ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday welcomed announcement of the Global Initiative on Data Security by China on September 8.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahif Hafeez Chaudhri said against the backdrop of rapid developments in the field of information and communications technology and increasing reliance of economies on digitised information, data and information networks, an equitable and reliable ICT regime was essential to ensure socio-economic progress, including the SDGs.

“The Global Initiative on Data Security is, therefore, both relevant and timely,” he added.

“The Global Initiative,” he said, “advocates a comprehensive approach towards data security and addresses several key issues which are being extensively deliberated at the United Nations and other multilateral fora, and on which the norm-building process is currently underway.”

“Pakistan,” he said, “underscores the need for dialogue and international cooperation to ensure open, secure, peaceful, and inclusive environment in cyber space and ICTs and a balanced approach to technological progress, economic development and national security interests.”

The spokesperson added: “With a population of over 200 million people, and a flourishing digital landscape marked by growing number of online users, Pakistan attaches immense importance to leveraging digital technologies for enabling socio-economic development and facilitating more effective and efficient governance and public service delivery.” Pakistan is committed to promoting international cooperation in ICTs and cyber security as a means of bridging the digital divide. All countries are equal stakeholders in the development of rules governing digital economy and security of cyberspace and ICT, he said.