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Showing posts with label PAKISTAN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PAKISTAN. Show all posts

Monday, 6 July 2015

DJ Butt threatens to take PTI to court

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Imran Khan with DJ Butt. PHOTO: @ALIKANCHWALA
Muhammad Asif aka DJ Butt, an entertainer whose beats punctuated political rhetoric at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) sit-in in Islamabad last year, claimed on Monday that the party owes him Rs80 million.
“My total payment for playing music at the PTI sit-in was Rs140 million but I have only been paid Rs60 million so far,” DJ Butt said, while speaking to Express News.
“I will go to court if my payment is withheld,” he said, adding the party still owes him Rs80 million.
Further, Butt, who has been working with PTI since 2010, said, “My daily pay was Rs0.6 million.” He added he owes Rs50 million to people for services.
In September 2014, during the sit-in, Butt was arrested by law enforcers on charges of abetment.
Soon after the news broke, #JusticeForDJButt started trending on Twitter:



A copy of DJ Butt’s bills can be viewed here:


I have no links with any political leader: Ayyan

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RAWALPINDI: For the first time since her arrest, supermodel Ayyan has taken the stand in court to proclaim her innocence, saying she has no connections with any political leader, Express News reported.
“I have not committed any crime,” Ayyan was quoted as telling a customs court on Monday.
Denying allegations that she maintains links with political leaders and was laundering money for them, the supermodel said, “I have no connections with any political leaders.”
“Pakistan is my country after getting bail, I am not going to run away,” she went on to add.
The customs court once again extended Ayyan’s judicial remand and adjourned hearing in the money laundering case till July 11.
Ayyan was expected to be indicted in the money laundering case on Monday. However, the court accepted the defence counsel’s argument that he was not provided with the complete challans pertaining to the case.
During the court proceedings, Ayyan’s counsel, Sardar Latif Khosa, pleaded the court to adjourn the hearing in money laundering case as a bail plea for her release had already been filed in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing in the application of Customs intelligence to register a new money laundering case against the suspect till July 16.
Earlier in the day, the model was presented before the court in a police armoured personnel carrier amid strict security.
On June 29, Ali’s bail plea against her detention by customs officials in the Lahore High Court was rejected. Earlier that day, the Rawalpindi customs court had extended her judicial remand till July 6 and directed senior lawyers of the accused to attend the next hearing.
On March 14, Ayyan was arrested by customs officials from Islamabad airport for alleged money laundering. Ayyan was caught with $500,000 which she was allegedly smuggling to Dubai.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Pakistan, India to start process of joining China security bloc

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PHOTO: REUTERS
BEIJING: Nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India will start the process of joining a security bloc led by China and Russia at a summit in Russia later this week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday, the first time the grouping has expanded since it was set up in 2001.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) groups China, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers.
“As the influence of the SCO’s development has expanded, more and more countries in the region have brought up joining the SCO,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a news briefing.

“…India and Pakistan’s admission to the SCO will play an important role in the SCO’s development and it will play a constructive role in pushing for the improvement of their bilateral relations.”
The SCO was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.
Cheng said that the summit, to be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, would also discuss security in Afghanistan.
Beijing says separatist groups in the far western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, are seeking to form their own state called East Turkestan and have links with militants in Central Asia as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

China says that Uighur militants, operating at the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), has also been working with Islamic State.
“It can be said that ETIM certainly has links with the Islamic State, and has participated in relevant terrorist activities. China is paying close attention to this, and will have security cooperation with relevant countries,” Cheng said.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

14% Advance Tax Imposed on Internet Across Pakistan

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Tax
Another day and we have a news about another tax. Reports suggest that Government of Pakistan has imposed 14% tax on internet across Pakistan. With this new advance tax — which can be reclaimed at the time of filing of returns — 14% of the bill amount is supposed to get deducted on internet usage across Pakistan
This is a federal tax, and is imposed for Internet users in all provinces.
For those who are wondering that Punjab just withdrew taxes on internet then why this new tax, then the tax that Punjab Government had impose and later reverted was GST.
GST or General Sales Tax is different from WHT, as GST is collected by provinces (and it is never returned) while WHT is collected by federal government and it can be re-claimed at the timing of filing returns.

Anyone with Rs. 1,000 monthly bill will have to pay Rs. 140 extra as WHT

For commoners, you just have to pay 14% extra on your internet services. Anyone with Rs. 1,000 monthly bill will have to pay Rs. 140 extra now, as advance tax.
For internet users in KPK and Sindh, you will have to pay 14% WHT and another 19.5% as GST. So a total of 33.5% tax for using internet.
ISPs are already in process of informing their customers about this new tax.
Those customers who file their returns can claim 14% WHT back, while non-fillers can forget about this money for ever.
Mobile companies are still not sure if they will deduct this tax for mobile data usage or not. They said that bill requires interpretation and will be clarified at a later time.
A tax expert told ProPakistani that mobile phone companies already deduct 14% advance tax or WHT from card loads, which is then used for telecom services and mobile data as well. If internet is taxed at same rate then there will no change in how taxes are deducted for mobile phone users. Which means that 14% advance tax on internet is applicable for mobile phone users as well.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Internet.org: Philanthropy or Just False Advertising?

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internet.org
It’s hard not to run across Internet.org in the news of late. Whether it’s a Pakistani man renting a billboard to thank Mark Zuckerberg for the initiative or the EFF coming out with a scathing assessment, Internet.org has generated a lot of debate. If you’re still unclear about what it is or why it’s so controversial, this is a great place to start.

What is Internet.org?

Two thirds of the world’s population doesn’t have internet access. Internet.org solves this problem by providing free mobile internet access to selected websites (telecom networks cover approximately 80% of the population). Any website can apply to be part of the venture through an application provided they fulfill certain requirements. However, only Facebook can decide which application gets rejected or accepted.
Criteria to be part of the Internet.org Platform:
  • Explore the entire internet (so as to give users a taste of the wider Internet and therefore help them see the value of the Internet)
  • Efficiency of data use (so that it would be economical for carriers to allow free access to the websites)
  • Technical specifications: optimized for browsing on a wide range of devices including smartphones and less sophisticated mobile devices, and should not be dependent on Javascript or HTTPS.

Issue 1: Communication Over Internet.org is Not Secure

All internet communication goes through Internet.org’s proxy servers which automatically strip all content that doesn’t follow the guidelines – like VoIP, images larger than 1MB, videos and so on. It also inserts a warning if a user navigates away from this text heavy ‘zero-rated’ portion of the internet. It’s this ‘proxifying’ process that’s of huge concern.
If you’re using a feature phone, there is no support for encrypted HTTPS connections. To work, the data has to be unencrypted when it passes through Internet.org’s proxy servers. That means anyone can read it. From Facebook to the carrier to government agencies, the data could be exposed to anybody and therein lies the crux of the problem.
You cannot provide reasonable security with Internet.org’s current technical setup for feature phone users, who are the actual people that need access. Hence, the system is ripe for abuse. Whether it’s Facebook itself mining the data or being a single point of failure which governments can pressure to get information, there is no expectation of security or privacy.
What could fix this? Facebook says it’s working on a solution for providing encryption on feature phones. If that becomes the default, this concern is mitigated.

Issue 2: Is it Philanthropy or Simply a Very Long Term Investment?

‘Connecting two thirds of the world to the internet’ is a great tagline but let’s be realistic here. Facebook could start the data collection process even before you sign up for the network. Let’s not kid ourselves either by thinking they won’t. They will. After all, they track what sites you visit outside Facebook, they track what apps you use, they even track what friend requests you don’t accept or the status you type but don’t post.
Everyone is rushing towards developing countries because they are the ones who are going to drive demand in the coming years and decades. There is tremendous value in locking down potential customers from the get go and that’s exactly what Internet.org could be: the sole access provider to a completely untapped market.

There is tremendous value in locking down potential customers from the get go and that’s exactly what Internet.org could be: the sole access provider to a completely untapped market.

It’s basically a dream for any advertisement focused company. You control the access, you track the content and you decide what is free and what’s paid. Marketers would kill for the kind of granular data Internet.org could provide if it becomes large enough. With every percentage of population that goes online, the advertising value increases manifold. Are we really supposed to believe Facebook, a publicly traded company beholden to its shareholders, won’t leverage that?
Some internet is better than no internet, I agree. But there has to be a better and more secure solution than letting another corporation take over the controls. And if you do want to do that, don’t call it the ‘Internet initiative’ or ‘philanthropy’ because that’s just posturing.
What could fix this? Bringing digital rights and privacy focused organizations like the EFF on-board who make sure the promise of free and fair internet with a reasonable expectation of privacy and security is delivered.

Misconception: Internet.org Violates Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally. With Internet.org, that wasn’t always the case. Initially, Facebook and the ISPs were going to decide what websites were approved. After some incredible opposition though, Facebook changed its stance and said that any website that followed its guidelines would be welcome to be a part of Internet.org.
Point to Ponder: Should Facebook change the marketing strategy for Internet.org?
In 2015, researchers evaluating how Facebook Zero shapes ICT use in the developing world found that 11% of Indonesians who said they used Facebook also said they did not use the Internet. 65% of Nigerians, and 61% of Indonesians agree with the statement that “Facebook is the Internet” compared with only 5% in the US.
The reversal is great but we need to be very observant. Google had a monopoly on search and they abused it to promote their own services and that of their top ad spenders at the cost of everyone else. It would be easy for Facebook to change the guidelines to stifle competition. So we need to ensure that Internet.org has a transparent process that provides everyone a fair chance to be a part of it. That includes websites that might compete against Facebook.

And Here’s Why All These Concerns Might be Irrelevant:

Most people, including myself, are very opinionated about Internet.org. That’s because we are worried about things like security, privacy and net neutrality (add corporations taking over the world to that list as well). But does the intended audience of Internet.org really care for any of that? The goat herder in Cambodia, the rice farmer in rural Pakistan or the laborer in Malawi?
There is zero doubt in my mind that if Internet.org remains a fair platform and doesn’t succumb to corporate greed, it could become one of the most important initiatives for the developing world. I don’t trust Mark Zuckerberg but I do appreciate what he is trying to do. After all, who has done anything yet for connecting the rest of the world to the internet? It’s a flawed initiative, yes, but we should try to work out the kinks in a constructive manner rather than trying to derail it completely.
Remember, while we’re busy debating, more than 4 billion people in the world aren’t connected to the internet. Deciding exactly what we cede in order to provide them access is the multi-billion dollar question.
So far, activists everywhere have deemed security and privacy too much of a trade off. What do you think? Is Internet.org’s global internet access worth the associated risks? Let us know in the comments below!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Telcos Didn’t Invest Billions on 3G/4G for Lahore to Tax the Internet

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3G_Award

Just an year ago, Pakistani government was in process of convincing telecom operators to participate in 3G/4G auction by saying that government will go to any level to support internet, technology and the industry.
We know that at least one operator was about to back-down from auction when Dr. Ismail Shah had to go an extra mile in convincing operators to remain part of the auction. Various changes in Information Memorandum and other facilitations were arranged just to get the auction successful.
Telecom companies, on the words of Pakistani government, invested more than $1.1 billion in 3G/4G spectrum and more in the infrastructure to equip Pakistan with high-speed wireless internet.
Now, with-in one year, when telcos — after all the investment — have stretched their 3G networks to more than one third of their total coverage (on average, in total), and more than 15 million users have started using 3G, Punjab government has ridiculed all the promises that the government of Pakistan did with the operators.

Operators didn’t invest billions so that data users in Pakistan are quadrupled with-in one year and then government could tax 3G/4G data services at once

Government has shown its back, scattered the trust, sabotaged the multi-billion dollar internet industry and killed the motivation of aspiring youth for just few billion rupees that it is likely to make by taxing the internet in the province.
Yes, Pakistani government lied with the telecom operators by pretending that they are nice people wanting the county to grow and that they will support the investment.
They played with international investors exactly when these operators beat all expectations and helped broadband subscriptions to grow from mere 3.4 million to double in just six months and over 19 million in just one year; this is when Punjab imposed 19.5% tax on internet usage including DSL, 3G, 4G or any kind of internet over 2Mbps.

We urge Anusha Rehman (Minister for State for Telecom and IT) of the ruling party to recall her colleagues in Punjab of the promises that her government made with the telecom operators and withdraw the taxes, at once.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Breaking: Punjab Slaps 3G/4G, Imposes 19.5% Taxes on Internet Usage

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Tax
matroclass
Government of Punjab, through a SRO — also known as mini budgets — has imposed 19.5% tax on internet services over 2Mbps and for bills exceeding Rs. 1,500 per month, starting tomorrow.
With this, over 56 percent population of Pakistan will be liable to pay service taxes on internet usage for 3G, 4G, broadband, EVO or anything internet communication with speeds exceeding 2Mbps or/and if the monthly bill for their service  exceeds Rs. 1,500 per month.
And this is going to get implemented straight away, starting May 29th, 2015.
Below is the copy of SRO according to which the tax exemption, that was earlier granted to internet services, has been withdrawn.
Punjab_Tax_Internet

This Tax will Kill The Industry

I feel pity for Anusha Rehman, Ishaq Dar and Nawaz Sharif with their tall claims for efforts that they had made for auctioning 3G and 4G.
Just this morning Anusha Rehman — at an event — wasted more than 30 minutes in explaining how government is supporting 3G/4G and entrepreneurship in the country; the fact is that this government has decided to kill it all.
Considering the high growth rates of internet users in Pakistan, all the planned investment, worth billions of dollars, will be routed to other market and Pakistan will be destined for the stone age again.
Interestingly, this ruthless decision came just a week before the budget so that Balochistan gets enough time to get its sheets right and impose similar taxes on internet usage.
Just to recall, KPK and Sindh provinces are already charging service taxes on internet usage, however, tax in both the provinces in on conventional Internet and not on mobile data. Also imposition of tax on all kind of internet by Punjab — that houses than 56% of Pakistani population — is simply fatal.

Industry’s Response

Telecom service providers are speechless at the development. When I called them up to record their responses, they were clueless, scattered and worried. Sheer amount of depression has caught up the market because it knows the damage this tax is going to do to people, businesses and the country.
One thing they are clear about is to reject this tax. While they are uncertain about the way of rejecting it, but they have apparently decided to not play in the hands of the government.
They said that Pakistan waited for more than 5 years to launch 3G and 4G, and now when conditions are just about to settle down, this tax is going to take us back to where we had started.
Just in case if you don’t know, Pakistan’s internet penetration is lowest in the region.
One official of a telecom company commented:
“It is such a shame that politicians, who prefer their personal pockets over national economy, are such short sighted that they preferred killing the internet industry, eCommerce, m-banking, entrepreneurship and almost entire economy for meeting budgetary deficits.”
Another top level official, said:
This tax has shocked the industry. Telecom companies didn’t invest more than $1.5 billion dollars in Pakistan for 3G and 4G just to face 20% tax on internet.

What to Do Now?

ACT. Respond to this tax by raising your voice, on all available and possible platforms. Call up TV stations, radio stations and express your concerns. Take it to Facebook, and express your feelings. Call up your influential friends and ask them to play a role.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

India asking Pakistan to create violence-free environment is ironic: Aziz

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ISLAMABAD: The prime minister’s senior aide Sartaj Aziz termed on Tuesday India’s requests for Pakistan to create an environment free of violence as ‘ironic.’
“When India keeps violating ceasefire at the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, indulges in worst human rights violations against helpless Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir, and undertakes subversive activities in Pakistan, then asking Pakistan to create an environment free of violence only sounds ironic,” Aziz said.
Responding to India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement that dialogue between India and Pakistan will only be held under the condition that Pakistan takes action against terrorists like Lakhvi and others for carrying out terror acts in India, Aziz said, “As regards the Mumbai trial, it is proceeding in the court of law.”
“Indian concern over slow progress calls into question their own reluctance to cooperate by not allowing the Judicial Commission’s visit to India until September 2013,” he added
“Pakistan has its concerns too. Information on the trial of Indian Military’s active service officers named by the RSS member Swami Aseemanand, who was the mastermind, has not been shared,” the adviser upheld.
“Scores of Pakistanis lost lives in the Samjhota terrorist incident. Samjhota happened two years earlier than Mumbai attacks. The victims’ families are still waiting for delivery of justice,” Aziz added.
The premier’s senior aide further clarified, “Pakistan’s policy all along has been that all outstanding disputes, particularly the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir should be resolved through dialogue.”
“Pakistan has conveyed to India that it remains committed to dialogue, provided India is ready,” Aziz added.
“Pakistan believes in a sustained, comprehensive and result-oriented dialogue. Pakistan also believes that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are important stakeholders in the final resolution of the Kashmir dispute since they have yet to exercise their right to self-determination as enshrined in numerous UN Resolutions.”
Further, Aziz expressed shock over India terming the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ‘unacceptable.’
Dismissing India’s concerns, Aziz said the mega project is all about regional connectivity, economic development and prosperity of the common people of the entire region.
“Pakistan maintains a policy of non-interference in other countries’ bilateral relations and expects the same from others to refrain from commenting on Pakistan’s bilateral relations with other countries,” he added.
Repeating the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s statement, Aziz said, “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a major cooperation framework between the two countries and is not against any third party.”
India’s reaction on CPEC has unmasked its true face, says Nisar
Interior Miniser Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Tuesday that India’s reaction to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had ripped the mask of its true face before the world.
Nisar said the Indian reaction was a clear proof that they were not happy to see Pakistan prospering and developing.
His comments came after a statement from Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parikar, wherein he allegedly accepted responsibility of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Nisar said that the subsequent statement from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed that India not only wanted to destabilise Pakistan, but also wants to keep Pakistan from progressing by any means.
Calling Modi’s statement an ‘eye-opener’ for all those who praising India for its democratic credentials, Nisar warned that Pakistan’s desire for peace must not be mistaken for weakness.
Reiterating the country’s commitment to defeat terrorism in all of its forms, Nisar stated that the whole country is united to carry forward the CPEC.
The minister said that CPEC demonstrates the commitment of both China and Pakistan to work together not only for the benefit of the people the two countries but also for the prosperity and socio-economic betterment of the region.

Telenor Announces USB Devices with up to 30GB Data Limit and Two Months of Free Trials

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Telenor Pakistan has announced its new USB Dongle and Wingle Devices with 3G internet with up to 30GB of data limit per month. Even better, both devices come with free trial of two months with up to 60GB of data limit. Keep reading to know details!
Telenor introduced two devices, one of which is just the Dongle, while second one is WiFi Wingle, which means it will create a WiFi hotspot and up to 10 devices can get connected with it to share the internet.
Pricing, plans and other details of both the devices are as following:

Telenor 3G Connect

  • Price: Rs. 2,200
  • Price Includes Free 3G SIM (Prepaid) which has the 3G Connect Package
  • works on 3G and 2G
  • 1 year warranty
  • Online Web Portal for bundle activations and balance/usage checks
  • Free Trial: 2 months of free internet (20 GB/month).
    • Dial *345*4005# @ Rs.0.1 incl. of tax to activate Free trial
    • You can check your remaining internet data (MB) and its validity by dialing *999# (Charges are Rs. 0.24 inclusive of tax)

Telenor 3G Connect Wifi

  • Price Rs. 3,000
  • Price Includes Free 3G SIM (Prepaid) which has the 3G Connect Package
  • Can connect up to 10 Devices on Wifi.
  • Plug & play installation
  • works on 3G and 2G
  • 1 year warranty
  • Online Web Portal for bundle activations and balance/usage checks
  • Free Trial: 2 months of free internet (30 GB/month).
    • Dial *345*4005# @ Rs.0.1 incl. of tax to activate Free trial
    • You can check your remaining internet data (MB) and its validity by dialing *999# (Charges are Rs. 0.24 inclusive of tax)

Data Packages after Trial Period

As mentioned above, both the devices come with two months of free trial with a data limit of 20GB and 30GB per month respectively. After trial period ends, customers can avail following data packages:
Telenor_3G_Dongles
  • Telenor USB Connect and Telenor USB Connect Devices can be bought from Telenor Service centres, franchises and selective Retailers in cities with 3G coverage is available
  • You can check your remaining internet data (MB) and its validity by dialing *999#. Charges are Rs. 0.24 inclusive of tax
  • You can use your existing Telenor Prepaid SIM with the Connect basic after migrating it to a data package, which you can do so by dialing the USSD code *345*4006#
  • Once migrated, voice calls will be blocked on that SIM, so it is advisable to do the migration only if you have a spare Telenor SIM

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Internet.org Launched in Pakistan, Browse 17 Websites for Free on Telenor

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Facebook_Internet_Org

As we told you yesterday, Telenor, in collaboration with Facebook today launched internet.org initiative in Pakistan, with which all Telenor customers — both prepaid and postpaid — will be able to use selected internet websites for free.
Telenor launched the program with 17 websites today, which are available for free unlimited browsing. However, external links, if any, will be charged as per usual tariffs.
Telenor launched the program with 17 websites today, which are available for free unlimited browsing. However, external links, if any, will be charged as per usual tariffs.
Facebook_Internet_Org_01
Launch event or internet.org was attended by high-ups of Telenor Pakistan, including Michael Foley, CEO, Telenor, Irfan Wahab, Deputy CEO, Telenor Pakistan and Aslam Hayat Khan, VP, Telenor Pakistan.
Facebook officials, lead by Ime Archibong, Global Head for Strategic Partnerships at Facebook, in first of its kind representation from Facebook in Pakistan, were also present at the event.
Telenor has said that its internet.org initiative is aimed for first time internet users. Company has said that its currently not looking at any business proposition, instead the whole initiative is targeted to convert more users to internet.
Here is the list of websites that can be browsed for free:
  1. Facebook
  2. Telenor Mobile Portal
  3. AccuWeather
  4. Babycenter & MAMA
  5. BBC News
  6. Bing
  7. ESPN Cricinfo
  8. Facts for Life
  9. Girl Effect
  10. IlmkiDunya
  11. Malaria No More
  12. Mustakbil
  13. OLX
  14. Telenor News
  15. UrduPoint Cooking
  16. Wikipedia
  17. BBC Urdu

How to Access These Websites

Telenor users, in whatever city they are or whatever package they are on (postpaid included) can go to internet.org from their cell phones to access these websites. While accessing internet.org website, users will be presented a list of websites they can access for free.
Alternatively, if you are smartphone user, you can download internet.org app from your respective app store an use it.
Any usage with-in internet.org website (or the app) will be free.
Both 3G and 2G users can access internet.org for free, and there is no need to subscribe or activate anything. You can start browsing internet.org for free, right away!
Below is how it will look like when Telenor users will visit internet.org from their mobile browsers:
Internet_org
Telenor has said that more publishers will be included in the list of available websites and local content providers can work in-line with Facebook guidelines to apply for their inclusion in internet.org.
More commentary, on this whole initiative, its impact on internet usage in Pakistan, and possible outcomes for internet users, telcos and publishers will be discussed in separate stories. Stay tuned.

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Facebook formally launches its limited-free interent service in Pakistan

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Internet.org is a global initiative by Facebook where selected websites are made available to users for free.
Internet.org is a global initiative by Facebook where selected websites are made available to users for free.
Facebook finally launched its free but limited internet facility “internet.org” in Pakistan in, making it the 11th country to have this service.
In a Facebook post on Thursday Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that “Internet.org is now live in Pakistan for people on the Telenor Pakistan network.”
“Now, people will be able to access valuable services for free, including resources for health, jobs, local news and communication.”
He also claimed that nearly 1 billion people around the world will be able to access basic internet facility through this internet programme.
Internet.org is a global initiative by Facebook where selected websites are made available to users for free. It has been developed with the basic aim at developing markets where devices and data rates are beyond the reach of commoners.
The social media giant, after partnering with different telecom companies and content providers, would make certain selected websites available free of cost to their consumers.
The internet.org programme, however, has been criticised by the internet activists for its partiality and violation of net neutrality as only certain sites, including Facebook, while charging for rest of the sites. They also claim that the programme is either intentionally or unintentionally “killing the rest of internet” as only selected content on the internet will be promoted, which can be dangerous in the long run since not everyone can become part of the program.
Though any publisher can apply to become part of internet.org program, but not everyone’s application is accepted as they have to follow certain rules/guidelines which might even mean compromising on the quality of their content.
According to a market research by GfK, there are over 30 million Internet users and 15 million smartphone users in Pakistan. The recent statistics showed a staggering growth in Internet use of over 550 per cent between September 2014 and April of this year, with the total number of 3G subscribers crossing 11 million. The research also predicted the Pakistan’s tech device market to grow by 15 per cent in 2015.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

SMS Lottery Fraudsters Still Flourishing Even After Biometric Verification of SIMs

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Fraud

We once told you that text messages for “Benazir Income Support Prizes” and similar lottery prizes will vanish away after biometric verification of SIMs, however, that hasn’t happened. Instead these fraudsters are now using SMS spoofing to pose as official senders of the lucrative prizes.
While there are little chances but for those who don’t know, these fraudsters send text messages to mobile phone users — usually in rural areas — with prizes of thousands of rupees, and in return they ask for few hundred rupees in advance as processing fee. Once this advance fee is paid, fraudsters get away and never pay the promised price.
While there is no research available for such people losing their hard earned money, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rupees are wasted by commoners every day.
After biometric verification of almost every SIM, these fraudsters have resorted to SMS spoofing solutions readily available on the internet. With SMS Spoofing one can fake the sender ID and messages look as they are officially sent from recognized institutes.
Screenshot_2014-06-25-09-51-22.png
An old screen-grab of SMS spoofed message from archives
While we know that there is a phone number given in the body of such messages that could lead to someone as all SIMs are bio-metrically verified now, law enforcement agencies, cellular operators, PTA or anyone else are least concerned about stopping these menace fraudsters.
While we know that telecom operators have installed systems to catch marketing messages, these SMS Spoofed messages are never caught.
Here are the possible reasons, or at least of these, that SMS lottery schemes aren’t put on an end:
  • Not all unverified SIMs are blocked
  • SPAM catchers of telecom operators are flawed
  • LEAs aren’t interested in low-cost cases where fraud of only few hundred rupees is involved

If you (PTA, Telcos, LEAs ) aren’t part of the solution in stopping lottery fraudsters, then it will be assumed that you are part of problem

Unfortunately, even after the biometric verification of SIMs, these messages have not stopped and apparently no-one is putting any attention to the matter just because victims are from rural areas of the country and with less influence on the elite class that makes decision.

All in all, nothing is stopping these fraudsters in looting hundreds of thousands of rupees from innocent, unaware, illiterate and poor Pakistanis.
We have discussed before that biometric verification of over 100 million SIMs wasn’t going to help us stopping the terrorism, but these small crimes were definitely supposed to end. One may wonder the use of biometric verification campaign, worth over 60 million dollars and millions of hours of combined efforts of telcos and customers, if these small crimes are still prospering.

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Monday, 25 May 2015

Pakistan recall Malik, Sami for ODIs

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LAHORE: After returning for the two-match Twenty20 International series, the duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad — once dumped as spent force — also made the cut for Pakistan’s ODI squad.
Both Malik and Sami were included in the 16-man squad for the three-match One-day International series that gets underway at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore from Tuesday (today).
The duo have been picked in the ODI squad for the first time in nearly two years. However, Saeed Ajmal was not included in the list.
Malik hadn’t played 50-over cricket since June 2013, but has averaged 50.36 in List A cricket over 12 matches in the last two years, including a hundred and five fifties — made in successive innings. However he failed in the preceding Twenty20 series, which Pakistan won 2-0 on Sunday, with scores of seven each.
Sami was last with the ODI team in June 2012. His last 12 months in domestic one-day cricket have fetched 19 wickets at an average of 23.63 and economy-rate of 5.10.
After a 0-3 defeat to Bangladesh, the Pakistan Cricket Board had hinted at making considerable changes. Ahmed Shehzad and has reclaimed his place as well. Imad Wasim, who made his Pakistan debut in the second T20 against Zimbabwe, is also part of the squad.
Umar Gul, Rahat Ali and Zulfiqar Babar have lost their place, though. So the fast-bowling workload will be borne by Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan and Sami. Yasir Shah is the lone specialist spinner in the squad.
Opener Sami Aslam and middle-order batsmen Saad Nasim and Fawad Alam have been dropped as well. Umar Akmal, who was not picked for the Bangladesh tour, hasn’t been preferred for this series either.
Sami though impressed with his quick pace, taking four wickets in two Twenty20 matches.
Azhar Ali, who replaced Misbah-ul-Haq as one-day captain after the World Cup in April, was retained despite Pakistan’s loss in Bangladesh.
Ajmal continued to be sidelined after he struggled with his remodelled action on the Bangladesh tour following his clearance in February this year.
Ajmal’s action was deemed illegal in September last year and he had to remodel that to lift his suspension from international matches.
In Ajmal’s absence leggie Yasir Shah will be the frontline spinner in the squad. Shah missed the Bangladesh one-day series with a finger injury.
Meanwhile, the PCB remains optimistic of playing arch-rivals India in a full series in the United Arab Emirates or any other mutually agreed venue in December.
“PCB is now expecting the government of India’s permission for the revival of the series in the near future particularly after (Indian) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public indication that his government would support the revival of the cricket series,” it said in a statement.
Pakistan’s ODI squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Anwar Ali, Hammad Azam, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami, Junaid Khan.

Army to be deployed in Daska: Chief Justice LHC

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Lahore: Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Manzoor Ahmed, taking notice of the Daska incident, directed the government to deploy army in the area.

After holding talks with representatives of various bar councils, the chief justice asked Session judge to reach the site and contact lawyers’ bodies to settle down the situation.

The chief justice also contacted representatives of Bar Councils in Daska and Gujranwala, asking them to remain calm and peace. He also gave them assurance that strict action would be taken against those involved in the incident.

Lawyers surrounded the vehicle of Chief Justice when he left for home, demanding that he take suo notice incident of Daska killing. The chief justice assured that justice would be served.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has introduced EVO Double-Volume Double Fun Offer for its customers.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has introduced EVO Double-Volume Double Fun Offer for its customers.

The new offer by the company enables both existing and new subscribers of 3G EVO Wingle 9.3 and CharJi EVO LTE to enjoy twice the volume for the same monthly charges on all packages for the whole year.

Subscribers can avail this offer by visiting any PTCL retail outlet.

The offer enables PTCL EVO customers to experience more flexibility for enjoying seamless internet connectivity, downloading multimedia content, stream HD videos and access to a large database of online games and applications.

PTCL EVO wireless broadband service connects more than 250 cities and towns nationwide and its foot-print is being rapidly increased.

 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Telenor is Building a New HQ in Islamabad that will Cost Them $70 Million

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Telenor_HQ

It’s wide knowledge that Telenor has one of the best work cultures in Pakistan. New graduates don’t typically think of work culture as a major consideration when choosing offers but it become a bigger factor than money as time passes.
Telenor’s current facilities are no slouch either but the company has decided to up the ante with an all new state-of-the-art building that is going to cost them more than 70 million dollars.
The new building is under construction in Gulberg Express, Islamabad and is expected to be completed by the end of next year. Spanning an area over 150kanals, it will house over 1100 employees.
Some of the things employees can look forward to are a gym, pool, mosque, day care center for employees with children and other amenities you’d usually associate with a Silicon Valley firm.
As we mentioned before, Michael Foley, CEO Telenor Pakistan, was kind enough to tour ProPakistani team the construction site to share the details of the new environment friendly building.
Here is a glimpse into what you can expect from the new facilities:
  • Earthquake Resistance: Earthquake resistance raised to international recommendations by designing for seismic zone 3 ( raised from normal 2B).
  • Open Work Zones: Telenor workplace model with clean desk principle and flexible seating for all personnel in open work zones.
  • Focus on Renewable Energy: Solar panels to cover minimum of 10% of the energy consumption. Telenor plans to add more solar energy along with time.
  • Water Management: Water saving equipment, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment with treated water used for irrigation.
  • Low Energy Consumption: Design and construction in accordance with  ASHRAE 189.1 International standard for high performance green buildings, focus on energy efficient cooling systems.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint: Use of rammed earth for facades to lower energy consumption,  improve indoor climate and reduce CO2 footprint.
It maybe recalled here that Telenor is celebrating its 10 years of operations in Pakistan. With over $2.3 billion already invested in the country, Telenor said that its on-going investments are testament of company’s commitment towards Pakistan in the long-term.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Supermodel Ayyan's father shot and wounded

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PHOTO: AYYAN'S OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGEModel's judicial remand extended by 14 days . PHOTO: CATALYST PR AND MARKETING
RAWALPINDI: Following a hearing in a Rawalpindi court, model Ayyan’s father was shot in the arm and wounded,Express News reported. 
Ayyan arrived at the court earlier this morning for the hearing where the decision was made to extend her judicial remand by another 14 days after her initial 14-day remand came to an end.

PHOTO: FAWAD ALI/EXPRESS

Her father had come to see his model daughter when he was attacked by an unidentified person and shot in the arm. Following the attack, he was taken to Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi where he received treatment.
When questioned about the applications submitted by different persons including her father to be present at her court meetings with her, she refused the meetings and wanting only her brother and lawyers present.
PHOTO: FAWAD ALI /EXPRESS

Speaking to The Express Tribune after becoming stable, Ayyan’s father Raja Hafeez, said he has nominated Rehman Malik’s brother, Khalid Malik in the FIR pertaining to the shooting incident today.
He further added that he had been receiving threats over the past few weeks.
PHOTO: FAWAD ALI /EXPRESS

PHOTO: FAWAD ALI /EXPRESS

The hearing today comes just a day after customs officials deemed her proof of currency ownership as dubious following interrogation. Her property dealer Mumtaz was made a part of the probe following her claims that the money was earned after selling her five properties.
The court questioned about the B-class facilities for Ayyan, to which, senior official of the investigation team,  Zargham Khan, said that a person booked under the Customs Act is not entitled to B-class facilities.
The court was also informed that investigation was underway and that an FIR would soon be submitted. The court ordered for the FIR to be submitted by April 11.
Talking to reporters, Khan said the customs case is clear and it had been proved “she was going abroad along with the cash. Attempting to smuggle is equivalent to smuggling.”
Ayyan’s property dealer earlier submitted documents which are being verified and will be produced at the next hearing.
“Punishment in a smuggling case is five to 14 years imprisonment if convicted” Khan said.
He further added that Ayyan had paid 14 visits to UAE and the rest to Malaysia and other countries. Another senior official said any kind of dealing in foreign currency is not allowed without the permission and involvement of the State Bank.