Satellite images of Balakot be released to defy Indian claims: Rehman Malik

ISLAMABAD:Senator A. Rehman Malik Wednesday called for release of satellite images to expose the false Indian claims regarding attack at Balakot, before the world. He expressed these views in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications held here in Parliament House. The meeting commenced with members of the Committee showing concern regarding the potential threat of a cyber attack on the country. Keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter, it was recommended that this issue be taken up separately in the next meeting. Senator A. Rehman Malik urged the Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to take appropriate measures in this regard.

He inquired whether Telecom Service providers seek permission from the PTA while upgrading their technologies as the recent upgradation from 3G to 4G was carried out recently. The Chairman PTA informed that licensing conditions of the Service providers were ‘Technology Neutral’. Deliberating over the matter of PTCL pensioners, Chairperson Committee, Senator Rubina Khalid said that it was unfortunate that this matter was not being resolved and showed displeasure at the absence of the Board of Trustees in the meeting. Senator Kulsoom Parveen was of the view that privatization agreements did not ensure the employee protection in specific cases. She said that in such cases it was imperative that employees’ interest protection clauses be added to all such agreements of the privatization.

On the absence of Trustees of the Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust (PTET), Senator A. Rehman Malik was of the view that the Committee may not be taken lightly and stringent measures must be taken against all those who do not comply with its directions. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi was of the view that meeting the trustees was important because they were entrusted with the power to decide on the issue of the pensions of the retired PTCL employees. A sub-Committee was formed to deliberate over this matter in detail. The Committee strongly opposed the imposition of taxes on bringing more than one mobile phone to Pakistan and recommended that this policy be revisited in consultation with the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication.

Senator Mian Mohammad Ateeq Shaikh said that this policy had numerous flaws and for clarity every aspect of it must be evaluated separately. The issues taken up by the Committee included the payment of increase in pensions of PTCL employees, implementation status of the previous Committee recommendations and issue of streamlining the collection of taxes on cell phones brought from abroad at airports. The Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was also present in the meeting. The Meeting was chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid and attended by Senators A. Rehman Malik, Ghous Mohammad Khan Niazi ,Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Sana Jamali, Fida Mohammad, Mian Mohammad Ateeq Shaikh, Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Taj Mohammad Afridi, Kulsoom Parveen, Faisal Javed and senior officers from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).