Mahmood & Shafique -Part 2
Indicators of an Emerging Information Society in Pakistan
The Pakistani people's attitudes towards major information society applications, such as distance learning, computer-supported political participation, government information services to the citizens, finding a job online, telemedicine, information and communication technologies like cellular phones, satellite dishes and the Internet, are prominent indicators of an emerging information society. Here is a brief overview of some initiatives empowering the information society in Pakistan.
Government initiatives with the collaboration of the private sector
The tripartite model of the WSIS is based on a partnership between the government, civil society and the private sector. Governments all over the world are seeking the most appropriate responses to bring maximum advantage for their countries through the introduction of information strategies and policies to shape the development of information societies. Governments also realize that they cannot do everything alone and that their objectives can only be achieved through cooperation and alliances with a wide range of actors, including the private sector, civil society and other groups. Keeping these realties in view, the Government of Pakistan has started many initiatives with the collaboration of the private sector.
In October, 2002 the Federal Cabinet converted the Information Technology Commission into the Electronic Government Directorate (EGD) as a unit within the Ministry of Information Technology. The Terms of Reference of the EGD according to a Ministry of Information Technology Notification are:
- Implement different projects related to the Electronic Government Program;
- Provide technical advice and guidelines for implementation of E-government projects at the federal, provincial and district levels;
- Plan and prepare electronic government projects;
- Provide standards for software and infrastructure in the field of electronic government; and,
- Undertake any other assignment that the government may direct.