Digitt+, Pakistan’s first agricultural fintech and electronic money institute, has partnered with Covalent, a SAAS/PAAS pioneer, to launch “Zariya.” This innovative platform aims to provide startups and fintechs with cutting-edge Banking as a Service (BAAS) solutions. Zariya offers a comprehensive tech stack on a flexible pay-as-you-grow model, ensuring rapid market entry.

The federal government has earmarked Rs. 5.394 billion for five new IT and Telecommunication initiatives under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2024-25. These projects include the Digital Economy Enhancement Project, Expansion of Cellular Services in AJK and GB Phase-IV, NGMS Core Upgradation, National Semiconductor HR Development Program Phase-I, and the Revamping of the IT Industry Landscape.

Alif Capital Holdings Enters Pakistani Market with Strategic E-commerce Acquisition

A well-reputed company registered in England called M/s Alif Capital Holdings Limited is working as a parent company for dealing with various investments and controlling the ownership of different companies. Its target company is M/s Alif Innovations (Private) Limited which has the utmost expertise in providing e-commerce services and solutions and is registered in Pakistan.

On May 30, 2024, Microsoft Pakistan hosted “Bridging the Academia-Industry Gap” at the HEC Headquarters in Islamabad. The event aimed to enhance collaboration between academia and industry, equipping graduates with essential modern workplace skills. Dr. Zia Ul-Qayyum from the Higher Education Commission and Jaye Richards Hill from Microsoft emphasized technology’s role in preparing students for future jobs.

Smart technologies such as AI, IoT, and advanced analytics are revolutionizing how businesses operate across various sectors. In healthcare, advanced analytics are used to maintain medical equipment proactively, enhancing operational efficiency and patient care. Retailers leverage AI-driven analytics to offer personalized recommendations, improving customer experiences and boosting sales.

Meta has announced it will use users’ posts, photos, and personal information from Facebook and Instagram to train its AI tools, leading to concerns over data privacy. Users are automatically included unless they choose to opt out, a process that involves several steps and has been criticized by privacy advocates.

OpenAI has announced the formation of a “Safety and Security Committee” to oversee risk management as it trains its next major AI model, potentially advancing towards Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which is anticipated to be more than five years away. This announcement comes on the heels of controversies involving leaked internal documents that revealed hostile company policies.

The launch of Direct To Home (DTH) services in Pakistan has the potential to create around 20,000 jobs in the private sector and prevent millions of dollars from flowing to India. Despite offering mass communication degrees, Pakistan lags in media innovation. Currently, cable operators mediate between broadcasters and TV audiences, but DTH could transmit signals directly from satellites, providing better service coverage, more channels, and superior signal quality.

The Punjab government has unveiled its first official online portal for purchasing sacrificial animals, offering a convenient way for citizens to buy animals for Eid-ul-Adha from home. This platform aligns with modern technological trends and provides detailed listings of animals, including images, age, weight, species, breed, and price.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) have achieved 100% teledensity, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Despite challenging terrain and a sparse population, these regions are now the only ones in Pakistan with full teledensity, which measures the number of fixed telephone connections per 100 people.

The journey of gaming phones showcases mobile technology’s innovation to cater to the growing mobile gaming industry. From basic beginnings to today’s advanced devices, gaming phones have evolved significantly, although options in Pakistan have been limited. The late 1990s saw the rise of mobile gaming with simple games like Snake.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced plans to establish ten software technology parks across Pakistan in 2025. During a review meeting of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications in Islamabad, it was revealed that alongside the technology parks, the government will also set up 100 e-Rozgar Centers next year.

The National Computer Emergency Team (NCERT) has issued an advisory to address a cybercrime campaign targeting high-profile government offices, linked to the Sidewinder APT group. This campaign uses spear phishing tactics and compromised client applications to infiltrate systems and steal sensitive data.

Noman Said, a leading IT exporter from Pakistan, announced that the IT industry is showing transformative potential for the Pakistani economy, particularly through exports to Saudi Arabia. In April 2024, IT exports reached $310 million, marking the highest-ever monthly figure despite a high month-on-month base.

Living up to its reputation for creating revolutionary solutions and taking unprecedented initiatives, Salaam Takaful Limited has launched Salaam Family Takaful Limited, the world’s first digital-only Islamic life insurance company. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) awarded the coveted license to Mr. Rizwan Hussain, MD and CEO of Salaam Family Takaful Limited, in the presence of the company’s Shariah board.

Just a day after OpenAI announced upgrades to ChatGPT, Google has unveiled new features for its Gemini AI chatbot and the Circle to Search feature on smartphones. The Android version of Gemini will now recognize the app you’re using and your activities within it. For instance, while watching a YouTube video, you can interact with Gemini for information about the video.

TikTok is testing a new “search highlights” feature powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, enhancing its search system with generative AI. This feature introduces AI-generated content snippets at the top of some search results, which users can click to view detailed responses. Currently, it supports queries like “best laptops 2024” and “best recipes,” though it may not yet work for all keywords.

OpenAI has introduced GPT-4o (omni), a major upgrade to its ChatGPT, now available for free. Announced during a recent event, GPT-4o enhances capabilities in text, vision, and audio, making it a fully multimodal model. Mira Murati, OpenAI’s CTO, highlighted that GPT-4o is significantly faster and offers improved functionality across multiple input forms.

Easypaisa’s innovative ‘Audio Nikahnama’ campaign has achieved significant recognition, winning several accolades at the Caples UK Awards. The campaign earned a bronze in the ‘Not for Profit’ category, a silver in the ‘Mobile’ category, and a gold in the ‘Audio’ category. Rifah Qadri, Head of Marketing & Communications at Easypaisa, became the first Pakistani to receive the prestigious ‘Courageous Client Award’ for her role in the campaign.

Adil Bacha, a student at Engineering University Mardan, has developed an innovative electric wheelchair controlled by brain signals. This groundbreaking invention is designed for patients who have functional brains but are physically paralyzed, allowing them to move independently.

After the landmark success of its first lunar mission, iCube-Qamar, Pakistan is gearing up to launch another satellite, named MM1, on May 30. This initiative is a collaborative effort involving SUPARCO and the National Space Agency, intending to enhance the country’s communication infrastructure and support the burgeoning demands of the telecom sector. 

On Friday, Punjab launched a satellite internet initiative targeted at schools, inaugurated by Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz at DPS Model Town. This event also saw the presence of a UAE delegation led by Sheikh Ahmed Dalmouk Al Maktoum. The initiative, demonstrated at the DPS Digital Lab, is part of the government’s broader strategy.

OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, has addressed recent speculation by confirming that the company is not developing a new search engine to compete with Google, nor are they planning to launch GPT-5 anytime soon. This clarification came after reports from Bloomberg and Reuters suggested an impending announcement from OpenAI about a Google-rivaling search engine.

Google has launched the Google AI Essentials course, designed to broaden access to AI competencies and meet future technological demands. This initiative is part of Google’s commitment to democratize AI knowledge, emphasizing that education is a crucial first step. To support this mission, Google is offering up to 45,000 scholarships for its Google Career Certificates in 2024.

The Pakistan federal government has initiated the National Cyber Crime Investigation Agency (NCCIA) to specifically address and manage cybercrime within the nation. This new entity will operate under the guidelines of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act of 2016. It takes over from the Federal Investigation Agency, which previously managed cybercrime investigations.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is actively addressing the growing concern of electronic waste (e-waste) in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector by crafting comprehensive guidelines. These guidelines aim to promote sustainable disposal and recycling practices within the sector.

Uber has officially terminated its services in Lahore, the last city in Pakistan where it was operational, following earlier exits from Islamabad, Karachi, Multan, and other cities in 2022. Without prior notice, the ride-hailing app became non-functional in Lahore, marking the end of Uber’s direct presence in Pakistan. 

Google, in collaboration with Tech Valley, has announced a major educational initiative to open 50 smart schools in Islamabad, Pakistan. This effort is part of a broader plan discussed with the Secretary of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training aimed at revolutionizing Pakistan’s education sector.

In a recent virtual meeting with the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), which includes major digital media companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple, Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication Shaza Fatima Khawaja stressed the critical need for responsible use of social media platforms. The discussion focused on various topics including digitalization, digital rights, and e-safety. 

A recent study by Kaspersky reveals a worrying trend: more than 70% of small businesses worldwide have been victims of cyberattacks in the last two years. The study highlights that small businesses, particularly those in the META region (Middle East, Turkey, Africa), are vulnerable due to limited cybersecurity resources.

YouTube is currently facing a surge of AI-generated ads promoting cryptocurrency scams, raising concerns about fraudulent activities on the platform. The rise of AI tools has made it easier for scammers to create fake advertisements featuring prominent figures like Michael Saylor, Charles Hoskinson, and Vitalik Buterin, enticing users to click on links for supposed free coin giveaways. 

Pakistan’s Leading Digital Learning Platform, LiveX, has recently launched with the aim of revolutionizing education in the country. Recognizing the increasing demand for flexible, skill-based online certifications, LiveX offers over 100 online certifications across 30 categories, making it a comprehensive hub for lifelong learning. 

The Ministry of IT and Telecom, in partnership with the Special Investment Facilitation Center (SIFC), is spearheading a visit to the site of Islamabad’s upcoming IT Park in Sector G-10. This proactive industry visit aims to gather key stakeholders and potential partners to explore the development of Pakistan’s largest IT Park. 

Intel has announced a renewed partnership with the Pentagon, under the CHIPS Act-funded national security accelerator program, RAMP-C, to develop cutting-edge semiconductor technologies. This collaboration aims to produce initial test samples using Intel’s new 18A manufacturing process, marking a significant advancement in chip manufacturing technology typically only seen in Asia or Europe.

More than a year after the introduction of GPT 4 and its subsequent upgrade, GPT 4 Turbo, the tech community is anticipating the next big release from OpenAI. However, contrary to expectations for GPT 5, it appears that GPT 4.5 will be the next iteration to be released this year. The decision to postpone GPT 5 is influenced by the significant computational resources estimated to be about 100 times those of GPT 4.

In a recent statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar supported the government’s decision to block access to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. According to Dar, this action aligns with the best interests of Pakistan, aiming to promote national welfare. He drew parallels between this restriction and the situation in the US with TikTok.

Meta AI, an advanced virtual assistant developed by Meta Platforms, Inc., is now available in Pakistan, along with other countries like Australia, Canada, and South Africa. This initiative was announced by Mark Zuckerberg as part of Meta’s effort to globally expand its AI accessibility across its platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

The Pakistani Ministry of IT and Telecom has initiated the formation of a comprehensive Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) Council. This move complies with the National Computer Emergency Team Rules 2023, designed to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. The council will consist of 15 members, including officials from prominent ministries such as Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Interior, with the IT and Telecom Ministry’s Federal Secretary serving as Chairman.

Scientists at Charles Sturt University have developed a novel method to convert human hair into graphitic carbon, a potential material for battery anodes, thereby repurposing what is typically seen as waste. This innovative process could revolutionize energy storage for smartphones, electric vehicles, and more, by offering a sustainable alternative to conventional graphite, which is both environmentally and geopolitically problematic.

In an ambitious stride to bolster the country’s digital sector, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, along with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), has set forth a strategy to create 250 e-Rozgaar Hubs nationwide. This initiative is designed to stimulate the freelancing sector and nurture new enterprises, providing vital tools and guidance to emerging entrepreneurs in each district.

Apple is currently facing a substantial lawsuit in the UK, where a court has allowed a claim of nearly $1 billion by 1,500 local developers to proceed. These developers are contesting Apple’s high commission fees—commonly referred to as the “Apple tax”—which can reach up to 30% on app and content sales. This lawsuit addresses Apple’s dominant position in the app distribution market for its devices, accusing the company of overcharging.

The National Incubation Centre (NIC) in Islamabad, supported by the Ignite Fund under the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, has announced a new partnership network, set to enhance opportunities for startups. This initiative includes a diverse array of industry leaders and innovators such as Hashoo Group, Fauji Foundation, Telenor, CyberVision, and Change Mechanics, each bringing unique expertise and resources to the ecosystem.

In a move to modernize media oversight, the Director General Public Relations (DGPR) of Punjab, Rubina Afzal, has announced the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for the monitoring of electronic media. This announcement came during her visit to the Directorate of Electronic Media and Publication (DEMP) and the Press Information Department’s (PID) Cyber Wing in Islamabad.

OpenAI has recently announced a limited preview of its innovative tool, the Voice Engine, which is capable of cloning any person’s voice from just a 15-second audio sample. The technology aims to create natural-sounding speech, incorporating emotional tones to produce lifelike audio outputs. Developed on the foundation of OpenAI’s existing text-to-speech API, the Voice Engine enhances the text-to-speech capabilities with highly realistic voice imitations.

The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has ambitious plans for Pakistan to make a significant entry into the semiconductor and chip design industry, aiming to reshape the country’s economic landscape. However, these ambitions may not align with the reality of Pakistan’s current economic and technical capabilities. Despite the potential for economic transformation, several challenges stand in the way.

In a stunning turn of events, Anthropic’s AI model, Claude 3 Opus, has taken the lead in the AI chatbot field, demoting OpenAI’s GPT-4 to second place for the first time. This landmark achievement was determined through the unique evaluation process of the LMSYS Chatbot Arena, which focuses on human assessments of AI-generated responses to the same prompts.

Onic, a burgeoning digital telecom brand in Pakistan, and Careem, the nation’s premier ride-hailing service, have announced a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing Pakistan’s digital ecosystem. This collaboration was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Onic’s Country Head, Omer Bin Tariq, and Careem’s General Manager of Ride-Hailing, Imran Saleem, with PTCL & Ufone 4G’s President and Group CEO, Hatem Bamatraf, also in attendance.

Pakistan’s Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has officially approved the Cloud Procurement Framework (CPF), an important milestone in the country’s pursuit of its Cloud First Policy. This framework, developed in collaboration with the Ministry of IT and Telecom and other key stakeholders, lays the foundation for the nation’s transition to cloud-based services, signaling a move towards modernizing its IT infrastructure.

In retaliation to the US’s restrictions on Chinese technology, China has now enforced a ban preventing its government officials from utilizing computers and servers that incorporate technology from Intel, AMD, or run Microsoft Windows. This decision, as reported by The Financial Times, mandates that state employees at or above the township level must employ hardware considered “safe and reliable”.

Last year, Google integrated a generative AI feature into its search engine, offering a ChatGPT-like summary of search results exclusively to Chrome users who opted in. This feature, known as Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), is transitioning to become the default search method for many users in the US, even without opting in or being logged into a Google account.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom has initiated the Digital Economy Enhancement Project (DEEP) with the formation of a steering committee. This committee will draw members from various prominent organizations such as the National Information Technology Board (NITB), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), and Provincial IT Boards, reflecting the project’s collaborative nature.

Pakistan’s IT sector has been a beacon of growth amidst the country’s economic challenges, consistently outperforming the national GDP growth over the last decade. Despite a general slowdown in the economy, the technology and communication sector has defied trends, although it faced a sequential GDP decline in three recent quarters. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put forward a recommendation for the registration of online digital platforms for sales tax in Pakistan, focusing on transactions with local consumers. This recommendation covers a wide range of online entities, including e-commerce platforms like Daraz and Homeshopping, property and vehicle platforms such as Zameen.com and PakWheels, and tech giants like Google and Facebook. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged Pakistan to expand its taxation framework to include digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. In the latest discussions surrounding the $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement, the IMF recommended that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) integrate cryptocurrencies into the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) regime to ensure a more comprehensive taxation system. 

Pakistan has witnessed a significant uptick in its Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) exports, registering a 14.9% increase in the first eight months of the fiscal year 2023-24, with earnings reaching $1.977 billion up from $1.720 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year. 

The European Union has made a significant move in the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. After extensive deliberations that spanned nearly three years from the initial draft proposal, the European Parliament has approved what is considered to be the world’s first comprehensive set of AI regulations. 

OpenAI’s Sora, an AI Video Generator, Set to Launch Within MonthsSora, the AI video generator from OpenAI, has garnered attention for its ability to produce realistic footage, albeit with some imperfections upon scrutiny. This innovative technology not only generates new videos based on user prompts.

Google is at the forefront of efforts to empower Pakistani women in the digital sphere, recognizing the pressing need to address the high unemployment rates among youth, particularly women, in Pakistan. Despite the talent and potential among Pakistani women, they often face systemic barriers to accessing education.

Mobilink Bank has collaborated with BizB to empower women micro-entrepreneurs in Pakistan, particularly in the e-commerce sector. This partnership aims to provide accessible financial services to female entrepreneurs through BizB’s W-Empower initiative. Women entrepreneurs will benefit from the Dost App, ensuring seamless transactions. 

WhatsApp, now a part of Meta, has unveiled its groundbreaking Channels feature globally, transforming how individuals and organizations connect. With this feature, administrators can effortlessly share diverse content, and a user-friendly directory simplifies the process of discovering channels tailored to individual interests.

Ignite, in collaboration with the Pakistan Startup Fund (PSF), has introduced an efficient Venture Capital mechanism to facilitate investment in Pakistani startups by Venture Capitalists (VCs). VCs interested in participating can now register as PSF partners through a dedicated portal.

The interim government of Pakistan has opted to postpone the decision on reinstating access to X (formerly Twitter) in the country, leaving the resolution of the social media platform’s accessibility to the incoming government. This decision marks a significant development in the ongoing situation surrounding X’s availability. Government sources revealed that the decision to block X in Pakistan was prompted by the platform’s alleged failure to comply with local regulations.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the GSM Association (GSMA) have formalized two key cooperation agreements, namely the Digital Cooperation Agreement and Centre of Excellence. The Chairman of PTA, Maj Gen (R) Hafeez Ur Rehman, along with Jeanette Whyte, Head of Public Policy GSMA APAC, and Sarah Gaffney.

The Information Technology sector in Pakistan is witnessing a promising future as the second batch graduates from the IT Mustakbil Training Program, conducted by Systems Limited in collaboration with the Ali Institute of Education. The graduation ceremony celebrated the success of over 110 graduates, recognizing their talent and perseverance.

According to reports from Bloomberg, a consortium of tech giants, including Jeff Bezos, Nvidia, Microsoft, and others, is investing in Figure AI, a startup focused on humanoid robot development. The funding round aims to raise approximately $675 million, with a pre-money valuation of around $2 billion. 

Telenor Asia’s “Digital Lives Decoded” study, now in its second year, delves into the pivotal role of mobile devices in daily life. The study, encompassing over 8,000 mobile users across eight Asian countries, highlights key drivers for mobile use, including building social connections, accessing new opportunities, ensuring online safety, learning new skills, and contributing to environmental sustainability. 

Zong 4G, a leading telecom organization in Pakistan, has joined forces with BaKhabar Kisan to promote urban farming and agri-tech in the country. The collaboration aims to facilitate effective communication between farmers and agricultural experts, enabling informed decision-making for enhanced yield and financial benefits.

A group of engineers from the University of Pennsylvania has developed a revolutionary AI chip that operates using light waves instead of electricity. The chip, based on silicon photonics, combines silicon with the ability to manipulate light waves, resulting from research led by Professor Nader Engheta.

The European Commission is reportedly considering a €500 million ($539 million) fine for Apple, as per the Financial Times. The potential penalty is linked to allegations that Apple showed favoritism towards its own Apple Music over competitors like Spotify within the App Store. Spotify, a Swedish audio streaming service, filed a complaint in 2019, accusing Apple Music of not paying royalties to its parent company.

As part of the AI Cyber Defense Initiative, Google is taking a proactive stance in cybersecurity by introducing Magika, a specialized tool designed to identify malware effectively. Malware, malicious software created to infiltrate or harm computer systems, poses a significant threat in the cybersecurity landscape.

The partnership between NayaPay and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) signifies a significant step toward the digital transformation of toll payments in Pakistan. FWO, known for its pioneering work in digitizing toll payments through M-Tag services, has joined forces with NayaPay to introduce a seamless and efficient recharging system for M-Tags.

Easypaisa, Pakistan’s leading digital financial services platform, has entered into a strategic partnership with Dukan, a prominent e-commerce infrastructure solution. The collaboration aims to enhance the ordering and digital payments experience for consumers under the easypaisa MiniApps umbrella.

The global civilian drone market is projected to experience substantial growth, reaching an estimated value of $21.62 billion by 2027, nearly doubling from its 2023 figures. This surge in the market has created an increased demand for protection against unauthorized drone activities, including video recording and potential security threats such as industrial espionage.

Caretaker Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Dr. Umar Saif, distributed Rs. 825 million in cash prizes to 550 IT companies for their significant contributions to IT and IT-enabled services exports. Dr. Saif emphasized the importance of the IT industry in the country’s economy and highlighted the need for incentives and rewards.

The Pakistani government has taken a step to enhance cybersecurity by establishing National Computer Emergency Response Teams (NCERT) dedicated to monitoring and safeguarding the country’s cyberspace 24/7. The Ministry of Information and Technology’s proposal for the formation of NCERT, in accordance with the Prevention of Electronic Crimes 2016 and CERT rules 2023, is set to be discussed by the Federal Cabinet. 

Federal Minister of IT and Telecom, Umar Saif, has introduced a promising initiative named BridgeStart, aiming to support Pakistani startups with aspirations for global recognition. This program is set to fund 100 startups annually, providing them with the opportunity to be incubated or accelerated in any of the top 40 incubators/accelerators worldwide.

The Government of Pakistan temporarily suspended mobile phone services across the country ahead of a General Election, citing an increase in militant violence. The Ministry of Interior explained that the move was necessary to maintain law and order following recent terrorism incidents that resulted in loss of lives. Service disruptions were reported in major cities, with the outage notably affecting Zong, the country’s second-largest operator.

In a distressing turn of events, the tech industry faced a grim start to 2024 as reports indicate that over 25,000 employees have been laid off by nearly 100 prominent tech companies, including giants like Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, TikTok, and Salesforce. This wave of workforce reductions within the first four weeks of the year comes as a surprise after a challenging 2023.

In a recent report by the Financial Times, Elon Musk’s xAI is actively in talks to secure a substantial $6 billion from a global consortium of investors, including notable family offices in Hong Kong. This move signifies xAI’s ambition to establish itself as a major competitor alongside industry giants like Microsoft and OpenAI. Elon Musk is reportedly determined to achieve a $20 billion valuation for xAI.

In a landmark move, easypaisa, Pakistan’s leading digital financial services platform, has introduced the “easypaisa Audio Nikahnama,” a pioneering initiative designed to grant women unprecedented access to their crucial matrimonial rights. Recognizing the significant literacy challenges faced by two-thirds of Pakistani women in comprehending their Nikahnama, easypaisa’s Audio Nikahnama leverages technology to offer a free, simple, and accessible solution.

Microsoft has introduced a new feature called Mesh for Microsoft Teams, aiming to facilitate virtual meetings in a “hybrid” working environment. Mesh enables employee avatars to meet in the same virtual space, even if they are physically apart. Unlike traditional virtual reality (VR) meetings, Mesh does not require expensive VR headsets.

The Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Dr. Umar Saif, highlighted the positive impact of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) on foreign direct investment (FDI) and the country’s development. During a Town Hall meeting at the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) office, Dr. Saif stated that the SIFC forum will support the upcoming elected government in continuing the country’s progress.

Zong 4G, a prominent telecom operator in Pakistan, has collaborated with JoChaho.pk to introduce special discounts and an opportunity to win prizes through the My Zong App. This partnership is designed to make online shopping more affordable and accessible for users. By clicking on the ‘JoChaho’ banner within the My Zong App, users gain direct access to JoChaho.pk’s landing page.

The Federal Government of Pakistan is set to launch the National Digital Wallet, a sophisticated digital rewards platform developed by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). This initiative is part of a broader strategy to encourage digital transactions and reduce reliance on traditional cash payments. The National Digital Wallet aims to transform the way Pakistanis engage in financial transactions, providing a seamless and rewarding experience

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a crucial directive, ordering the uninterrupted availability of internet services for all citizens until the upcoming general elections on February 8. In a recent order, the high court explicitly prohibited authorities from suspending internet services and mandated relevant parties to respond by January 29.

The Chairman of Pakistan Software Houses Associations (P@SHA), Muhammad Zohaib Khan represented Pakistan’s private sector at the World Economic Forum 2024 in Davos, Switzerland. The focus of the IT delegation’s visit was the Pakistan Pavilion, which attracted investors, entrepreneurs, and tech founders. Zohaib Khan highlighted the emergence of Pakistan as a significant tech destination globally and credited the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) for generating investor interest.

In a recent development, Google has initiated significant job cuts within its ad sales division, particularly impacting the “Large Customer Sales” (LCS) team responsible for managing the company’s major advertising clients. The layoffs, affecting “hundreds of employees,” align with Google’s increased integration of generative AI features into its cornerstone product, Google Ads. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has conducted a recent analysis, revealing that the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to disrupt approximately 40% of jobs globally. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva voiced concerns about the implications of AI deployment, emphasizing that, in most scenarios, it is likely to worsen existing inequalities.

Pakistan witnessed a groundbreaking moment in its media industry with the launch of AdPluto, the country’s first fully self-serve media buying platform. Introduced by a number of industry leaders, AdPluto aims to revolutionize digital advertising by providing advertisers, media agencies, and businesses with an efficient and transparent platform.

In recent developments at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Caretaker IT Minister Dr. Umar Saif engaged in significant sideline meetings to promote the “Digital Pakistan” brand on the global stage. During his visit to Google House, Dr. Saif had a detailed discussion with Vice President Behshad Behzadi on generative AI technology, expressing optimism about bilateral cooperation with Google for the effective use of artificial intelligence in Pakistan.

Beijing-based startup Betavolt Technology is developing a groundbreaking nuclear battery for smartphones that could eliminate the need for charging. The Chinese company is exploring nuclear technology for various batteries, with claims that these batteries can retain a charge for an impressive 50 years. The technology functions similarly to batteries used in spacecraft and pacemakers, generating electricity through radioactive decay.

In a notable shift of fortunes, Microsoft has dethroned Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company, marking a momentous achievement in the world of business. This momentary yet significant transition occurred during intraday trading on Thursday and was further solidified by the end of Friday’s U.S. trading session. 

In a significant move to address unemployment challenges, the Pakistani government, under the leadership of Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar, inaugurated 39 e-Rozgaar centers in Islamabad. This initiative was officially launched by IT Minister Dr. Umar Saif, who highlighted the ambitious goal of establishing 10,000 e-Rozgaar centers nationwide. 

A recent study by Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company, reveals that 15% of companies worldwide have faced cyber incidents due to inadequate investment in cybersecurity over the past two years. Critical infrastructure, oil & gas, and energy organizations experienced the highest number of incidents, mainly attributed to improper budget allocation. 

Ignite, the National Technology Fund, is set to introduce an innovative subsidy model to support 25,000 freelancers in Pakistan. This initiative, part of the co-working spaces project, is gaining momentum and aims to have a significant impact on the freelance landscape. Funding for the project will come from two primary sources.

The Telecom Operators Association (TOA) in Pakistan has urged the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to provide an explanation for the nationwide internet outage that occurred on Sunday. The TOA expressed concern that such access censorship measures could undermine the government’s ambitions for ICT-related growth.

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, announced positive developments regarding PayPal in Pakistan, addressing the longstanding demand of freelancers. The government has resolved to allow freelancers to channel remittances through the international gateway, PayPal. 

LG Display has grown into the world’s leading display company that produces and sells innovative displays and related products through differentiated technologies such as OLED and IPS. LG Display announced that the 480Hz OLED gaming display is the fastest 1440p monitor yet. LG revealed that this gaming monitor is 27 inches with a resolution of 1440p.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom in Pakistan is set to launch the country’s first startup fund on January 9, 2024. The Ignite-National Technology Fund will oversee the operations of the Pakistan Startup Fund (PSF), with a government allocation of Rs 2 billion. Private investors are expected to match this contribution, and venture capitalists have pledged an additional Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 billion.

Samsung’s strategic focus for 2024 involves prioritizing “super-gap technologies” to enhance its competitive edge. Co-CEOs and Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee and co-CEO and President Kyung Kye-hyun shared their New Year’s message, emphasizing a “customer-first” approach across mobile, home appliances, software, and chip-making divisions.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom is set to establish the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination Center in accordance with the newly introduced CERT Rules 2023. This initiative aims to create a centralized hub for collaboration among various CERTs operating at different levels, fostering communication among National CERTs, sectoral CERTs, and other entities.

Zong 4G, one of Pakistan’s leading telecom operators, has taken a step towards revolutionizing digital education in the country by setting up a modern Digital Laboratory at the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal’s ‘Women Empowerment Centre’ in Sujawal, Sindh. The initiative is part of Zong 4G’s Sustainability Program, which aims to promote societal welfare.

In 2023, Pakistan’s fintech landscape witnessed significant developments, with both successes and challenges for operators. Some notable highlights include: 1. ABHI’s Global Expansion: ABHI, a Pakistani fintech, expanded its presence in the UAE by launching an account-to-account payment service in partnership with Visa Inc. and YellowPepper. ABHI received global recognition as a technology pioneer from the World Economic Forum and secured Rs. 2 billion through Sukuk Islamic bonds.

Google is introducing a new feature in Chrome that allows users to create custom themes using AI. The feature, powered by Google’s Gemini AI model, enables users to personalize Chrome by selecting thematic categories such as landscapes or food and refining the theme based on style, mood, and color preferences. This represents a significant advancement in browser customization.

#SybridCast is a prominent podcast platform that goes beyond traditional business dialogues, offering diverse discussions on topics ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) to entrepreneurship and societal issues. The podcast features external guests as well as internal talents, fostering a vibrant environment for knowledge-sharing.

SAP, represented by Saquib Ahmad, Managing Director of SAP Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, underscores the crucial role of advanced technology in promoting sustainability in Pakistan and globally. SAP operates on the concept of the ‘intelligent enterprise,’ utilizing AI, IoT, and Analytics to create sustainable business models. These technologies empower companies to enhance resource efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and make informed decisions for sustainability.

Google has introduced a new AI chatbot named NotebookLM, designed for students and professionals. The chatbot is powered by Gemini Pro, a tier of Google’s Large Language Model (LLM). Gemini Pro focuses on document understanding and reasoning for NotebookLM. The AI chatbot has been in early access since June and has recently been officially launched in the US.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed ultra-thin solar cells that can be affixed to almost any surface. These cells, thinner than human hair, can be applied to various surfaces such as boat sails, tents in disaster relief efforts, or drone wings to increase their operational range. The breakthrough involves using electronic printable inks, similar to the process used in t-shirt printing.

A new generation of models has emerged recently, many of them with breathtakingly beautiful qualities. The capacity to create cohesive massive motions is now one of the obstacles in the video-generating process. Even the state-of-the-art models frequently produce tiny motions or, when producing bigger motions, show observable artifacts. VideoPoet, a large language model (LLM) that can perform a wide range of video generation tasks.

Confiz, an IT company, has made a substantial contribution to bridging the digital divide by donating ten laptops to Swiss Model High School in Lahore, part of the Swiss Education Project Pakistan (SEPP). This donation aims to enhance students’ computer literacy skills, providing them with essential tools for navigating the digital landscape and opening doors to academic and professional growth.

Bitcoin has surged to its highest level in nearly 20 months, surpassing $40,000 for the first time since April 2022. The cryptocurrency’s impressive recovery of 140 percent since January 2023 and a 15 percent increase since November indicates a positive trend in the crypto market. The notable upswing is attributed to sustained market interest in the potential approval of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETF) in the United States

The Pakistan Youth Leadership Initiative (PYLI), a collaborative effort between the British Council Pakistan and Education Above All, aims to empower the youth in Pakistan over a three-year period. In partnership with the Government of Pakistan’s Youth Development Program, UNDP Pakistan, local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and public universities, the project focuses on fostering social and ethical awareness and embracing diversity.

A significant delegation led by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) is scheduled to visit Qatar from December 2 to December 5, 2023, to explore collaborative opportunities in the field of Information Technology (IT). Headed by Caretaker IT Minister Dr. Umar Saif, the delegation comprises representatives from over 35 IT companies, SIFC, the Ministry of IT, and the Pakistan Software Export Board.

Amazon has revealed its latest generative AI chatbot, named Amazon Q, as a formidable competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Unveiled by Amazon Web Services, this chatbot is customizable for specific business needs, allowing users in marketing, project management, and sales to engage with it conversationally. Much like ChatGPT, Amazon Q can draft emails, summarize reports, and compose blog posts.

The emergence of “AI agents” is poised to revolutionize the workforce, reminiscent of last year’s ChatGPT debut that catalyzed significant AI research and investment. This transformative trend involves a new category of AI systems referred to as “AI agents,” capable of autonomously making decisions and independently operating applications, akin to a personal assistant or a “synthetic employee.” 

The Advisory Committee, led by Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, is poised to conclude its assessment of the 5G spectrum auction, totaling 282 MHz, within the week. The committee, approved by the caretaker federal cabinet, is evaluating spectrum availability in bands ranging from 700 MHz to 2100 MHz for the impending 5G services auction.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is considering revising the Long Distance & International (LDI) license template due to challenges faced by the telecom sector. Factors such as the devaluation of the local currency and high-interest rates have increased capital and operating costs, impacting the business cases and profit margins of the industry.

YouTube Premium, in addition to its ad-free experience, has introduced Playables, a feature that allows subscribers to access and play arcade games directly on the YouTube platform. Users can activate the Playables tab through settings, giving them access to 37 games without the need for any downloads. 

DevFest AI ’23, powered by Rayn and hosted by Google Developers Group Islamabad at Air University, showcased the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI). Industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and students gathered to explore the impact of technology on Pakistan’s digital transformation. Safia Ali, Chief Design Officer of Rayn, delivered a keynote emphasizing the role of technology as a great equalizer.

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, highlighted the potential for Pakistan to become a global digital corridor connecting China, Russia, and Central Asian States with the rest of the world. He emphasized the significance of Pakistan’s optical fiber cable network, stating that it could significantly reduce latency and bring economic benefits to the country.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been removed from the company’s board due to a lack of “candid communication,” as announced by the AI startup. The decision was made following a review process that determined Altman’s inconsistent communication with the board, hindering its ability to fulfill its responsibilities. Consequently, the board lost confidence in Altman’s leadership.

Google has recently unveiled its latest AI model, Gemini, designed to enhance its AI chatbot, Google Bard. Gemini is a multimodal AI, excelling in processing various forms of information simultaneously, such as text, images, audio, video, and code. It is particularly effective in fields like mathematics and physics, offering improved capabilities for handling complex inquiries.

The Federal Government has given its approval for the Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework (TISF), a development by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The framework, crafted in consultation with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and the telecom industry.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Qazi Faiz Esa, has taken a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency of the judiciary in Pakistan by reconstituting the National Judicial Automation Committee (NJAC). The primary objective of the NJAC, developed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, is to usher in a digital era for the judiciary.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Pakistan gathered at the annual conference of the Wireless & Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (WISPAP) in Islamabad to address industry challenges. The focus was on establishing internet exchanges to enhance data security.

Integration Xperts (IX) has recently entered into a partnership with Salesforce, a global leader in customer relationship management (CRM), aiming to foster stronger connections between businesses and their customers in Pakistan. With its new status as an official Salesforce Value Added Reseller (VAR), IX is poised to serve as a comprehensive solution provider for companies investing in the digital transformation of their operations through Salesforce. 

The upcoming 7th meeting of the apex committee of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) is set to address key issues related to the Ministry of IT & Telecom in Pakistan. Scheduled at the Prime Minister’s House and to be presided over by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, the meeting will cover five agenda points.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is in the process of developing a digital app specifically designed for international users as part of its preparations for the upcoming general elections. According to sources, the commission has initiated the issuance of cards for international observers, facilitating timely access to pertinent information through the digital app.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom is initiating the establishment of the Center of Excellence for Gaming and Animation (CEGA) in Karachi and Lahore, in collaboration with Ignite National Technology Fund. Expressions of interest are being sought from companies for the development of these centers, located at NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi and National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP) Lahore.

The Caretaker Interior Minister of Pakistan, Sarfraz Bugti, has officially blacklisted 111 online applications that were providing interest-based loans. This decision comes after concerns were raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed about the increasing prevalence of such apps in the country. Minister Bugti revealed that the Cyber Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had taken action by confiscating Rs 1.8 billion related to interest-based transactions.

EduFi, Pakistan’s pioneering digital platform for “study now pay later,” has successfully secured $6.1 million in a pre-seed funding round. The funding, led by Zayn VC and supported by Palm Drive Capital, Deem Ventures, Q Business, and various angel investors, aims to bolster EduFi’s innovative artificial intelligence-driven study now pay later (SNPL) lending platform and mobile application.

Wateen Telecom is leading the way in revolutionizing enterprise architecture through the implementation of TOGAF principles. In the landscape of enterprise IT, the Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) serves as a guiding light, providing a comprehensive approach across Business, Application, Data, and Technology architectures. Wateen Telecom, a prominent player in Pakistan’s Information and Communication Technology sector, exemplifies the values of TOGAF.

The caretaker government in Pakistan is developing a new policy for the manufacturing of mobile devices and related equipment. The Engineering Development Board (EDB) has sent out invitations to licensed mobile phone manufacturers for a meeting scheduled on November 10. The meeting, chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of EDB, aims to discuss the details of the proposed policy.

In a significant development within the technology sector, CodeLabs, a prominent leader in software development, and Supernet E-Solutions, a pioneering company in software and telecom services, have come together to establish a groundbreaking alliance. This collaboration marks the inception of an innovative business communication platform.

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has taken a significant step towards implementing a cloud-first policy in Pakistan by drafting the Cloud Procurement Framework (CPF). This initiative, as reported by inside sources, has been instigated in collaboration with the Ministry of IT and Telecom, signifying the commencement of efforts to establish cloud infrastructure within the country.

A recent cyber security audit conducted on various Ministries and Departments has uncovered significant vulnerabilities and non-compliance issues. The audit, performed by the National Telecommunication and Information Security Board (NTISB), revealed several critical oversights and areas of non-conformity

The Ministry of IT and Telecom has drafted a policy aimed at offering smartphones to citizens on an installment basis, and as part of this policy, they intend to block the mobile phones of users who do not make their installment payments. In collaboration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Ministry is developing a mechanism to facilitate the blocking of smartphones.

Mastercard has formed a strategic alliance with Euronet Pakistan, a leader in secure electronic financial transaction processing, to introduce Card-as-a-Service (CaaS) and Bank-as-a-Fintech (BaaF) solutions to Pakistan. These emerging models enable banks, non-financial institutions, and fintech companies to quickly create and launch innovative products with scalability and a faster time-to-market.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has pledged its full support to facilitate visas for Pakistani IT companies, as confirmed by the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki. This commitment was made following a meeting between the Ambassador and Dr. Umar Saif, the Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication. The discussion primarily focused on streamlining visa procedures for Pakistani IT professionals and business personnel.

The government of Pakistan has issued a cybersecurity warning concerning the ‘Dead Glyph Backdoor,’ which is being used by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups to target global government entities and critical infrastructure. According to the advisory, the Dead Glyph backdoor infiltrates Windows-based online systems through files that appear to be impersonated but contain malicious scripts. It uses backdoor exploit code to compromise the online system and then stores fake DLL files in the Windows C Drive.

The Internet Governance Conference, held in Islamabad, focused on addressing critical issues in Internet governance and resource allocation in the Asia-Pacific region. The event brought together industry leaders, experts, government officials, and stakeholders from the telecommunications and information technology sector. Notable speakers included Sylvia Cadena, CEO of the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) Foundation, who highlighted the Foundation’s focus on projects in Pakistan’s social sector. Director General of APNIC, Paul Wilson, also shared insights.

Pakistan’s PTCL Group, a prominent telecom and ICT services provider, has announced its adoption of Red Hat OpenShift, a leading hybrid cloud application platform, to advance its digitalization efforts. Red Hat Application Foundations and OpenShift together create a robust platform for developing and modernizing software, streamlining execution across the application lifecycle.

The United Nations has established a 39-member advisory panel aimed at addressing global challenges in the realm of artificial intelligence governance. Announced by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the panel features a diverse membership, including leaders from technology companies, government representatives from various countries like Spain and Saudi Arabia, and academics from nations such as the United States, Russia, and Japan.

As businesses continue their digital transformation journey, the risk of cyber threats and data breaches grows exponentially. With the immense volume of data they handle daily, detecting patterns and anomalies indicative of a potential security breach becomes increasingly challenging. This is precisely where SIEM solutions come into play.

In the latest tech and telecom news, Apple is gearing up to invest nearly $5 billion in its efforts to create a rival to ChatGPT. With Google leading the way in introducing generative AI features to smartphones, Apple is working on integrating generative AI into its upcoming iOS 18 update. This move comes as a response to the success of rival companies that introduced AI features following the rise of ChatGPT.

In the ever-changing landscape of e-commerce, UCURS is emerging as a unique and innovative platform designed specifically for Pakistani entrepreneurs. While global e-commerce giants like Amazon and Daraz have set the standard for online shopping, UCURS is carving its own path by catering to the specific needs of local businesses in Pakistan.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom in Pakistan has recently developed an initial draft of the National Space Policy. This draft has been shared with various ministries for feedback and is currently in the consultation stage. Pakistan has lacked a comprehensive space policy until now, which has hindered the country in achieving various civil and military objectives in economic, commercial, and scientific domains.

In a significant development for Pakistan, cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is poised to revolutionize the insurance industry. Pakistani company Instaful Solutions has partnered with Luxembourg-based conversational AI experts FCB.ai to introduce AI-driven insurance solutions that will make insurance products more accessible for millions of uninsured individuals in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has been honored at the LEAD Awards 2023 for its dedication to ensuring the safety of children and youth online. The award was accepted by the Director of PTA, who heads the Child Online Protection Committee, at a ceremony held in the UAE by SAMENA Telecommunications Council.

Zong 4G, one of Pakistan’s leading digital network providers, recently entered into a significant partnership with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI). This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signifies a pivotal step in advancing communication and digitalization in the region. Through this collaboration, Zong 4G’s Enterprise Solutions will focus on meeting the evolving communication requirements of LCCI and its esteemed members.

In its 15-year journey, Zong 4G has emerged as a pivotal player in transforming Pakistan’s telecom landscape, with a remarkable impact on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). CPEC represents a significant collaboration between China and Pakistan, reshaping the socioeconomic dynamics of Pakistan while strengthening the bonds between the two nations.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom (MoITT) has established a committee to address issues related to the right of way (RoW) for telecom infrastructure. This committee will consist of officials from the Ministry of IT and Telecom and representatives from telecom companies. Telecom operators had requested the formation of this committee due to ongoing challenges despite the approval of the right-of-way policy.

KuCoin Platform 2.0 Upgrade Complete

Pre-Market Trading, the first over-the-counter (OTC) trading product among CEXes to allow users to trade new tokens before they are officially listed, has been launched by KuCoin, one of the top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. This innovative innovation, which gives institutional and professional users/users alike an early access edge, has the potential to completely transform the crypto trading scene.

Daraz Ecom Summit 2023 Brings Together

The first online marketplace in the country, Daraz Pakistan, achieved a noteworthy milestone with the successful inauguration of its first eCom Summit 2023, which was held in the energetic cities of Lahore and Karachi as well as Sialkot, Peshawar, Islamabad, Multan, and Faisalabad. Over 4,000 companies and sellers as well as a strong community of over 600 content producers participated in this ground-breaking event.

Pta Collaborates With Religious Scholars

At PTA Headquarters in Islamabad, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) arranged a conference with well-known religious professors. The PTA and religious leaders worked together to address the issues with social media and the internet and to promote a digital environment that respects cultural and spiritual values. This was demonstrated by the event that took place today.

Pta, Secp Sign Mou To Promote Mutual Cooperation

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to formalize the procedures for information exchange and collaboration between the two regulatory bodies. At a ceremony conducted at the SECP Head Office in Islamabad, Director General PTA Muddasir Naveed, and Executive Director SECP Khalida Habib signed the Memorandum of Understanding

Export Earnings Retention Benefits It Sector

The Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecom, Dr. Umar Saif, has met a significant request of the IT sector by facilitating the retention of 50% of export earnings, as acknowledged by industry stakeholders. Previously, IT firms were permitted to retain only 35% of their export revenues in foreign currency accounts.

The interim federal government is contemplating the introduction of an ordinance to establish a telecommunications tribunal. Sources within the IT Ministry have informed that this decision stems from a high number of pending cases in the courts related to the telecom sector. The caretaker government aims to initiate the auction process for 5G, but this cannot proceed without the availability of spectrum.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved the long-awaited Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework during its Tuesday meeting, presided over by interim Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.  The approval came after a thorough discussion based on a summary from the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication, proposing the first-ever Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework.

In the upcoming sixth meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), six agenda items pertaining to the Ministry of IT & Telecom will be addressed. This significant meeting will take place at the Prime Minister’s House and chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, will focus on various key matters.

The Bank of the Future Forum 2023, a significant banking and financial conference in Pakistan, is set to take place on October 5, 2023, at PC Hotel Karachi. Co-hosted by Systems Limited and Temenos, this event is the 12th edition and is expected to welcome over 500 C-Level executives from banks, financial institutions, regulators, fintechs, investors, analysts, and media. 

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to enhance their collaboration in the field of information technology by accelerating the process of digital transformation, fostering innovation, and advancing digital infrastructure. The agreement, formalized by IT Minister Dr. Umar Saif and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Abdullah Alswaha in Riyadh, during the visit of a Pakistani delegation to the Kingdom, outlines the establishment of a joint task force dedicated to promoting digital corporations.

Meta has entered the AI chatbot arena, introducing its virtual assistant and a set of AI characters slated for integration into WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. This versatile assistant can handle diverse tasks, from organizing group outings in chats to addressing typical search engine queries. A notable feature of Meta AI is its ability to generate images, akin to Midjourney and OpenAI’s DALL-E, using a simple command like “/imagine.”

In this groundbreaking development, a scientist has turned the idea of extracting audio from static images into a reality using artificial intelligence (AI). Led by Kevin Fu, a professor with expertise in electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Northeastern University, a team has created a machine learning tool called Side Eye that offers remarkable insights into image analysis.

BOP has launched a groundbreaking venture in merchant services, introducing the industry’s first ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ and ‘Pay by Link’ solutions. This move reaffirms BOP’s dedication to enhancing its digital retail offerings and advancing the nation’s digital ecosystem. Collaborating with PayNet Private Limited, a subsidiary of Omega IT Solutions UAE, BOP aims to provide cutting-edge Point of Sale (POS) payment solutions and online payment gateway services.

OpenAI’s recent announcement revealed a major enhancement to ChatGPT’s capabilities. The AI model, previously restricted to information up to September 2021, can now access real-time data from the internet. This upgrade addresses a notable limitation, ensuring that users can receive up-to-date information and responses.

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, announced ongoing discussions between the Pakistani government and payment giants PayPal and Stripe regarding their potential entry into the Pakistani market. Dr. Saif emphasized the necessity of bringing PayPal to Pakistan to support freelancers, proposing a model akin to Egypt where PayPal operates through a third-party service.

Telenor Microfinance Bank, the operator of Pakistan’s popular digital financial services platform, easypaisa, has achieved a significant milestone by securing In-Principle Approval (IPA) for a Digital Retail Bank (DRB) license from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). This approval was granted under the Licensing and Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks.

Zong 4G’s recently appointed CEO and Chairman, Mr. Huo Junli, met with interim IT and telecommunication Minister, Dr. Umar Saif, to reiterate the company’s dedication to investing in Pakistan’s digital future and recognizing the pivotal role of technology in the nation’s progress. Mr. Huo Junli emphasized Zong 4G’s strong commitment to leading advancements in the telecommunications sector and driving the country’s digital transformation.

The Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecom, Dr. Umar Saif, announced the government’s plan to set up 5,000 e-working hubs across the country and provide interest-free loans to freelancers for establishing these facilities. This revelation came during a meeting with Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, where various initiatives were discussed to boost Pakistan’s IT and startup ecosystem.

WhatsApp introduced online grocery shopping in select markets last year. Now, the platform is expanding its offerings with a comprehensive online shopping experience through a new feature called Flows. Flows allows users to browse and purchase items online within the WhatsApp chat itself, covering a range of products from groceries to train tickets and more.

Agility Robotics is in the final stages of constructing an advanced 70,000-square-foot facility in Salem, Oregon, designed for producing its humanoid robot, Digit. This cutting-edge facility, called “RoboFab,” is set to initiate operations later this year, with customer deliveries projected to start in 2024 and general market availability expected in 2025. In its inaugural year, Agility aims to manufacture “hundreds” of Digit units and plans to expand production thereafter.

Paklaunch, a global platform focused on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship within the Pakistani startup ecosystem, is set to host the much-anticipated Paklaunch Unconference event in London at Lincoln’s Inn from September 20-21, 2023. This exclusive gathering will unite the top Pakistani startups and leading figures in the investment realm, reimagining conventional investment conferences. The event will see the participation of the top 50 Pakistani entrepreneurs who are specially traveling for this event, offering them a unique chance to connect with international investors.

Mean3 Software House made a historic mark in Pakistan’s flourishing tech industry by being the first IT company from the nation to feature on the iconic New York Times Square. This achievement solidifies Mean3’s position as an emerging star in the global tech arena. Headquartered in Pakistan and led by Abdul Hadi Siraj, Mean3 has rapidly gained recognition as a distinguished software house and marketing agency.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication announced that a collaboration between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Karandaaz, a non-profit special entity, has been established to promote digital payment systems in Pakistan. This partnership was confirmed during a meeting between Karandaaz CEO, Waqas ul Hasan, and the Caretaker Federal Minister for IT, Dr. Umar Saif at the Ministry.

In a heartwarming collaboration, #PayFast partnered with the esteemed non-profit organization HANDS Pakistan. This collaboration aims to make the process of online donations efficient by facilitating contributions through cards, bank accounts, and mobile wallets. The primary focus of this partnership is to make a meaningful impact on the lives of people living in low-income communities.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and DynaSys Networks have announced a collaboration to advance IoT and satellite communications in Pakistan and the region. The two companies signed Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) during a ceremony held at the National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP) in Rawalpindi.

Huawei recently concluded the first phase of its “Seeds for the Future” program in Doha, Qatar, which was open to university students from the Middle East and Central Asia. Around 175 students from the region participated in this flagship CSR program aimed at developing ICT talents globally. The program was hosted by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and held under the patronage of Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA).

Vivo, a leading global smartphone brand, enthusiastically participated in ITCN Asia 2023, the premier Information Technology & Telecom Show organized by Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. This event brought together Pakistan’s entire tech ecosystem, emphasizing the themes of local manufacturing and technological innovation in the country. ITCN Asia, spanning three days, provided a comprehensive platform to showcase solutions across crucial sectors of the economy, including Government, Cloud, Data Centers, Cybersecurity, ERP, Education, Banking & Finance, Health and pharma, e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics.

The Pakistani government is seeking the involvement of the Bill Gates Foundation in advancing Pakistan’s IT and Science sectors. According to insiders, renowned American entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates is scheduled to make an official visit to Pakistan on September 23, 2023. Reports suggest that during Bill Gates’ visit to Pakistan, the government intends to persuade him to invest in and support the country’s IT, science, and technology fields.

Pakistan is gearing up for another significant Tekken 7 competition, featuring an impressive prize pool of Rs. 400,000, alongside exciting giveaways. Organized by Pakistani PC Gamers (PPG), the Battle of Champions Season 3 tournament is set to commence on October 7th and conclude on October 8th. The venue for this game is the Maniax Gaming HUB, located at 1055 Fazal e Haq Rd, near the Daraz office, Karim Block Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore.

Acknowledging a significant surge in banking and financial frauds, the National Telecommunication and Information Security Board (NTISB) has cautioned that the challenge of eradicating and detecting social engineering attacks lacks a straightforward technical solution. In response to this alarming trend, the NTISB has issued an advisory titled ‘Rising Financial and Banking Scams: Prevention Measures.’

Bayfikr, a UK-based fintech company, officially launched its innovative mobile application for charity donations and bill payments for all overseas Pakistanis on August 14, 2023. The primary objective of Bayfikr is to simplify bill payments for Pakistani expatriates. As it expands its operations globally, the company aims to establish itself as a significant player in the value-added remittance sector.

The Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, has expressed his desire to introduce online payment systems like PayPal and Stripe to Pakistan. He made this announcement while serving as the chief guest at the 23rd ITCN Asia 2023 event in Karachi, themed “Declaring Pakistan The Regional ICT Hub.” 

Infinix showcased its unwavering dedication to bolstering Pakistan’s technological self-sufficiency during its participation in ITCN Asia 2023. The event served as a platform to spotlight Infinix’s latest technological advancements, including wireless charging in the NOTE 30 Pro series, a collaboration with Innova Technologies. In opting to manufacture its products within Pakistan, Infinix not only contributes to economic growth but also generates job opportunities for the skilled workforce.

For the very first time, Pakistan is set to host the Global CIO Awards and the esteemed World CIO Summit, an event designed to honor exceptional professionals in the digital realm. This significant occasion is scheduled to take place during one of the sessions within the 23rd ITCN Asia Conference and Exhibition on September 2, 2023, in Karachi.

Noman Said, an acclaimed IT expert and entrepreneur of Pakistani origin, has emphasized that the information technology sector can address Pakistan’s trade deficit, stabilize the rupee-dollar exchange rate, generate a substantial number of jobs, and improve the country’s global image.

The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication has discarded the controversial e-Safety Bill, according to sources inside the ministry. The ministry has halted all efforts related to the bill and has even taken down its details from the official website. Sources disclosed that while the E-Safety Bill received conditional approval for its preparation, the Cabinet did not grant it overall approval.

Code Llama is a versatile tool designed to enhance the coding experience by offering both code completion for unfinished snippets and error troubleshooting across a wide spectrum of programming languages. From popular choices like Python, C++, Java, PHP, Typescript, C#, to even Bash scripting, Code Llama proves to be a valuable asset for developers.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has teamed up with ChildLife Foundation to extend telecommunication services to over 200 remote telemedicine satellite and emergency centers throughout Pakistan. Zarrar Hasham Khan, the Group Chief Business Solutions Officer of PTCL & Ufone 4G, and Dr. Ahson Rabbani, the CEO of ChildLife Foundation, co-chaired the event held at ChildLife Foundation’s Emergency Center at Civil Hospital, Karachi.

Leading Telecommunication and Information Technology Service provider, Multinet Pakistan, has entered into an MOU for a strategic collaboration with the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA). The partnership focuses on offering P@SHA members access to MyCloud’s onshore Cloud solutions, Information Security, and Connectivity portfolio.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) successfully resolved 98.7% of consumer complaints within the past year.. Out of the total complaints received, the PTA addressed 37% of them, encompassing 37.4% that were fully resolved and 7.2% that were partially resolved. Nonetheless, 12.3% of the complaints lacked complete information.

An advisory from the National Telecommunication & Information Security Board (NTISB) reveals the involvement of an Indian state-sponsored hacking group known as APT in cyber assaults within Pakistan. The group’s primary focus is on government and military entities, aiming to purloin critical information. The hackers employ a deceptive email named “Cyber Security Advisory for Government Entities (Advisory No.54)” to proliferate malware through phishing tactics.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is currently working alongside UNESCO to develop a comprehensive “Digital Gender Inclusion Strategy.” This strategy is designed to empower women by promoting greater utilization of the internet, cell phones, and digital skills, aligning with the International Telecommunication Union 2030 guidelines.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, Pakistan occupied the 46th spot in the 2021 global eCommerce market, generating revenue totaling US$4.2 billion. However, a recent survey conducted by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority highlighted a significant obstacle to industry expansion: more than 60% of Pakistanis lack confidence in online payment systems.

In July 2023, Pakistan observed a rise of approximately 7% in its export remittances from the IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) sector, amounting to $214 million compared to the previous year’s $199 million. However, during the first month of the current fiscal year, these export remittances experienced a decline of 5% on a month-on-month basis, standing at $214 million as opposed to June 2023’s $224 million. This information is based on official data released by the State Bank of Pakistan.

Dr. Umar Saif, the newly appointed Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology & Telecommunication and Science & Technology, expressed his resolute intention to elevate ICT exports from the current $2.62 billion to a substantial range of $10 to $20 billion.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication in Pakistan intends to train 15,000 individuals in emerging and specialized technologies through the “Capacity Building of IT Industry in Specialization Technologies & Platforms program.” This initiative aims to provide training in cutting-edge areas such as Blockchain, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Digital Twins, e-health, e-agriculture, and more, particularly targeting youth and women.

With the widespread availability of ChatGPT in 2022, Google experienced a heightened level of concern, comparable to an alert state. The rapid response capabilities of ChatGPT, capable of providing quick answers to user queries, raised questions about its potential impact on Google’s core search business. In response, Google initiated a series of strategic moves to advance its artificial intelligence efforts.

On Pakistan’s Independence Day, prominent fiber-optic broadband leader, StormFiber, unveils a groundbreaking initiative in Swat, a region renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Referred to as the “Switzerland of Pakistan,” Swat now joins StormFiber’s network, becoming the 23rd city to benefit from cutting-edge connectivity.

Advertisements play a vital role in generating revenue for various services, websites, and applications. While some ads are easy to disregard, the annoyance escalates with full-screen ads that force non-skippable videos on mobile devices. Thankfully, Android 14 is gearing up to provide a solution. A new feature will allow users to manually revoke apps’ permission to display intrusive full-screen notifications.

The National Telecommunication and Information Security Board (NTISB) has raised concerns about a potential cyberattack on Pakistan’s Independence Day, August 14, 2023. The board has issued an advisory titled “Preventing Website Compromise on National Days,” warning of the likelihood of hostile elements or state-sponsored actors targeting government and defense sector websites to disrupt services and deface the country’s image.

The telecom sector’s revenues surged to Rs. 1,518 billion over the past two years. As per records, during the fiscal year 2022-23, the telecom industry witnessed an 18.71% growth in revenue, reaching Rs. 824 billion. In contrast, in 2021-22, the telecom revenues stood at Rs. 694 billion.

Initially targeting webcams and microphones, a new concern has emerged regarding the vulnerability of our keyboards. Laptop users now face the threat of their confidential data, including passwords, credit card details, and private messages, being compromised through the sound of their typing.

Google has introduced a new feature to enhance user convenience by integrating native eSignature support into Docs and Drive. This move aims to simplify the process of requesting and applying digital signatures directly within Google’s platform. After undergoing over a year of alpha testing, the feature is now being rolled out in beta, making it easier to request and apply eSignatures.

The Ministry of Information Technology has officially launched the Beep Pakistan communication app, tailored for use by government personnel across 41 federal ministries and departments, with future plans for a public release. Designed to offer a secure alternative to platforms like WhatsApp and other social media apps, Beep Pakistan facilitates safe communication among government employees.

CalCart Technologies has made a groundbreaking introduction by launching Pakistan’s very first smart grocery cart, designed specifically for supermarkets and hypermarkets. This innovative AI-powered product aims to seamlessly integrate the convenience of online shopping with the traditional in-store experience, revolutionizing the way people shop for groceries.

In 2023, Pakistani app developers have made significant progress, climbing from the 27th position in 2018 to the 16th spot on the global stage, as reported by Google. This growth is evident in the remarkable achievement of Pakistani apps being downloaded a staggering four billion times worldwide last year.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has introduced new social media regulations through the e-Safety Bill 2023, which empowers the regulator to swiftly block, raid, and seize the premises of social media platforms, websites, channels, and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime under the direction of an area magistrate.

A groundbreaking trial investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in breast cancer screening has yielded promising results, significantly reducing the workload of radiologists by almost 50 percent. Conducted with over 80,000 women in Sweden, the study compared AI-supported screening with standard care directly.

YouTube has recently introduced YouTube Premium in Pakistan, an exclusive subscription service that enhances the viewing experience by offering ad-free, offline, and background play options. Along with this, YouTube Music has been launched, a dedicated music streaming application where users can access their entire YouTube music library conveniently.

The Federal Government, led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has approved the creation of an E-Safety Authority through the E-Safety Authority Bill. The main objective of this authority is to tighten the monitoring of online content in Pakistan. The Ministry of IT has drafted the bill and forwarded it to the Federal Cabinet, which has given its initial approval.

The Personal Data Protection Bill has received initial approval from the Federal Cabinet, a significant step towards safeguarding users’ personal data, information, and various types of data. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) recommended the bill, which was approved during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Google has implemented a new policy in Pakistan aimed at protecting consumers from fraudulent and unregistered loan apps. The policy, which came into effect on May 31, 2023, restricts Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) lenders from publishing only a single Digital Lending App (DLA).

During the fiscal year 2022-23, Pakistan experienced a slight decline of approximately 0.6 percent in the remittances from its IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) exports. The total remittances stood at $2.605 billion, compared to $2.619 billion in the previous fiscal year 2021-22. 

The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, in collaboration with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and Ignite National Technology Fund, is set to conduct advanced-level cybersecurity training for government employees. The decision to provide this training stems from the escalating threats of cyber-attacks and the need to equip government personnel with precautionary measures to counter such risks.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has proposed a “National Freelancing Policy” aimed at establishing Pakistan as a prominent global freelance market and boosting the country’s exports and foreign exchange earnings. Under the policy, freelancers registered with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) would benefit from a reduced sales tax rate of up to 2 percent on their local services revenue.

A federal judge dealt a blow to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by dismissing its attempt to delay Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The court’s decision clears the path for the tech giant and the video game company to potentially merge as early as this month.

The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MoITT) has developed a new application called Beep Pakistan for international communication of government employees. The application has been tested and no bugs have been found. It will be launched in federal government offices next week. Beep Pakistan has various features, including audio-video calling, document sharing, and video conferencing.

Pradeo, a cybersecurity research firm, recently uncovered and reported that two Android file management apps, which had amassed over a million downloads combined, were malicious information stealers. These apps, called File Recovery & Data Recovery and File Manager, were developed by the same creator. While the former had approximately a million downloads, the latter had around 500,000.

Pakistan accomplished an impressive feat in the gaming realm on Sunday, triumphing over South Korea with a score of 3-2 in the renowned Tekken 7 Nations Cup held in Riyadh. The tournament, hosted by the Saudi E-sports Federation at Boulevard Riyadh City, brought together 16 national teams from across the globe.

AI-driven automation is rapidly transforming the global workforce, and its impact varies across countries. In the Middle East, countries such as Iran, Jordan, and Egypt are expected to face significant challenges due to job automation driven by AI. Similar concerns arise in Asia, particularly in Bhutan, Pakistan, and India, where rising automation threatens the roles of many employees.

To run a PPC campaign on Prime Day, this is the best time to drive traffic to your listings. Many sellers have been eagerly waiting for this day, and now it’s just around the corner. Here are a few tips to optimize your PPC campaigns and help you move your inventory swiftly from the Amazon shelf

In a bid to enhance communication and foster closer connections among its users, Facebook has recently unveiled “Threads,” a new app specifically designed for seamless text sharing. With Threads, users can effortlessly share updates, photos, and videos with their closest friends on the platform, ensuring a more intimate and private social experience.

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, recently chaired a meeting of the Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ignite Policy Committee to approve their annual budgets for the fiscal year 2023-24. The budget for USF was set at Rs. 21.242 billion, while Ignite’s budget was approved at Rs. 3.206 billion.

Farmdar, a leading Agritech startup in Pakistan, has launched a new fintech venture called AgromAI in Brazil. AgromAI aims to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and geospatial data to provide financial services. Muzaffar Manghi, the co-founder of Farmdar, expressed his excitement about Pakistani technology being used by major global businesses and expanding into more developed markets.

According to a recent report by cybersecurity firm Group-IB, more than 100,000 OpenAI ChatGPT credentials appeared on underground online marketplaces between June 2022 and May 2023. The investigation by Group-IB identified around 101,134 infected devices containing stolen ChatGPT credentials.

The government has issued a warning regarding the presence of a dangerous Android malware called Goldoson that has infected several apps on the Google Play Store. This malware has managed to infiltrate the store through 60 legitimate apps by exploiting a third-party library used by app developers.

The Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases has granted approval for the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rules, according to sources within the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication. The approved rules will now be forwarded to the cabinet for final approval. The Ministry of IT had taken the initiative to formulate these rules and had sought input from both government and private sector regulators during the drafting process.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Syed Amin ul Haque, expressed the country’s abundant investment prospects in various sectors, particularly IT and telecom. In a meeting held with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan, Khazar Farhadov, Minister Haque emphasized Pakistan’s desire to strengthen bilateral relations in the technology domain and enhance trade volume between the two nations.

Syed Amin ul Haque, the Federal Minister for IT & Telecom, emphasized the importance of effectively marketing the products of the National Information Technology Board (NITB) at both domestic and international levels. This will help promote the “Made in Pakistan” brand globally.

Family remittances are the financial support sent by individuals living and working abroad to their families or relatives in their home country. According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), remittances from overseas Pakistanis reached a record high of approximately $2.53 billion in March 2023, positioning Pakistan as one of the leading countries in terms of remittance inflow.

Pakistan has recently introduced its first dedicated smartphone app for car rental and freight services, known as “The Movers.” Headquartered in Lahore, the app-based startup initially focuses on serving the local market but plans to expand nationwide once it establishes a strong presence in Lahore.

The DTC and Zoom partnership recently organized a groundbreaking round table conference at the PC Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, marking an important milestone in the country’s customer experience (CX) landscape. The event aimed to revolutionize CX by introducing Zoom’s AI-powered contact center, with a specific focus on the financial industry and dynamic customer engagement.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has given its approval to the first Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Service Provider in the country, marking a significant milestone in embracing digital transformation and promoting the sustainable development of Pakistan’s financial sector.

Ignite National Technology Fund, a public sector company in Pakistan, is actively participating in London Tech Week 2023, a renowned global tech celebration held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London. The startups being highlighted at London Tech Week include Xylexa, CricFlex, EyeSmarty, CalCart Technologies, Gridizen, and SLOSH AI Solutions. 

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) is set to establish a comprehensive framework for implementing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy. The steering committee, which will serve as the highest authority and guardian of the policy, will consist of representatives from the government, academia, industry, and civil society, ensuring equal stakeholder representation.

Microsoft has been actively updating Skype with new features and improvements, and the latest update, version, is now available for Insiders. The update brings several enhancements to the popular communication platform. One of the notable additions is the ability for users to check real-time weather conditions directly from the desktop client, thanks to a new weather icon that provides detailed weather information.

Jazz, the leading digital operator in Pakistan, has partnered with Ignite, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, and Teamup to announce the successful incubation of 295 startups at the National Incubation Center (NIC) in Islamabad. Notably, 24% of these startups were founded by talented female entrepreneurs, highlighting their significant contribution to the startup ecosystem.

During an all-hands meeting, Meta executives showcased upcoming features for Instagram that would allow users to modify their photos using text prompts and create emoji stickers for messaging services. This announcement provided the first concrete details on how the social media giant plans to make its generative AI tools available to its 3.8 billion monthly users.

Pakistan is set to witness the introduction of ultra-fast gigabit fiber internet in eleven cities soon. The documents, which outline the Public Sector Development Project (PDSP) budget for the years 2022-2024, provide details on ongoing and upcoming projects under the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives. 

During a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz, the focus was on promoting the IT sector and the upcoming budget. The Prime Minister emphasized the need to develop a comprehensive package for the IT industry and to introduce a fixed tax regime tailored specifically for this sector.

Pakistan sees great potential in expanding its IT exports to Africa, aiming to reach $1 billion within two years. The country boasts over one million skilled IT professionals and a lower cost of living, making it an attractive outsourcing destination. The government has also invested significantly in the IT industry, including the creation of special economic zones. 

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) in Pakistan has requested a budget of Rs. 24.25 billion for 47 projects in the upcoming fiscal year. However, the government has proposed only Rs. 6 billion for 31 projects, rejecting funds for 12 new schemes.

Mentor TPA, a subsidiary of Mentor Club, has made history in Pakistan’s healthcare industry by obtaining a license from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to become the country’s first digitally enabled Third Party Administration (TPA) service.

Leading Telecommunications Company In Pakistan

Zong 4G, the leading telecommunications company in Pakistan, has launched the Saudi Arabia Roaming Offer to facilitate travelers embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage.

Experts in artificial intelligence from business and academia have been asked to join the AI Policy committee by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT). The committee will oversee the policy consultation process and complete the National Artificial Intelligence Policy draught, according to MoITT. The National Artificial Intelligence Policy has a first draught, according to Syed Junaid Imam, a member of the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication.

By 2027, the federal government plans to train 1 million IT graduates in AI and related technologies. A sustainable paradigm will be developed, and 10,000 additional trainers will be needed to deliver high-impact AI and Allied Technologies instruction, according to the IA policy statement.

The formal unblocking of social media websites in Pakistan has been announced by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). According to a PTA official, social media networks have been reinstated as per instructions from the Ministry of Interior. As a result, all internet service providers (ISPs) now provide Twitter and Facebook applications.

A joint campaign between Ufone 4G and the Pakistani Polio Eradication Campaign (PEI) is underway to educate the public about the value of the polio vaccine and the need to eradicate the disease. Ufone 4G has begun a comprehensive SMS broadcast across the districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), South KPK, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, and Islamabad as part of its endeavor to make sure the message is widely distributed throughout Pakistan.

As “eyes and ears” for ChatGPT, OpenAI started developing plugins in March with the goal of enhancing ChatGPT’s capabilities as a flexible tool that can help users with a variety of activities. These plugins were initially only available to a small number of users during an alpha testing stage.

Internet connectivity was blocked nationwide with limited access to major social media sites as a result of the massive outpouring of rage from the whole nation following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. A staggering $1.6 billion in economic damage has been caused by the action.

The South Asia Telecommunications Regulatory Council (SATRC)  Policy, Regulation, and Services (PRS) workshop successfully concluded today after three days of discussions and brainstorming on key issues related to South Asia’s ICT regulatory landscape. The workshop was attended by experts and representatives from various fields, including telecommunications and ICT regulatory authorities, the telecommunications industry, and academia.

Ahsan Iqbal, the federal minister for planning, development, and special initiatives, stated on Tuesday that Pakistan must concentrate on artificial intelligence and quantum computing in order to get ready for the next era of the knowledge economy. The minister stated that Pakistan needs top-notch human resources and inventive minds to find solutions for the upcoming era of technological disruptions.

An official document acquitted by ProPakistani discloses that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has told the higher authorities that it does not store any data regarding cryptocurrencies bought or sold by Pakistanis. The SBP claims that no entity in Pakistan is in charge of overseeing cryptocurrency exchanges, which are situated in foreign jurisdictions.

Bing has been aggressively receiving AI skills from Microsoft, which somewhat surprised Google. Google, on the other hand, is not one to fall behind and has its own bold AI and search efforts. Recently, a significant amount of these ideas were unintentionally made public. The Wall Street Journal said that Google plans to follow Microsoft’s lead and launch its own AI chatbot for web search.

Due to the partnership with Spotify, Pakistan’s preferred music streaming service, the much anticipated second season of VELO Sound Station is about to premiere and promises to be even more amazing than the first. Listeners of VELO Sound Station will be able to stream and enjoy the platform’s music whenever and wherever they choose thanks to this amazing music relationship.

The draught Artificial Intelligence Policy has been created by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT). Sources reported Syed Amin-ul-Haque, federal minister for information technology and telecommunications, has given his approval to the Artificial Intelligence Policy’s first draught.

Cricket 24’s most recent version will feature both the Pakistan national team and teams from the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which is an exciting development for cricket enthusiasts in Pakistan. Cricket fans all across the world have reacted to the news with excitement and enthusiasm, anxiously anticipating the chance to take on the roles of their favorite PSL teams and Pakistani players

A member of the IT department named Syed Junaid Imam, together with Bank of Punjab President and CEO Zafar Masood, senior officials, and a sizable number of independent contractors, were reportedly invited as special guests to an event held at a neighborhood hotel in Islamabad.

With Shabbir Tiles and Ceramics Ltd, one of Pakistan’s largest producers and suppliers of tiles and ceramics, Zong 4G, one of the country’s top telecom providers, has agreed to supply Shabbir with specialized corporate voice, data, and Enterprise solutions. Shabbir Tiles and Ceramics Ltd will be able to carry out regular operations more effectively and consistently thanks to the collaboration.

The PTCL Group (PTCL and Ufone 4G), Pakistan’s leading telecom and integrated ICT services provider, has released its first-ever Group Anthem, #TayyarHo, highlighting the employees’ dedication to providing clients with unmatched excellence. The new anthem for the PTCL Group is more than just music. About a year ago, PTCL Group started its #TayyarHo journey. Describe TayyarHo. It is a call to action for the staff at PTCL Group to create a comprehensive ecosystem that will allow the business to provide exceptional solutions and experiences for its clients.

Pakistan To Have A Google App Growth Lab Launched Soon

Google announced on Wednesday that it had created the first-ever App Growth Lab in Pakistan, after the opening of the Gaming Growth Lab in Pakistan last year. The latter is a four-month initiative created to find high-potential app creators, studios, and enterprises aiming to expand and accelerate their operations. Google has pledged to support the local and international expansion of Pakistan’s app market with the launch.

In a bid to keep up with the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence, DeepLearning.AI has partnered with OpenAI to offer a short course on ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers. The course, which is set to run for just an hour, will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in prompt engineering, a crucial aspect of AI technology. 

The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) recently produced a paper titled ‘Using E-Commerce to Promote Exports of Pakistani Fashion Products’ in which it projected that the global revenues of e-commerce retail trade in fashion products are valued at US$ 837.3 billion. The estimated value of Pakistan’s domestic B2C e-commerce market in 2022 is US$7.7 billion, of which US$1.4 billion will be spent on fashion items.

E-commerce Articles

The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) (Amendment) Act 2006 has received a draught amendment from the Cabinet Division. According to sources in the Cabinet Division, the Cabinet Division referred the draught amendment to the PTA Act to the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) following review by the Ministry of Law and Justice. The PTA Act draught amendment was transmitted to the Federal Cabinet after receiving CCLC approval.

In order to serve civil reasons, the National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) has introduced its cutting-edge Automated Finger Identification System (AFIS), known as “NADIR”. NADRA has now reached the ranks of the world’s top providers of biometric identification technology, which is a significant milestone for the organization.

Foodpanda, the top delivery service in Pakistan, is pleased to announce Pandago for customers, a new on-demand delivery service created to meet customers’ changing needs. Pandago, once a B2B-only business, now offers its advantages to consumers for C2C deliveries, giving them effortless access to Foodpanda’s large rider fleet for economical, on-demand delivery. Pandago, which began operations in Karachi, shortly plans to expand to Lahore and Islamabad.

A 15-person National Task Force (NTF) on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been established for the benefit of the nation’s national development by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal. Creating a 10-year roadmap for increased use of AI in the business, development, government, educational, and healthcare sectors is the main goal of the NTF. The NTF force will include officials from the public and business sectors as well as artificial intelligence specialists.

For the online payment of government receipts through e-Pay Punjab, the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Zindigi, powered by JS Bank Limited, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Zindigi will be onboarded for the digital integration of the Zindigi App with e-Pay Punjab in accordance with the MoU. Following the integration, more than one million users of the Zindigi App will be able to utilize the e-Pay Punjab App to pay traffic challans and 25 other taxes.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by MateSol, a blockchain-based invoice verification platform with a global footprint, and Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. (MMBL), Pakistan’s top microfinance institution, to provide better access to invoice financing for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

In addition to the successful onboarding of 3,000 farmers, Digitt+, Pakistan’s first Agri fintech platform, has announced the deployment of multilingual support and a throughput of more than PKR 100 million during its ongoing test period.

Bazaar Prime is its exclusive market distribution arm for retail suppliers and manufacturers. Bazaar is Pakistan’s top B2B e-commerce platform, serving 5M+ enterprises. The B2B portal of Bazaar offers Pakistani manufacturers and retailers goods for supply chains, fulfillment, digital loans, and procurement.

Customers can donate to various organizations straight from the Careem app in honor of the blessed month of Ramadan. Careem was the first ride-hailing company in Pakistan. Careem also introduces a special Ramadan car type that directs donations to a worthy cause, embodying the Arabic word for “generous” in its name.

To solve issues with worldwide public relations, branding, and marketing for accelerated growth of IT and ITeS export, the Federal Government has decided to launch a Technology Marketing Export Program.

Google has released a Windows software that streamlines file sharing and combines Android’s “Nearby Sharing” feature. Users of the new tool will be able to seamlessly move files between the two operating systems with a minimal amount of clicking and tapping.

The main digital payments platform of Telenor Microfinance Bank, easypaisa, has partnered with Akhtar Fuiou Technologies under the umbrella of its agri-financial services platform Digitt+. A digital wallet called Digitt+ was created to enable and empower Pakistan’s unbanked populace, starting with the agricultural industry.

RIZQ is happy to announce its integration with 1-Bill, a bill-paying service provided by the leading e-payment switch in the nation, 1-link. With the help of its intelligent scheduling tool, RIZQ eliminates the challenges that Salaried Professionals and Freelancers have daily in paying their bills on time.

A recent Microsoft Teams upgrade will make it much simpler to protect your company against online attacks. As Microsoft incorporates Defender for Office 365 products and services into the system, the video conferencing platform will soon receive several security upgrades.

Due to the challenging economic climate in the nation, SadaPay will no longer offer free debit cards to users. The company stated in a news statement that “we realized we have to make certain concessions for us to maintain our service standards and to ensure that your experience remains fantastic.”

The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) (Amendment) Act, 2006, and PTA Rules would be changed, according to the federal government. ProPakistani was informed by sources in the Cabinet Division that the Pakistan Telecommunication Act has been amended to raise the number of members of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) from 3 to 4.

The innovative language model ChatGPT, created by OpenAI, is revolutionizing how people engage with AI. Using ChatGPT, it’s simple to create writing that sounds human using a variety of prompts. Who is to Blame for Pakistan’s Economic Downfall? was a question posted by a user in response to the current unrest that the country is going through.

For the past five years, the telecom sector has pushed for free 5G spectrum and tax-free 5G equipment.
A PTA document that is accessible through ProPakistani states that the industry has suggested auctioning the 5G spectrum in the nation five years from now after the use cases have been implemented. The sector has also asked the federal government for policy involvement to forbid both local 2G/3G smartphone production and importation.

For Pakistani game developers who are worried about climate change, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Investment Promotion Activity (IPA) has established the “Green Alliance: Gaming Challenge Awards.”

Hudson Pharma and MEDZnMORE’s tabiyat.pk have entered into a contract, marking yet another significant collaboration with a well-known pharmaceutical company. Consumers will have access to Hudson Pharma’s products via the platforms of tabiyat.pk thanks to this agreement.

Syed Aminul Haq, the federal minister of information technology and telecommunication, and Ryan Goodnight, director of worldwide licensing and market activation at SpaceX, met to go through the registration of Starlink by SpaceX in Pakistan.

On Pakistan Day, March 23, 2023, a new online marketplace called Tijarat.com is scheduled to debut. With features including bidding on listings, fixed-price listings, a “Buy It Now” option, and a variety of marketplace opportunities, the platform provides an eBay-like unique buying and selling experience.

The British Department for Transport (DFT) decided to give Pakistan cutting-edge equipment for airport security. According to sources, the DFT-supplied cutting-edge security technology will be installed at the airports in Lahore and Karachi by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The mandatory minimum fee of 1.5% that banks were required by law to charge merchants on financial transactions made with debit and credit cards has been eliminated by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and financial institutions are now permitted to charge even less than that amount to encourage the use of digital banking.

To incorporate various payment methods and financial technology solutions, Paymob, one of the top financial services enablers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENA-P) has teamed with Raptr Games, a startup gaming platform with headquarters in Singapore.

The nation’s most ground-breaking Virtual Life Insurance Agent Learning & Earning Platform, known as “Muavin,” has been introduced by TPL Life Insurance Ltd, Pakistan’s first InsurTech organization in the innovative insurance market.

Several of Google’s most visible productivity products will soon feature generative AI. The technology powerhouse revealed on Tuesday that it will launch several new services later this year, including integrated AI in Google Documents and Gmail that can instantly create a draught or modify current content. 

A new “text sharing” network being developed by social media behemoth Meta will likely compete with Twitter at a time when the latter is experiencing previously unheard-of difficulties.

According to Reuters-NEW YORK, March 10 – This Friday’s closure and takeover of SVB Financial Group Inc. (SIVB.O) by banking regulators can be attributed to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rising interest rates and decreasing investor risk appetite.

On highways M1, M2, M3, and M4 in two years, the National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) is set to install Integrated Transport System (ITS). The National Highway Authority (NHA) and the Motorway Police have signed a contract to install ITS, according to an NHMP official who announced on Thursday. According to the source, this… Continue reading Robotic Systems to be Installed on Pakistani Highways

Asad Shehzad’s paraphrasingtool.ai website in Pakistan introduced ChatBABU, a free chatbot that functions similarly to ChatGPT.

With the increasing network of short video platforms, a leading and the most-talked-about recent short video socialFi platform, diamondtok has officially announced its launch in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has been commanded by The State Bank of Pakistan to ban some live-streaming apps due to the risk of increasing immorality in content.

Starlink, the satellite-based internet service provider, has not been approved by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The startup funding of blockchain fell by 74% in the previous year. But still, the launch of Web3 and Metaverse projects by certain companies is raising questions about Web3’s current performance.

A new service has been offered by the collaboration of two renowned names, 1Link and Trax. this new service has been brought to the public with the name 1bill.

UBL has signed a partnership with RIZQ to provide a new way of modernizing the Mutual Funds market in Pakistan to provide freelancers with to save smartly in the age of rapidly increasing inflation.

During the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), from the period of July to December, the IT and ITeS industry realized a trade surplus of $1.17 billion which is 87.47% of the total ICT export remittances.

On Friday the CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg announced the release of a new extensive language model for researchers by meta under the project name called LLaMA.

For ensuring public access to newsroom technology, Utopia is developed by Osta Mattos and La Diaria.

Nikkie Asia has recently generated a report according to which the regulators in China have forbidden renowned tech companies to provide ChatGPT services to the public.

Inflation is a major concern for Pakistanis in recent times and has been increasing at an extensively rapid rate, to cope with this and to provide a suitable means to people for earning dollars, Beefiler has ensured new ways for bringing the dollar into the country.

A UAE-based company that also has its network in Pakistan, Qureos has been working on training people to0 make them capable of learning and being qualified or skilled enough to be a perfect match for the job opportunities.

Pakistan’s two renowned names, Jazz and Huawei collaborated to lead a digital innovation, that is, the launch of Pakistan’s first 5G Innovation Lab at NUST.

The federal Minister for IT & Telecommunication, Syed Amin-Ul-Haque has commented on the development of the Center of Excellence in Gaming and Animation (CEGA).

Google has taken serious action against 14 applications and has taken them down from its app store at the request of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Pakistan’s leading business communication company, Multinet has officially announced plans to upgrade its optical transport network, covering about 120 cities with the most prominent network, Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

Saudi Arabia’s most prominent Telecom infrastructure company, TAWAL has gained widespread recognition recently for officially expanding its network in Pakistan.

Using the Bing search engine for testing its capabilities, some users have managed to crack the AI chatbot and its responses to their instructions are hilarious enough to be featured in the news and gain the World’s attention.

Pakistan’s most prominent Business to Business commerce, fintech, and sourcing platform for about 5M+ businesses has recently launched its new Bazaar vertical, the Bazaar Industrial to provide an online material sourcing platform for manufacturers.

The launch of Artificial Intelligence’s Milestone CHatGPT-powered Whatsapp Chatbot is a revolutionizing step taken by Kisptay to make the most of Artificial intelligence technology and bring ideal customer service to the public.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is well-known for its services in Pakistan. Recently, it has received about 1,200,000 complaints among which 134,000 were against the most widely recognized social media platform, Facebook.

ZONG 4G, Pakistan’s most prominent and excelling telecommunication platform has recently announced its collaboration with another landmark of the country, BYKEA.

Pakistan’s biggest e-ticketing platform, Paymob has an extensive network in the Middle East and North Africa as well. Recently, it is in the news for collaborating with Bookme.pk, enabling an easy and efficient ticket purchase during the cricket season.

Recently, Zameen is in the news for launching a Construction Cost Calculator. This tool is extremely helpful; in the calculation of masses, utilizing Zameen’s in-house algorithms to calculate the number of materials used in the construction.

Recently, Microsoft is in news for launching Bing Search Engine powered by ChatGPT. This new tool will have more advanced features for producing accurate and personalized results.

PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited) is in news for launching a new OTT (Over-The-Top) digital platform, with the name “SHOQ”. SHOQ has been launched to bring superior and high-quality video streaming to Pakistan.

To contribute to the tech department of Pakistan, MRS is all set to bring its new product to the consumer market with the name of MTronic.

The developer of ChatGPT, OpenAI confirmed that it is working on a tool that ensures the detection of the content generated by ChatGPT. The tool developed by OpenAI to detect ChatGPT content generation is introduced by the name DetectGPT.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has introduced the technology of “multiple fingers’ biometric verification”.

A well-known e-commerce marketplace in south Asia, Daraz has been reported recently to officially launch “Daraz Advertising Solutions” (DAS) for providing comprehensive solutions to customers.

Telenor Pakistan has signed a partnership with Bookme.pk to provide convenience to its customers by offering an easy way of purchasing tickets.

On Friday, the ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MOITT) launched two projects worth Rs. 1 billion as per the directions of the Minister. It is aimed at improving the connectivity in Tharparkar and Gawadar districts.

According to a recent report, the spotlight of Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs, ChatGPT has passed the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

The spotlight delivery service of Pakistan; Foodpanda has been recently reported to add a wide range of pharmaceutical products to its delivery services.

Pilot operations are going to be launched as Electronic Money Institute (EMI) by the E-Processing Systems Pvt. Ltd with the approval of the State Bank of Pakistan. This new technology of EMI services will be launched under the brand name “ONEZAPP”.

Netsol Technologies is all set to launch NICAT in collaboration with Ignite (National technology RnD Fund), responsible for funding the project, and Aviation City Pakistan (ACP).

Paklaunch will host the Paklaunch UNcomference from 25th to 27th January 2023. Paklaunch comprises innovative entrepreneurs and tech investors of Pakistan.

On January 12th, 2023, the Pakistani SaaS startup company launched its new tool to revolutionize its marketing platform with the name “YourChamp”. It is designed with the aim of providing a one-stop solution to gather increasing reach from all social media platforms.

Recently, Google has been reported to bid farewell to Google Stadia, its cloud-based gaming platform.

In recent times, Easypaisa has issued a Visa Debit Card to all of its customers nationwide and this step has brought a revolution in the digital payment system of Pakistan.

Alibaba.com, a name well-known for global trade held its first-ever summit in Multan. It aimed at making progress in eCommerce exports by availing the opportunities available to local businesses.

Recently, it was reported that Zeta Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. received the prestige of being awarded a Long Distance and International (LDI) license at the license awarding ceremony by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

SBP has commanded the banks to provide facilitation of outward payments by opening and operating digital channels for foreign currency accounts with the issuance of corporate debit cards.

Recently, Easypaisa has been reported to join hands with Faysal Funds with the vision to financially empower all Pakistanis by facilitating them with a new approach to the untapped market of about 14 million Easypaisa customers.

Alter and Future Fest team is all set to bring the most exciting exhibition of Metaverse art with the title HUM, on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of January to Expo Center, Lahore.

Modern technology of blockchain has been in the spotlight in recent times, got introduced to the World by the name of Xoltan Blockchain. It is a sub-division of K Business Solutions Inc and was launched on 1st January 2023.

Recently, the Meta partners of Pakistan, e.ocean shook hands with Bohra Developers. The two pre-eminent companies were reported to join hands on the 16th of December 2022 and work on the same agenda of WhatsApp communication platforms.

In 2019, Microsoft invested $1bn in OpenAI and was working to launch another search engine of its own, using the AI behind ChatGPT, as stated in a report last week.

In a recent meeting, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr.Shahbaz Sharif discussed the concern of insufficient IT exports in Pakistan and stated

According to Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has had a significant impact on Pakistan’s socio-economic development

Virtue Xolutions and Sigma Communications, two leading companies in the digital innovation industry, have announced their plan to merge

The Minister for Commerce of Pakistan, Syed Naveed Qamar, will co-chair a meeting with Belarus in Minsk on January 12th, 2023 to discuss bilateral cooperation in various sectors and sign several MoUs.