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Pakistan: Telecom ministry's subsidiary refuses to launch projects in GB, PoK

ANI | Updated: Jan 12, 2022 19:58 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 12 (ANI): Pakistan's Universal Service Fund (USF), a subsidiary of the federal information technology ministry, has declined to launch telecom projects in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), believing that the two regions are constitutionally not part of the country, local media reported on Wednesday.
According to Dawn newspaper, the cellular mobile companies could object to the utilisation of the amount generated in Pakistan in both regions.
The USF was asked by Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid in a recent meeting that the domain of the USF should be extended to Gilgit-Baltistan as soon as possible to improve internet connectivity in the region and make the facility available in remote areas.

President Arif Alvi chaired the meeting, which discussed ways and means to improve internet service in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, according to Dawn.
Khalid Khurshid said the recent 3G and 4G spectrum auctions would help improve telecom and internet services in Gilgit-Baltistan but as the region had no internet service provider, there were problems regarding the internet facility.
However, the senior management of the USF declined to extend the sought-after services to GB saying the region is "constitutionally out of the country."
According to Dawn, the meeting was informed that at present, the USF Pakistan was working on more than 40 projects valuing over Rs 35 billion in 70 districts of the country, but development projects were facing hurdles in several areas due to law and order situation in the erstwhile Fata and some districts of Balochistan province, including Kalat, Pangur and Turbat. (ANI)