Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to continue dialogue on collaboration in cyber security, 5G and regulatory frameworks.
The agreement was reached in a meeting between Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) officials and a delegation of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) held in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Chairman PTA Maj-Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa (retd) and Interim Chairman of MCMC, Tan Sri Mohamad Salim bin Fateh Din signed the agreement in the presence of other MCMC and PTA officers. Member (Finance) PTA Muhammad Naveed, Commission Member MCMC Datuk Lim Thean Shiang and former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Malaysia Lt Gen (retd) Tahir Mehmood Qazi were also present at the occasion.
The dialogue was held in continuation of the previous meetings between the PTA and the MCMC.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues related to digital landscape, including major initiatives and future projects. The MCMC chairman appreciated the phenomenal growth of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Pakistan.
The Malaysian delegation also shared details of their prominent ICT-related projects including Digital Empowerment of Rural Communities (PEDi) and their unique Single 5G Wholesale Network model. As part of single wholesale network model, Malaysia’s six main mobile network operators will take up equity stakes in a 5G network controlled by the state and run by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).
The PTA and the MCMC are also expected to sign a non-binding cooperation mechanism in the near future.
Cybersecurity in Pakistan
Pakistan is one of the developing countries that have seen a surge in internet usage in recent years. According to data shared by the PTA, Pakistan’s internet penetration rate stood at 52.60% as of April 2022.
Despite increasing digitization in public and private sectors, the country is yet to develop an effective mechanism to deal with cyber risks and incidents. Pakistan has undertaken some significant initiatives to curb cyber risks, much still remains to be done. The country also does not have a full-fledged organization at the national level mandated for cyber security.