Gilgit: Prime Minister Imran Khan today unveiled the plaque at a ceremony in Chinar Bagh here to lay the foundation of the first information technology park located at Nasirabad, Hunza. Established jointly by Special Communications Organization (SCO) and the Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan (AKF-P), the IT Park will provide infrastructure with uninterrupted power supply, high-speed internet facility and a co-working space for businesses, start-ups, freelancers and trade bodies.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while highlighting the opportunities in Gilgit-Baltistan, said, “I am pleased to witness the recent remarkable developments in the communication and information technology sector, which is reflected in the development of mobile services such as the launch of 4G and broadband services, as well as digital solutions related to cloud-based data centres, and these are all indicators of very positive progress in the region.”
SCO director-general Maj-General Shahid Siddeeq briefed the PM about various projects the Organisation has launched in the region including the China Optical Fiber Link, Fiber-to-Home Service, and Satellite Communications for Remote Areas, Cloud-based Data Centre, Incubation Centre and IT parks.
Elaborating the aim of the project, he said that a web of such IT parks will be created to provide the youth an opportunity to bring revolution in the software industry.
It will also strengthen cooperation between SCO, AKF and other Aga Khan Development Network agencies with the shared objectives of sustainable socio-economic development of Gilgit-Baltistan through reliable internet and telecom infrastructure. It will enable the youth of the region to prepare for the digital-driven future of work opportunities in areas such as block chain, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and other emerging areas.
Business process outsourcing services and global software solutions from such IT parks will boost local economic development in the areas, he added.
Akhtar Iqbal highlighted the significance of the IT Park and said: “the future of work is evolving fast, driven by exponential technological changes. Gilgit-Baltistan has the potential to capitalise on the rapid changes by strengthening IT infrastructure which will act as the building block for digitally transforming the region’s economy.”
Strengthening the IT infrastructure will open access to increased knowledge for developing digital competencies and lead to global networking and collaboration for remote work, online marketplaces, and other national and global business opportunities.