ISLAMABAD - Due to coastline and direct access to submarine cable landing points, Pakistan has a potential to connect central Asia with international network.

According to the report “Unleashing the potential of the Internet in Central Asia and beyond”, Pakistan along with Iran has the potential to become natural southern route to connect Central Asia+5 to international networks, and if Pakistan does not live up to this challenge, Iran will eventually step in to fill the role.

Jointly launched by Asian Development Bank, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific and NGO Internet Society, the report suggests Pakistan has the highest international connectivity in the region at 300 GPS due to its strategic position, but it needs to access its own population as 300GPS, which only translate to 7.1kbps per internet user.

“If Pakistan is able to capitalize its strategic geographical location and position itself as a provider of international bandwidth to its neighbors as well as alternate route to others it will consolidate early transnational developments and help accelerate transformation of early economy, report observed.

But the government has yet to finalise a comprehensive and workable plan for future.

“According to my information, telecommunication set up and lying of fiber optic along highway is being planned,” said PTA chairman Dr Ismail shah. He said technically the country was ready for becoming international transit hub, as it has good international connectivity and good national optic network with redencies, however, policies are required to allow transit traffic.

The government representatives kept on repeating jargons and clichés, when asked about the dispersion of Universal Service Fund and sovereign guarantee about the continuity of policies announced by the government in telecom sector and how to integrate different departments including agriculture in digital format.