I, once again, would like to thank all of you who helped bring Pakistan
Google radar with special thanks to Rabia Garib for hosting the event
and Hamza Hashmi for not only organizing everything as expected but
taking care of the cumbersome visa related matters.
Pakistan Country Consultant
Posted by Rishi Jaitly, Policy Analyst,
How do we develop points of view about places we have not seen and
people we have not met?
TV networks, film studios, radio broadcasters, and book publishers
have, of course, exerted significant influence over our assumptions for
years. Today, thanks to the Internet, our views about far away peoples
and places are also informed by a countless group of peers spanning the
globe. But no matter how powerful and instructive a blog,
article, or YouTube
video may be, no technology will ever replace real immersion --
live and in person.
recently had the opportunity to visit Pakistan, which just celebrated
61 years as an independent state. Before my visit, my views about
Pakistan had largely been shaped by Western media -- and these days,
it's difficult to open a newspaper without coming across a story
highlighting the country's "tumultuous" sociopolitical environment.
left Pakistan with a single thought: that there is enormous potential
for this nation to emerge as a leading center of growth and innovation.
my visit, Pakistan's blogging community expressed impressive passion
for the Internet medium, media organizations demonstrated a propensity
for serious journalism, business leaders conveyed a track record of
innovation, and government officials offered a refreshing receptiveness to new ideas.
an especially exciting time for information and communication
technologies in the country: Pakistan's rapidly-growing Internet
population of 17 million and sizeable mobile phone subscriber base of 89 million present innumerable opportunities for all
those interested in delivering empowering services for Pakistani users.
Of course, we at Google will not achieve our own mission unless
we deepen our relationships with Pakistani users and institutions.
Though we're delighted that google.com.pk is Pakistan's top web site and that nearly one third of
blogs registered with Pakistan's first blog aggregator are
registered with our free blogging service Blogger, we know we
have a long way to go as we strive to meet the unique needs of
Importantly, Pakistan's Ministry of Information
Technology & Telecommunications
has recently initiated an open consultation to revise the country's
National IT Policy. This represents a significant opportunity for all
stakeholders to ensure that the Internet in Pakistan develops as a free
and open platform for information, communication, and innovation. I,
for one, thank the government for formally inviting Google to
participate in this policy making process.
As an American of
Indian origin (with some ancestral roots in what is now Pakistan), my
remaining emotions, observations, and recommendations are too many to
list in this single post. I will say, though, that I am grateful to
have had the opportunity to visit Pakistan and develop my own point of
view about one of the most important places in our world.