban and only 1pc in rural areas.

Survey says almost 93pc households enjoy having mobile or smartphone

In Islamabad, 40pc households reported having at least one such facility such. In Punjab, Lahore with 24pc is at top and Rajanpur with 3pc at bottom. In Sindh, Karachi East is at top with 33pc and Tharparkar at bottom with 1pc.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar with 25pc is at top and Kohistan at bottom with 2pc households having at least one facility such as computer/laptop/tablet. In Balochistan, Barkhan with 20pc is at top and Khuzdar at bottom with no household having at least one such facility.

Almost 93pc of households in the country reported having mobile/smartphone. Percentage is higher in urban areas (96pc) than rural areas (91pc).

KP is at top with 95pc households having facility of mobile phones — 98pc in urban and 94pc rural areas. According to the survey, 94pc households in Punjab, 92pc in Balochistan and 91pc in Sindh reported having the facility of mobile/smartphone. In Islamabad, 99pc households have mobile/smartphone facility.

The district-wise situation reveals that Layyah with 98pc, Korangi with 99pc, Shangla with 99pc and Pishin with 99pc are at top in their respective provinces, while Khanewal with 82pc, Dadu with 72pc and Mohammand and Khuzdar with 70pc each are at bottom.

Punjab with 34pc has the highest number of households having access to internet facility, whereas regional gap has been observed with 50pc urban and 25pc rural households having internet facility.

About 33pc households in KP, 32pc in Sindh and only 21pc in Balochistan have access to internet facility.

According to the survey, 70pc households in Islamabad, 57pc in Rawalpindi, 68pc in Karachi East, 51pc in Peshawar, 51pc in Kohlu, 8pc Rajanpur, 3pc in Tharparkar, 2pc in South Waziristan and 1pc in Shaheed Skindarabad have internet facility.

In the education sector, Islamabad has the highest percentage of children attending school (85pc), followed by Rawalpindi (83pc), Korangi (82pc), Abbottabad (77pc), Pishin (59pc), Rajanpur (40pc), Thatta (26pc), Mohmand (28pc) and Dera Bugti, Shaheed Sikandarabad and Sherani (14pc).

Almost two-thirds of districts in Punjab have less than 25pc out-of-school children, with Rajanpur at top with 48pc and Chakwal and Narowal at bottom with 9pc.

In Sindh, Thatta district is at top with 71pc children out of school while Karachi Central is at bottom with 21pc.

In KP, Mohmand district is at top with 57pc children out of school while Abbottabad with 9pc is at bottom. In Balochistan, Shaheed Sikandarabad district is at top with 76pc children out of school while Nushki with 23pc is at bottom.

The literacy rate of 85pc in Islamabad is the highest in the country, followed by Korangi (84pc), Rawalpindi (82pc), Abbottabad (74pc), Quetta (64pc) Rajanpur (42pc), Tharparkar (29pc), Mohmand (26pc) and Dera Bugti and Khuzdar (22pc).

In the health sector, KP with 8.6pc has comparatively higher prevalence of sick or injured population, with Orakzai district at top with 14.7pc and Khyber at bottom with 3.1pc.

Sindh with 8.1pc has comparatively less sick or injured population, with Larkana district at top with 25.1pc and Shikarpur at bottom with 1.8pc. Punjab has 6.8pc prevalence rate, with Toba Tek Singh district at top with 10.9pc and Sialkot at bottom with 2.8pc.

Balochistan has 6.1pc sick or injured population, with Gwadar district at top with 14.1pc. Islamabad has 4.8pc sick or injured population.

Among the provinces, Punjab with 81pc in 2019-20 has the highest percentage of children who are fully immunised based on record as compared to 70pc in 2014-15, followed by KP with 69pc in 2019-20 as compared to 58pc in 2014-15, Sindh with 52pc in 2019-20 as compared to 45pc in 2014-15 and Balochistan with 35pc in 2019-20 as compared to 27pc in 2014-15.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021


Pak Federal Cabinet to approve first 'National Cyber Security Policy 2021' - via BR

Pak Federal Cabinet to approve first 'National Cyber Security Policy 2021' - via BR

Pak Federal Cabinet to approve first 'National Cyber Security Policy 2021' - via BR



ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet is likely to approve the first "National Cyber Security Policy 2021" and policy directive for the auction of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan on Tuesday (today).

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque confirmed to Business Recorder that the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday would consider two agenda items of the ministry.

The Cabinet would deliberate on National Cyber Security Policy 2021 and policy directive for the auction of the NGMS spectrum in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has drafted National Cyber Security Policy 2021, with the guiding principle that regards a cyber attack on Pakistan as an act of aggression against national sovereignty and will defend itself with appropriate response measures and will act in accordance with national and international laws and expect reciprocal respect of national digital sovereignty.

The draft policy envisages developing secure and resilient cyber systems and networks for national cyber security and response.

The policy framework envisaged to secure entire cyberspace of Pakistan including all information and communication systems used in both public and private sectors.

The objective of the policy is to establish a governance and institutional framework for secure cyber ecosystem, create protection and information sharing mechanism (CERTs/SOCs) at all tiers capable to monitor, detect, protect and respond against threats to national ICT/CII infrastructures, protect National Critical Information Infrastructure by mandating national security standards and processes related to the design, acquisition, development, use and operation of information systems, enhance security of government information systems and infrastructure, create an information assurance framework of audits and compliance for all entities in both public and private sectors, ensure integrity of ICT products, systems and services by establishing a mechanism of testing, screening, forensics and accreditation, develop public private partnerships and collaborative mechanism through technical and operational cooperation, create a country wide culture of cyber security awareness through mass communication and education programs, develop and create skilled cyber security professionals through capacity building, skill development and training programs.

To mitigate cyber threats, the country faces today and to improve the national cyber security outlook, it is imperative to undertake the strengthening of national cyber security capabilities through development of essential and well-coordinated mechanisms, implementation of security standards and regulations under a policy and legislative framework, it added.

The guiding principles to achieve policy objectives are; all actions will be driven by the need to protect people and enhance national and public prosperity, respective public and private organizations will be responsible to ensure cyber security of their online data, services, ICT products and systems, in case of any incident, government will lead the national response with support from both public and private sector, will regard a cyber-attack on Pakistan CI/CII as an act of aggression against national sovereignty and will defend itself with appropriate response measures and will act in accordance with national and international laws and expect reciprocal respect of our national digital sovereignty.

To achieve the objectives, an implementation framework shall be developed by a designated organisation of the federal government, dealing with the subject of cyber security.

The Central Entity will also undertake specific actions, which including but not limited to the following: working with Internet Service Providers (ISP) and telecom operators to block malware attacks, by restricting access to specific domains or websites that are known sources of malware (known as Domain Name System (DNS) blocking/filtering), preventing email phishing and spoofing activity on public networks, promoting security best practice through internet governance organisations; such as Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), European Regional Internet Registry (RIPE) and UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) etc; Work with international law enforcement channels to protect Pakistan citizens from cyberattacks from unprotected infrastructure overseas; Work towards implementation of controls to secure the routing of internet traffic for government departments to avoid illegitimately re-routed by malicious actors; Investing in capabilities enhancement programs of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and concerned ministries/divisions to enable them for response against state-sponsored and criminal cyber activities targeting Pakistan networks and systems.

The Central Entity will initiate actions, including but not limited to: develop an Internet Protocol (IP) reputation service to protect government digital services (this would allow online services to get information about an IP address connecting to them, helping the service get more informed on risk management decisions in real time), seek to install products on government networks to ensure that software are running correctly and not being maliciously interfered, look to expand beyond the gov.pk domain into other digital services measures that notify users who are running out-of-date browsers.

To achieve this critical objective, the Central Entity will; operate requisite technical platforms to protect National Critical Information Infrastructure and work as nodal organization in the country; Institute processes for identification, prioritization, assessment and protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, ensure secure ICT environment including mobile systems and cloud based solutions through state of the art security measures, mandate implementation of national security standards by all critical sector entities, to reduce the risk of disruption, develop a mechanism for protection of Critical Information Infrastructure and its integration at the entity level through relevant sectoral CERTs, establish and enforce risk management methodologies according to international standards inter alia ISO/IEC 27005:2008 and ISACA RISK IT etc, mandate all operators of national, provincial and organisational Critical Information Infrastructure to hire qualified information security individuals and add an appointment of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

To cater for specific need of public sector information infrastructure, the Central Entity will: define and enforce a robust Government Authentication and Data Protection Framework, create vulnerability assessment and patch management process for all government technical systems, work with relevant government entities to ensure mandatory allocation of a certain percentage of ICT project budget for Information Security Assurance, formulate a mechanism for creation and enforcement of staff vetting and clearance scheme across the government, improve security in government outsourcing and procurement through vetting of suppliers and enforcement of security clauses in contracts.

Sources revealed to Business Recorder that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet in its meeting held on July 16, 2021 approved the Draft Policy Directives related to the auction of NGMS Spectrum in Pakistan and AJK and GB as submitted by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

The ECC also decided that for the payment of the auctioned licence fee, the method in-vogue in the earlier auction processes will be followed.

The cabinet is likely to approve the policy in its upcoming meeting.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is likely to complete the spectrum auction process during the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2021-22, sources added.

A committee under the chair of Dr Ishrat Hussain in its recommendations has reportedly allowed both options for payment in instalments in US dollar at markup rate of LIBOR+ 3 percent per year, as well as in Pak rupees.

Markup rate of one year may be fixed at KIBOR+7 percent in case of payments in instalments in Pakistani rupee, whereas for transactions related to licensing renewal fee, the licensee should choose payment currency at the license signing stage as it would set the basis for markup calculations. Once decided, the payment currency would lock for the full payment tenor. The payments in domestic currency also conform to international best practices, the summary noted.

The government had constituted an Advisory Committee on the release of NGMS Spectrum in Pakistan for the improvement of Mobile Broadband Services amid Covid-19.

Later, not only the composition and TORs of the same Committee were revised but the regions of AJK and GB were also included.

The committee was tasked to examine and evaluate the market assessment report and recommendations of the PTA for the release of maximum NGMS Spectrum in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

In addition, it was also asked to examine and finalise the policy directives for the federal government for the release of the NGMS spectrum in Pakistan and AJK and GB. Besides, the mandate of the committee was to oversee the release process conducted by the PTA.

Published in Business Recorder - 27th July 2021

Number of Mobile Phone subscribers reached to 184.25 million in Pakistan

Number of Mobile Phone subscribers reached to 184.25 million in Pakistan

Number of Mobile Phone subscribers reached to 184.25 million in Pakistan 



ISLAMABAD: The number of cellular subscribers in Pakistan increased by 0.77 million to 184.25 million by end June 2021 compared to 183.48 million by end May, revealed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data.

Teledensity for cellular mobile increased from 83.85 percent by end May to 84.16 percent by end June 2021. The total teledensity increased from 84.99 percent by end May 2021 to 85.3 percent by end June 2021.

The number of 3G and 4G users in Pakistan, reached 99.85 million by end June 2021 compared to 98.66 million by end May 2021, registering an increase of 1.19 million.

Monthly Next Generation Mobile Service (NGMS) penetration stood at 45.61 percent in June 2021 compared to 45.09 percent in May 2021.

Jazz's total count for 3G users stood at 7.765 million by end June compared to 8.001 million by end May, registering a decrease of 0.236 million.

Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 29.902 million by end May 2021 to 30.692 million by end June 2021.

Zong 3G subscribers decreased from 4.600 million by end May to 4.394 million by end June, while the number of 4G users jumped from 22.676 million by end May 2021 to 23.124 million by end June 2021.

The number of 3G users of Telenor decreased from 5.311 million by end May to 5.149 million by end June 2021. The number of 4G users jumped from 16.679 million by end May to 17.114 million by end June 2021.

Ufone 3G users increased from 4.385 million by end May to 4.399 million by end June. The number of 4G users of Ufone increased from 6.088 million by end May 2021 to 6.134 million by end June 2021.

The PTA received 16,908 complaints from telecom consumers against various telecom operators including (cellular operators, PTCL, LDIs, WLL operators, and ISPs) as of June 2021. The PTA said that it was able to get 16,717 complaints resolved i.e. 98 percent.

According to the PTA data, Jazz leads the chart with 7,624 complaints and Zong at second position as the most complained telecom operator with 3,661.

Cellular mobile subscribers constitute a major part of overall telecom subscriber base; therefore, maximum number of complaints belongs to this segment.

Total number of complaints against CMOs by June stood at 16,372.

In terms of the segregation of complaints on operator basis, Jazz stood first with 7,624 complaints i.e. 46.57 percent of total complaints. A total of 3,661 complaints were received against Zong, which is 22.36 percent of the total CMO-related complaints. Telenor was third with 3,025 i.e. 18.47 percent complaints were received against it. Ufone had 2,050 complaints against its various services, which make up 12.52 percent of the total CMO-related complaints.

The PTA also received 195 complaints against basic telephony where 179 were addressed during June 2021. Further 355 complaints were received against ISPs where 322 were addressed.

July 26, 2021

Health Services provided to employees by private organizations

Health Services provided to employees by private organizations

Health Services provided to employees by private organizations

Islamabad: - It is rightly said that to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace. Simon Sinek says, “Happy employees ensure happy customers and happy customers ensure happy stakeholders – in that order”

Recently, health and wellness has recently received much attention of the employees and the employees. When we look for a position in any company, one of the thing that all applicants consider is the culture and environment of the organization. Other than cultivating an atmosphere of learning and creativity, all employees want their health-related problems to be covered and taken care of.

Quality healthcare means that employees get safe, clinically cost-effective and efficient health services. In recent times, health care costs have sky-rocketed and continue to increase, hence employers and employees of private and government organizations are always looking out for ways to manage costs of preventive health and wellness programs to help maintain and improve employees’ wellbeing so as to reduce health risks at work. By addressing health-related issues on time, organizations alsoaim to save on long-term health costs. By offering health facilities to employees, employers are able to promote a healthier and more productive work environment, can reduce health care costs, increase employee retention, and establish a positive employer-employee relationship which can positively lead to greater job satisfaction.

In this regard, the human resource professionals also play a key role in designing and managing wellness programs at workplace. After a thorough and careful analysis of the needs and requirements of the employees, the HR department may advocate the establishment of health programs by also consulting the experts for designing suitable strategies for implementing successful health and wellness programs. Periodic assessment of these programs must also be carried out with comparison drawn against global standards of health care facilities provided by intenational organizations. The program must include feedback from the employees based on which recommendations must be made for implementing improvements in health and wellness programs.

Benefits of Health and Wellness Programs

There are several benefits that a company gets due to health and wellness programs

1.     Employees feel that they are taken care of.

2.     Good health ensures motivated employees

3.     A sense of solidarity and belongingness is created among the employees.

4.     Good health ensures less absenteeism

5.     Happy and healthy employees= healthy customers= happy stakeholders

Some large budgetcompanies offer health management programs to employees and their families by providing convenient access to medical care, while other companies have limited or low-budget health programs that offer medical care at the workplace for employees only. Employees are rendered both occupational and non-occupational illnesses services by the company physician and are later suggested appropriate treatment plan and follow-up sessions. An early diagnosis and treatment ensures happy and healthy employees and greater productivity for the organization which ultimately benefits the employer by resulting in reduced absence rates.

With the recent trend of late working hours in private organizations in Pakistan, employers hardly get time to address minor health and wellness related problems. In these troublesome times amidst the Covid -19, private organizations must take measures to provide quality health services to its employees. Another factor which is affecting the lives of employees is work-life balance and mental wellness – these issues must be given due importance and attention by the employers.

AAA Associates not only strongly believes in corporate social responsibility by initiating youth programs but is also an advocate of providing premium facilities and benefits to its employees. AAA Associates has established an inhouse clinic for its employees where general practitioners and specialized doctors provide free checkup to all employees. These clinics are equipped to handle basic medical care for minor and immediate services like first aid and minor infections. Employees can walk in for routine check-ups at any time – both during day and night.

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