The term “displeasing” was used by the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication at a meeting convened to brief committee members on the workings of Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication. Though the reason for the damning statement was not specified by anyone the recent event wherein the national database which had information about all the taxpayers was attacked might be the motivation behind the assessment.
The results of the meeting were shared on the official National Assembly page and the statement came forward;
“The Committee expressed its displeasure on the performance of some departments of the Ministry, especially the performance of the Cyber Security Cell. The Committee directed the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication to address the incompetence of the Cyber Security Cell.”
Last month the taxpayer database of FBR was hacked and hackers managed to break the hyper-V software by Microsoft, bringing down all the official websites operated by the tax machinery. FBR ceased its services for 48 hours following the event;
“The stakeholders, who are being provided services from the data center, are informed that there were unforeseen anomalies during the migration process, which has resulted in the unavailability of services, since the early hours of the last night. The FBR team is ensuring the restoration of services as soon as possible
to keep the downtime to a minimum. This activity is expected to be completed in the next 48 hours.”
The telecommunication sector of Pakistan also faced criticism in that meeting as they failed to provide the expected service in the flood-affected areas. Though different telecoms announced to provide the best and even free services in the flood-affected areas in case there is an emergency due to heavy rain and disturbed weather conditions, they have failed to act upon it.
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“The Committee also expressed displeasure on the issues of telecommunication services in the flood-affected areas.”
To improve the services provided by the telecoms in these remote flood-affected areas, a 5-member committee has been formed.
“The Committee appointed a Sub-Committee under the convenorship of Syed Mehmood Shah, MNA to discuss and suggest the measures for improvement of Telecommunication services in the remote areas of the country. The other Members of the Committee will be Mr. Mahesh Kumar Malani, Ms. Aysha Rajab Ali, Ms. Javairia Zafar Aheer, and Ms. Naz Baloch, MNAs.”