Senate body for conducting mobile phone services surveys in tribal agencies

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication Monday expressed serious concern over delay in conducting surveys for mobile phone services in FATA, Bajaur and Khyber agencies.   

Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi was the convener of the committee.

The committee revealed that the reserved funds Rs 500 million for Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were being used to build a stadium in Sialkot.

In committee the projects launched by the Universal Services Fund (USF) in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and FATA were discussed in detail.

The committee directed to take steps for the welfare and security of the people of FATA and Balochistan.

The convener of committee said, “Government has released the funds Rs 1.55 billion for telecommunication sector of backward areas of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.”

The committee was informed that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be beneficial for the whole region but the telecom services were poor in the region creating hurdle in the development.

The committee directed Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to coordinate with chief sectary Balochistan to complete the surveys and install towers as soon as possible and improve network service.

Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Musakhel said, “Chief sectaries never bother about standing committees and sub committees, they should be served notices. There is no security issue in these areas, the issue is only negligence.”

The USF official told the committee that, in Balochistan 75% work of fiber optic had been completed, only few areas had been remaining due to security reasons.

The PTA official and the USF were directed to give reports in the next meeting.