Digitalization in AJK & GB, Need of an hour

Digitalization has revolutionized the world. The world moves at the speed of the internet, residents of AJK-GB are still waiting to access something that has become a necessity. In the age of technology, it is heartbreaking to admit that AJK & GB, are still deprived of basic internet 3G and 4G access.

Digitalization has not only made communication easier but has also opened paths for various e-commerce companies to operate successfully in Pakistan. The mobile broadband services have helped local businesses to emerge on the international market and have also opened gateways for online and new ways to connect with various stakeholders.

The residents of AJK-GB are not aware of the online avenues of learning and earning through freelancing and other means. Providing good quality data services will create more opportunities for the general public in these areas. E-health and E-education are also greatly underutilized in these areas.

It raises a lot of questions regarding the educational future of the children since with the internet becoming the basic necessity, inaccessibility to online learning platforms limits their knowledge in comparison to children across the world.

The introduction of 3G/4G services will readily increase the use of smartphones in Gilgit-Baltistan because more people would be interested in having access to this service with the most technological mode of communication through cellular internet.

Moreover, during the ongoing COVID19 outbreak, people are gathering most of the information via the internet. Even the Government of Pakistan has introduced WhatsApp Helpline and application to facilitate people however, due to the unavailability of data services, people in AJK-GB may not be fully able to benefit from these services.

COVID19 has also affected students and people who are working from home. HEC has ordered universities to hold online classes for the students. The students who belong to northern areas are finding it difficult to cope with this situation due to the unavailability of reliable data services.

Since businesses and companies have resorted to remote working routines; with insufficient availability of broadband, people are facing challenges in keeping up with their employers and other employees.

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