Blogging in Pakistan

Thanks to Ammar (teabreak.pk; http://www.ammaryasir.com/), I was fortunate to attend the First National Bloogers Conference in Pakistan today in Regent Plaza, Karachi.  The anchor of the program (unable to recall his name right now) informed us that this was the first of its kind not only in Pakistan but also across South East Asai & Middle East. 

The dignitaries at the conference included Mr. Raza Haroon (IT Minister for SIndh), Ardeshir Cowasjee (out from his bed probably, had the guts to wear shorts at a formal public gathering), Dr. Farooq Sattar (Federal Minister), Jehan Ara (http://jehanara.wordpress.com/; President P@SHA, a loveable, graceful personality – also a prominent Pakistani blogger jehanara.wordpress.com), Rabia Gharib (a very talented and active media personlity) and of course me, a blogging newbie.

The session overall, although less interactive and more prose, was interesting and informative and worth attending.  Infact, it was one of those “Don’t miss it kinda events”.  Sessions about social media (by Ramla), photo blogging and blogging in Urdu very particularly interesting.

I had the opportunity to talk to Raza Haroon at High Tea where he emphasized that he was surprised not to have recieved any one from the IT industry since he took office one year ago.  Raza SB, probably more encouragement is sought from the government to be convinced enough to reach your office for suggestions and feedback. This however was an excellent initiative by the Government of Pakistan and could not have been more well timed. Well timed because bloggers have the power to safegaurd and potray the right image of Pakistan. To avoid the damage being done to its reputation by foreign parasites and cancerous elements from within the society.

As Farooq Sattar said, “Say No to Taliban and say Yes to Pakistan.””

Pakistan Paindabad!!

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4 thoughts on “Blogging in Pakistan

  1. Today’s blogger’s conference was a success and I wish all those who participated well. The organisers and participants were given an opportunity to gather, share and present their experiences and knowledge. This was sponsored by the IT Department Government of Sindh.

    I have very close links with the IT Industry and I make it a point to regularly interact with them. However, the point I was making while talking to you was that it is now almost a year of me being in the office and although most of the big names in IT have met with me, however, they are yet to raise serious issues. I have been all out and attending all the seminars and conferences that I am invited to and always offering all to approach me directly. Through this forum once again I invite them to meet with me at my office.

    Rest assured the Government of Sindh IT Department only wishes to play the role of facilitator and enabler. We dont want to be the controllers or moderators of the IT industry. Taking a step forward the IT Department has announced the formation of IT Advisory Committee which includes stakeholders of IT industry. We want the industry to regulare itself and advise us on how we can help in the progress of IT and the spread of its awareness.

  2. @ Raza Haroon: Thank you very much for being kind to reply; indeed, the show was a great success! Not only did it patronize the IT initiatives in Pakistan, but also encouraged young talent particularlyand IT community generally. So far so good….

    ….

    P@SHA has been really really active in addressing highlighting and solving various, multi-dimensional issues faced by the industry at company level as well as an individual IT professional level. Hats off to Madam Jehan (http://jehanara.wordpress.com/), for her unending efforts to bring good will and betterment to the IT industry in Pakistan, collectively.

    However, unfortunately, the growth has been hampered by innumerous factors which could have been taken care of with some, but consistent, efforts.

    I am listing down a few IT bottlenecks that have acted as major retarding forces against the IT motion in Pakistan:

    – Massive Brain Drain

    – Serious shortages of high power programmers and IT professionals in needed latest technologies (this responsibility is partly shared by the universities imparting IT education)

    – Absence of competitive salary packages (….and no incentives given by the government to an IT individual)

    – Inability of Pakistani firms to tap and penetrate lucrative foreign markets

    – Communication infrastructure bottlenecks caused by PTCL’s inability to provide the IT industry needed band-width and communication capabilities of international standard at competitive prices

    – Lack of actual and practical government policies and support for industry

    – IT industry has serious problems in securing financing and credit

    – Unwillingness of local business managers to pay appropriate prices for locally developed software

    – Lack of incubation and startup companies due to lack of appreciation, encouragement & support by any private or public body

    – Low computerization of the government and its
    departments

    On the winning note, the formation of an IT Advisory Committee is an excellent idea. It could have a central management committee with different wings catering to different areas, working under it. One wing should be working towards image building & reputation enhancement (read “rectification”) of the Pakistani IT industry. I will be listing down possible steps (in my knowledge and opinion) to increase IT awareness, networking and cumulative growth factors in some other post.

    The candid personality of Raza Sb is very much assuring and I sincerely wish him and the Government all the best!

    “Much has happened and yet much remains to be done.”

  3. Hi faizudding,

    Thanks for this post on the bloggers conference which took place on Saturday 18th April. A colleague of mine happened to pass over the link for registration as he was aware i blog, not personally but for my professional use. I am a SEO Specialist by profession.

    As a Pakistani I was excited to see other bloggers from my own country. And more surprised to see Cowasjee there and that too in his tinee weenee shorts straight from the bed i guess.. No offense to Mr. Cowasjee but he has the guts to exhibit such couture in public. Loved it thou, he actually looked so cute in that….

    I was surprised so few people were there. Especially females, [ the ones I was seated with had no interest in IT neither BLOGGING just show pieces u know what i mean 🙂 ]

    I enjoyed the part where Mr. Raza and Mr. farooq Sattar spoke so casually. Frankly speaking, have never attended conferences with political figures. Good experience!!

    Also loved the part where the generous and kind IT Minister gifted Karachi’s little Ms. Sunshine [ Umaima Adem – sorry if spelt it wrong] a laptop. Govt. actually appreciating citizens is amazing here in PK especially.

    To help u faizudding with the Host’s name who was accompanied by the enchanting Rabiya Gareeb was Ali. he was good with words. liked their casual presentation.

    I was really glad i went there thou the first 1.15 hrs i thought what a waste of an hour why cant we Pakis value time as the Goras do. We would benefit everyone not us ourselves.

    Jahanara Ah! i admire that lady. She was awesome. Loved to hear her. I was missing and wonder why Sabeen Mehmood and Zaheer Ahmed Kidwaii (B.I.T.S.) were not there and that too in an IT Conference.

    Loved the photo Blogger Mr. Raja’s presentation and Mr. Ammar’s work. Ramla was good at speaking but talked too mush and too fast i bet people who are beginners didnt have a clue of what that presentation was all about.

    To sum it all up i am glad i was there. Got to rush work’s waiting!

  4. Good to know that you are an SEO specialist. If you write about current SEO techniques that are simple and quick to implement, I might just become a regular reader of your blogs.

    I never knew my name was Faizudding! I thought they named me Faizuddin. Faizudding seems more like a man-cum-mosquito – mutated 🙂 Faizuddin – ding!

    Since it was the first of its kind events (specially by any government in Soth-East Asia), the audience strength may not have been up to your mark. Given the bloggers here have developed the tendency to regularly meet-up, there will be more probably in next such conference. An effective way to ensure greater presence is to give an iMAC through a lucky draw amongst the audience.

    Since we value our time very much and don’t want it to be wasted, we arrive late to avoid initial preps and settling in. Try it next time and you will be pleased to have valued your time. Trust me.

    One thing was evident from the conference, there is so much to know and learn and life is too short to be little. So RACE!

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