Pakistan: Development Of IT And Telecom Sector In AJK And GB – OpEd


We live in a global village which is enabled through advancement in IT and Telecom sectors. Development of modern technology is the foundation of modern-day economies, it provides critical infrastructure to support the smooth functioning of businesses, governments, and societies. For the development of The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) regions, there is no exception to this global trend.

Over the past few decades, both regions have made significant strides in developing their IT and Telecom sectors, boosting economic growth, and improving the quality of life for their citizens.

The IT sector in AJK&GB has been primarily driven by the government’s initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and digital literacy among the youth. In recent years, various programs have been launched to provide training and financial support to aspiring IT professionals.

For instance, the AJK government has established several IT training centers across the region, offering courses in computer programming, software development, and digital marketing. Similarly, the GB government has launched a program to provide laptops to students, enabling them to access online resources and develop their IT skills.

The government’s efforts have yielded positive results, with a growing number of IT startups emerging in AJK&GB in recent years. These startups have leveraged the region’s talent pool to develop innovative solutions in various fields, such as e-commerce, mobile apps, and web development.

SCO is connecting with incredible people of IT and Tech Industry with special focus on the youth of AJK&GB. SCO through ITCN Asia event provided chance to the remote region to connect with tech industry and learn from them. While the people of AJK&GB are positive that state of art development in IT and Telecom sector will have promising effects on the tourism sector which has the potential to expand exponentially. 

Some notable examples of successful IT startups in the region include AJKTours, an online travel agency based in AJK, and, a digital platform for tourism promotion in GB.

Apart from startups, several established IT companies have also set up their operations in AJK&GB, attracted by the region’s talented workforce and low operating costs. For example, the multinational software company Teradata has opened an office in Islamabad, which provides IT services to clients in AJK&GB. Similarly, the telecommunication giant Telenor has expanded its network coverage in the region, providing high-speed internet services to remote areas.

In addition to the IT sector, the Telecom sector has also undergone significant development in AJK&GB in recent years. The government has taken several initiatives to improve the region’s telecom infrastructure, such as the installation of fiber optic cables and the expansion of 4G/LTE networks. As a result, the region’s telecom industry has seen a surge in investment and competition, leading to improved service quality and lower prices for consumers.

One notable example of this development is the recent launch of 4G/LTE services by the telecom operator Jazz in AJK&GB. This move has not only provided high-speed internet services to previously underserved areas but also created new opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and operations. The telecom sector’s growth has also led to the emergence of new services, such as mobile banking, which has made financial transactions easier and more accessible for the region’s population.

Despite the significant progress made in the IT and Telecom sectors in AJK&GB, several challenges remain that need to be addressed to sustain this growth. One of the significant challenges is the shortage of skilled IT professionals in the region. Although the government has launched several training programs, there is a need for more specialized courses that can meet the demands of the IT industry.

Another challenge is the lack of proper infrastructure, such as high-speed internet, electricity, and data centers, which are critical for the growth of the IT and Telecom sectors. The government needs to invest in building this infrastructure to create a more conducive environment for businesses to operate.

Furthermore, there is a need to promote digital literacy among the population to enable them to access the benefits of the IT and Telecom sectors fully. This can be achieved through the provision of affordable and accessible digital devices, as well as by launching awareness campaigns to educate the public on the advantages of digital technology.

The author is a Karachi based journalist and an independent researcher on socio-economic policy issues besides commentary on political economy. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences from University of London and a Master’s in Development studies from PIDE and she can be reached at [email protected]

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