Corruption dents democracy, slows GDP growth, impedes development by taking resources away from the economy, aggravates poverty, and leads to uncertainty that threatens good governance. It will be justified to express that corruption stands the most damaging factor to any nation after natural calamities. All the sound and rational minds agree to free the world from corruption, though devastating shreds of evidence of corruption in our human history defies the prior statement. Because people who commit corrupt actions are mostly educated, deceptively decent and designated at responsible positions; positioned at public offices and on authoritative ranks. It is a vivid reality of third world countries that public sector organisations are generally perceived corrupt. And such public perception is based on the real incidences of corruption that take place regularly and victimise the masses. Bringing positivity in such perception definitely requires taking anti-corruption steps by each organisation that has been plagued with corruption. But parallel to that, it is also essential to exhibit and inform the masses about organisations’ efforts to curb corruption: a rapport building. Globally, it is evident that development in information and communication technology has exposed the world to laundry of corruption and has brought this issue in the spotlight. Corresponding to that, a study for 208 countries reveals that governments’ fair use of information technology has reduced perceptions of corruption around the world. Many reports by UNDP have pointed out that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be used to enhance public transparency and accountability. Indeed the impact and power of electronic tools associated with the internet are highly useful in brining and fostering integrity. Therefore, in recent years, many governments have worked to increase citizens’ connectivity and accessibility toward public offices’ websites and electronic portals to create an atmosphere of openness that identifies and stems corrupt behaviour.

A new initiative of Digital Pakistan hopefully seems to utilise ICTs to electronically integrate institutions in pursuance of reducing human interference to sculpturing integrity. The five areas of priority in Digital Pakistan Initiative primarily circle around one major area: E-Governance. Here it is pertinent to realise the difference between e-government and e-governance. Though considered interchangeable terms but, E-governance is in fact an application of ICTs for carrying out government services such as exchange of information, assimilation of various unconnected systems between government to citizen (G2C), government-to-business (G2B), government-to-government (G2G), government-to-employees (G2E) as well as back-office procedures and communications within the total government framework. Through e-governance government services are transported to citizens in a befitting, inexpensive, and transparent manner. The three main target groups in a governance concept are government, citizens, and businesses/interest groups and e-governance links these three distinct groups. On the other hand, E-government refers to the use of the ICTs in public administration which, when combined with organisational change and new skills, are intended to improve public services and democratic processes and to strengthen support to the public. However, e-government has no provision for the governance of ICTs. Yes! It is rightly said by the newly imported lady Ms Tania that to electronically govern there is a need of e-readiness and that requires to develop robust connectivity mechanism, the up-to-date digital infrastructure, bringing democratic process on the electronic pad, encouraging ICTs skill-building, and emit entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of information technology. But what is new in this all? Already, Richard Heeks a Professor of Development Informatics in the Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, back in 2001 in “Understanding e-Governance for Development” has categorically guided finding answers of few questions to determine whether a country is e-ready or not. The questions are: Is the technological infrastructure ready? Ms Tania Aidrus called it access and connectivity. Is the data systems infrastructure is prepared?; the MIT lady called it digital infrastructure. Is the institutional support ready?; this portion is in fact about e-government, the third priority of PTI’s digital Pakistan, but Ms Tania confused it with e-governance. Is the human infrastructure ready? Here, she communicated about digital literacy. Is the leadership and strategic thinking ready?; here comes innovation and entrepreneurship as a pillar of PTI’s digital Pakistan. Is the legal infrastructure ready? And here where she speaks of central policy approval.

Instead of reiterating the same phrases, wouldn’t it be much appropriate to explain the existing anomalies in the current running ICTs on which a huge budget is already spent by previous governments, for instance, an amount of Rs200 million has been allocated for the e-gateway in fiscal budget of 2017-18 to streamline mobile banking and encourage digital economy, what is wrong with that digital initiative? Isn’t Ms Tanis aware of Punjab’s first-ever Information technology policy by PMLN’s government which is based on five pillars namely; e-governance, bridging digital divide, citizen-centric services, support to industry and entrepreneurship: coincidently chairman PITB, Dr Umar Saif another MIT graduate was instrumental in doing so, shouldn’t she use the work of her MIT senior and take it further on the right track and offer the plan to fix incongruities in existing ICTs framework? Why Ms Tanis is hesitant of developing technology special economic zones or technology parks as mentioned by IT policy 2018? It would have sounded more practical to indicate the weaknesses of initiatives like National Incubation Centers, Ignite, planet 9 that could be turned into strengthens instead of putting a feather into her cap by adding entrepreneurship in the priority list of Ms Tania’s digital Pakistan. Wouldn’t it be much pragmatic to elaborate on where and how to start and where and how to reach instead of screening a set of slides of very generic nature? It was good to know that conversion from a traditional economy to digital economy earned Indonesian businesses billions of dollars and made Indonesia capable of keeping pace with rapidly growing needs of globalisation and modernisation, but the adventures journey is to find the how mechanism? Wouldn’t it be crucial to mention execution hurdles faced by the ministry and allied ICT’s institutions? Thus the use of ICT’s is undoubtedly the most important factors in one’s strategy. Still, it’s more than just having a strategy.

For last ten years, each democratic government has tried to establish an image of most honest and faithful servants but proving honesty and goodwill require giving the devil its due. Therefore, giving an impression every time to start everything from scratch-line presents nothing but week commitment with the pronounced promise and goal. Indeed internet usage is growing, and access to online government services is increasing. Therefore pointing out a draft and execution errors in the policies of previous governments and fixing them is somewhat more pragmatic than disregarding all experiential learning.