Federal Minister for IT and Telecom (MoITT), Syed Aminul Haq, announced on Sunday that the federal government will shortly introduce the first-ever national artificial intelligence (AI) policy.
The minister, speaking at a blockchain conference in Karachi, stated that a national AI strategy is urgently needed in light of escalating cybersecurity risks and a growing number of hacking events affecting the country’s institutions.
The Minister went on to say that a comprehensive AI strategy is necessary for Pakistan’s strong economic system, implying that the policy will be primarily concerned with securing the country’s digital banking system.
He stated that establishing excellence in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) are two fundamental pillars of the Digital Pakistan Policy 2021, which was launched by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications earlier this year.
It is worth mentioning here that the federal government promulgated the country’s first-ever cybersecurity policy in July this year, which declared a cyberattack on national institutions as an attack on national sovereignty.
Syed Aminul Haq’s remarks come more than a month after the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) suffered a cyberattack, disrupting its services nationwide, including the disbursement of payments and pensions for the public sector current and former employees.
Although NBP sources denied the loss of financial data of its customers, it took the bank’s IT teams a couple of weeks to restore the banking services completely.
Besides, the minister said that the MoITT is leading the digital revolution in the country. The federal cabinet has already been made paperless as all official work now takes place on tablets and cell phones, adding that MoITT is now working to make parliament paperless.
He went on to say that the MoITT has made a number of steps to improve the IT skills of 60 percent of Pakistani youth by providing them with 3G and 4G internet connections, particularly in rural regions.
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