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Is Pakistan rigorously working on digitalization?

Digital technology is revolutionizing the world unprecedentedly. It is transforming everything from agricultural production to industrial activities across the globe. A glaring example of the wonders of this technology can be seen in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana has revolutionized its agricultural sector through initiating digital reforms.
Along with this, Singapore provides an exemplary model in terms of fostering the digital climate of the country, which remains central to its rise as a great economy of Asia. Moreover, it has developed its digital infrastructure on four key elements: developing digital talent, encouraging research and innovation, facilitating digital-friendly regulations, building infrastructure and enabling smooth connectivity. Similarly, another Asian nation that successfully transformed their economy on the digital front is Malaysia. From smart city projects to traffic control systems, energy management to smart factories, its success speaks for itself.
As, digital agenda 2020 stood on six pillars: enhancing connectivity, improving digital skills, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. The agenda also involved spreading awareness about digital Pakistan. In order to ensure digital technology in Pakistan, the PM also met freelancers and youtubers.
Moreover, The World Economic Forum sees Pakistan as the dark horse in the digitization race. Ebay’s chief executive said that Pakistan has emerged from the war on terror, and is now on a decent path of progress. This will boost investors’ confidence. Digitization will not only provide inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low cost, and efficient way, but it also will benefit to the largely unbanked and underbanked population in the long run.
Apart from that, in 2018 Chinese largest e-commerce market brought Pakistan’s Daraz.pk. and companies like Uber and Careem also made inroads to Pakistan. The advent of Uber, Careem, Food Panda, and Daraz.pk is a ray of hope to accelerate the process of digitization. It will not only improve Pakistan’s declining economy, but also improve lifestyles. Furthermore, it would be right to say that the digital power of China’s BRI is unfolding a new era of opportunity. It creates the biggest possibility from CPEC. Pakistan China Optical FiberCable creates the land-based link between Pakistan and China. The 820-km fiberoptic cable is expected to extend to Gwadar. So, these revolutionizing wonders of digitalization are worth appreciating in this regard.
So, keeping in view the changing dynamics of the digital world, Pakistan is also adapting itself and rigorously working on digitalization. Dispensation of justice through e-courts in 2019 will strengthen Pakistan’s judicial system, ensuring speedy and cheap justice, ensuring transparency in elections by using digital app, preventing youth from the course of drugs by inaugurating Zindagi app are some of the notable breakthroughs of digitalization in Pakistan.
Moreover, simplifying tax payment procedures by formulating Tax Assan App compounded with addressing public concerns and grievances by designing Pakistan Citizen Portal App and PM Portal complaint cell are not exceptions in this regard. Furthermore, creating employment opportunities for the youth by initiating e-rozgaar programme, bolstering the ailing economy by introducing the use of e-commerce, Fintech and e-governance are the miraculous wonders of digital technology in Pakistan.
Similarly, digitization has unleashed enormous opportunities for women. According to womenintech.pk, digitization has created 45 percent jobs for young women. Moreover, owing to social stigma women could not go outside for jobs, but many women work from home online as freelancers or content writers. Furthermore, empowering women through Hamdard Programme is another blessing in disguise for empowering women in Pakistan.
The tale of digital climate of Pakistan does not end here; it goes far ahead. Emboldening the withholding of law and order by introducing mobile policing unit Punjab, manufacturing platforms for digital gadgets (PTA report 2019-2020), providing internet facility inside the country ( 18% to 25% from the year 2018 to 2021: Global overview report) and ameliorating food service delivery by introducing Food Panda Service are some of the wonders of digital revolution in Pakistan.
Some questions are looming and lurking whether above examples not hold grounds that Pakistan is stepping towards digitalization. Are these initiatives not enough to change the digital climate of Pakistan? Can the excessive use of digital tools unleash drastic implications for Pakistan? Do the leaders and youth have potential to go hand in hand with the rising wave of digitalization?
As it is delved deeper viewing the digital domain of Pakistan, the answer to these questions become highly critical. Apart from that, the proponents argue that there are some factors hampering the process of digitalization in Pakistan. Vulnerable digital infrastructure, inadequate budget allocation to digital sector, lack of knowledge about modern technology are the detrimental hazards of digital revolution.
In order to turn down the nefarious tides of digitalization, some affirmative and pragmatic measures are direly needed in true letter and spirit. Nevertheless, every cloud has a silver lining. Therefore, it is high time Pakistan needed to afresh the issue of digitalization. Revamping digital infrastructure, ensuring proper budget for digital sector, disseminating information and awareness among the masses and fostering knowledge about modern technology can only open the window of progress and prosperity for Pakistan.

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