ISLAMABAD -Provision of rural telephony to the far flung areas of the country including FATA is the utmost priority of the present government; we intend that the whole country should be connected and telecom services are equally provided to the people of urban and rural areas, said Minister of State for IT Mrs Anusha Rahman.

While chairing a high-level meeting regarding provision of telecom services to FATA minister observed that the majority population of FATA is deprived of Telecom connectivity. Considering the concerns of the CMO’s (cellular mobile operators) regarding difficult terrain and security issues, there is a need to try our level best to address those issues.  CMO’s have established number of towers in FATA but a significant proportion is dysfunctional either due to security or damage to infrastructure. Now it is the need of time to move on it to expand the coverage being legitimate right of people of FATA region.

Minister directed the Additional Secretary IT to establish a Working Group instantly which will comprise of officials from MoIT, USF, Defense, PTA, SCO and reps from CMO’s. This working group through consultative mechanism will find out short, medium and long term solutions for the provision of telecom services to FATA region.

This working group will work out implications and will come up with the viable recommendations and multi-pronged and sustainable strategy so that we could materialise the vision of rural telephony and national connectivity in true letter and spirit. This working group would submit their recommendations within the next 6 weeks.