WhatsApp's alternative government for Pakistan will be live next year, reveals IT secretary

The government will introduce Pakistan's version of WhatsApp, an initiative of the PSDP Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, next year, Federal Secretary for IT and Telecom Shoaib Siddiqui. "NITB has submitted tenders to build the Pakistani edition of WhatsApp and will finalize the project by next year."

The Secretary also requested that the IT sector stakeholders remain calm during a visit to Quetta and other federal secretaries following the proposed tax amendment legislation. In the course of his visitation to Balochistan, the secretary's comments were part of an interview he gave to Urdu News. The IT Minister's comment on the visit was: "The federal secretaries were charged with improving coordination and understanding between the federal government and the province of Balochistan."

The IT Secretary acknowledged the need for a payment gateway and said that, as the public demand for acts in this field grows, digital payment systems have become a need of the hour. "In this regard, discussions with the State Bank were conducted to pave the way for floats of the RFP (tender) and the situation is clear once the bids enter," he added.

During the interview, the secretary spoke about the Data Protection laws and said that the data protection laws had taken back seats for years. Nevertheless, active steps were taken by the outgoing government. A draught for data laws was created, subsequently submitted for approval by the Cabinet and Parliament. He further discussed the law, "Every person's information has holiness and the legislation introduced would ensure holiness and ensure that no one is able to access another person's information without his or her permission."

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