Posts tagged ‘Pakistan’
Whether you are a Pakistani applying for an Indian visa or an Indian applying for a Pakistani visa, the road ahead is a challenging one for you. I have been fortunate in that I have a strong sponsor in the form of Nasscom who are P@SHA’s counterparts in India. However, even then there are stumbling blocks especially if you are applying for a Triple Entry or Multiple Entry visa. Let me tell you about some of them.
So if you are applying for a triple entry visa, you are asked what your port of entry will be – Delhi/Mumbai/Wagah. How is one supposed to know if during a 12 month period one will have to go to a meeting to Mumbai/Bangalore/Pune which would mean entering via Mumbai OR if one will be going to a meeting in Delhi/Gurgaon/Chennai which would entail going through Delhi. You are also expected to know which hotel you will be staying at. Really ridiculous. So what does one do? Either get a crystal ball or guess and keep your fingers crossed that those will be the cities you will be going to and that the relevant hotels that you have mentioned will have rooms available should you need to stay there.
And before we have a barrage of anti-India statements, our government does the same. It is called reciprocity.
Stranger still is what happened this year to one of our delegates who had booked Hotel A in Mumbai to stay at but when she discovered that it was miles away from where the conference was, and that everyone else was staying at Hotel B, she tried to cancel the room in Hotel A and book a room in Hotel B. She was told by Hotel A that she would be charged for one night (which is normal) so she decided to stay in Hotel A for one night and then move to Hotel B for the days that remained. At the airport, in the column on the Residence Permit where she was asked to fill in the name and address of the hotel she would be staying at, she put in the name and address of Hotel B because that was where she would be spending the larger portion of her stay.
Big mistake! When she got to Hotel A, she was told that they could not put her up for the one night because the Residence Permit had the name of Hotel B on it. They would be breaking the law if they allowed her to stay. The hotel management was very nice; they called the other hotel and arranged for her to move to Hotel B the same night but it was a hassle and it was tiring and time-consuming for the poor lady. She looked absolutely harassed by the time she checked into Hotel B where we ran into her and she related this entire story.
My question to both governments – Do we really have to do this to each other? Who designs these forms? Don’t they think the whole thing through? Can’t they make things easier. Even the US that is so security conscious, gives a country visa to us. Why should India and Pakistan not do the same for each other? Let us do away with the city specific visas and the defining of ports of entry. Harassing business people and family visitors doesn’t keep out the terrorists. They have their ways and get in somehow.
Another update is that the Indian CID has taken a liking to me. I have been travelling to India for the past 12 years on business but it is only in the last two years that I have been visited by the CID. They are polite enough and I guess they are just doing their job but surely their time could be better utilized elsewhere rather than checking up on me and asking me why I am there, how long was I going to stay, the exact details of my flight back, what i was going to do while I was in India etc. etc. Come on guys – have I suddenly started to look more suspicious than I did before? Surely not! I also object to the fact that although I had told you that 8 more colleagues of mine were arriving the next day, you didn’t come to check up on them. Why do I get all the love?
It is such a delight to see that local companies are actually beginning to develop interesting and engaging content in local languages for kids. We have seen how popular Toffee TV has become since it was first launched and now a new company – Jugnoo Media has launched a fabulous mobile App for the iPhone and iPad. We are told that they are also working on an Android version which will be out soon.
Duddoo Aur Dhobi, as it is called, is based on two popular Urdu nursery rhymes “O Baba duddoo’a” and “Dhobi aaya”. It is an app that provides a highly interactive and immersive environment for children. The app has lyrics and characters based on South Asian themes, heroes, stories and traditions thus providing context.
I first caught sight of it when one of the founders of Jugnoo Media, Zia Imran, sneaked it into the home of our mutual friend Zafar Khan, CEO of Sofizar one evening. Zafar’s young son Zacky was hanging around the living room and Imran took out his iPad and started playing with the app which was still in beta mode. His intention was to get Zacky to test it out for free (Zafar, please note: your son was deprived of a beta testing fee).
The little one took hold of the iPad and start playing very intuitively with the application and was totally engrossed in it the entire evening. He showed it to his mom and his dad and there was no question about how much he loved the app. All of us knew that it would be a hit. I convinced Imran to load it onto my iPad mini the next day and have been playing it myself whenever I get a chance.
Going through Facebook statuses of friends one day, I noticed the following message put up by Sadia Khan who is COO of Autosoft Dynamics:
Raem and Anya’s latest favorite song and app on the ipad – Urdu based nursery rhyme, Duddoo aur Dhobi! Check it out friends and family. Its been made by a Pakistani company and I give it top marks on engaging kids. Both of my kids for the first time in a long while want to play with the same app. I have even caught myself unwittingly humming the duddoo and dhobi song – do check it out and let me know what you all think!! P.s. its free for now so I’d download before they start charging!!!
So it is not only kids but also their parents who are really taken with this app.
Jugnoo Media’s mission is to create wholesome entertainment and educational content for kids of all ages (I guess that means I am included too). This is good news for South Asian parents who think there is a dearth of good localized content available in electronic format.
Jugnoo means ‘Firefly’ in Urdu, Hindi and other regional languages of South Asia. The venture is named Jugnoo Media because the founders were simply enthralled by the vast presence of this small insect while growing up. They say that in the old days, it was the norm for young children to run after these beautiful insects and attempt to catch them. Some would put them in glass bottles to make lanterns. In today’s day and age, this beautiful and fragile insect is under severe threat. As cities become large, paved and cemented with less and less natural habitat, the jugnoo has virtually disappeared from large cities of South Asia.
Local culture, heritage and languages are on the defensive; being squeezed out by the massive global culture which emphasizes cultural homogenity at the expense of cultural diversity. It tends to be more material than spiritual and is devoid of local context. Jugnoo Media wants to change that. Its first project is to build immersive digital toys in local languages that are based on popular nursery rhymes of the region. Good luck guys! We look forward to seeing more apps/games/stories coming out of the Jugnoo Media stable (or should that be ‘garage’)?
This is one of the rare times that I have been unable to accompany the Pakistan delegation to the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) since I took over as President of the Association. To say that I was unhappy at not being able to go with them, would be an understatement. One of the greatest joys in my job at P@SHA is to recognize talent and innovation and promote and project it – talk about it, shout from the rooftops so that the world will realize the brilliance of the young people of this country. So not being able to go and witness their brilliance in Brunei was disappointing to say the least.
And brilliant they were!! Yet again!! Only 7 products were nominated from Pakistan this year. Of these 4 came away with Silver Awards. Of those 4, we had the amazing Dr. Shoab Khan, CEO of CARE, with their product Secure High Data Rate Wideband Networking Radio Waveform with Multiple Access for Software Defined Radios in the Communications Category, Munir Usman and Amir Ali Jiwani, CEO and CTO of Pi-Labs for their products Candy Pot/Feed Garfield in the very competitive New Media & Entertainment Category, Tunacode with their product gKrypt and a joint nomination from EME (NUST)/CARE/Shifa – the Network Enabled Retinal Image Analysis and Screening System for Grading and Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy.
As Jawwad Ahmed Farid, our Chief Mentor for APICTA, says “we breathed a sigh of relief when we saw Dr. Shoab Khan walk into the Empire Hotel in Brunei because he is our Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad rolled into one. We know he is going to bowl everyone out and/or go for a huge SIX”. And that’s certainly true. CARE continues to innovate and produce great applications that compare with the best in the world.
What is extremely heartwarming is the performance of two startups in the most difficult categories at APICTA – Security and New Media and Entertainment. Pi-Lab’s Candy Pot/Feed Garfield Game Engine and Tunacode’s gKrypt made the judges sit up and take notice. Such work out of Pakistan always surprises technology gurus from the rest of the world but I think as year after year our technologists show what they are capable of, the judges are becoming used to seeing such innovation from our ICT industry.
The preparations for Team Pakistan’s participation at APICTA began weeks before the team travelled to Brunei. Jawwad Farid sent templates, tutorials and guidelines so that the teams would start preparing themselves for the task ahead. He and I bullied participants so that they would take the time from their busy schedules to concentrate on their presentations. Zafar Khan took the lead in Lahore and helped participants in Karachi via phone and email as well. I had to soothe the feathers of the Chief Mentor when he thought that nominees were not responding as quickly as he wanted them to. People like Rabia Garib and Talea Zafar put in time to help with storyboarding and presentation preparations for a couple of the participants. Powerpoints went back and forth from Lahore and Islamabad to Karachi and several iterations later they were still being fine-tuned.
At APICTA I wear 3 hats – Economy Coordinator, EXCO Member and Head of Delegation. It requires a lot of multitasking but it is a labour of love and I thoroughly enjoy it. Since I knew that I would not be going this year, I had to make sure that I delegated the work to friends within the delegation.
Sadaf Ali from my team at P@SHA, was given the role of Economy Coordinator. I know a couple of our CEC members were a little nervous about a total novice taking on this important task but I had faith in young Sadaf and I am proud to say that my faith was not misplaced. From the time she took on the task weeks before flying to Brunei, she took to it like a duck to water. I was copied on everything so I knew exactly what she was up to. She was pro-active and competent and the feedback from Brunei shows that she did a much better job than I would have. Well done Sadaf!
Another young woman in the delegation was Syeda Areej Kamal from NED University. She didn’t win in the Tertiary Student Category because there was some extremely tough competition in terms of technology as well as student projects already generating over US$40,000 in revenue. The support that those projects receive in terms of training, participation costs over the year at various events and investment by government in their projects is what helps those kids from countries like Hong Kong to perform brilliantly each year. We need to take a look at what we are missing out on by not offering similar support to our youngsters. However, if you had seen Areej’s presentation, you would be amazed. It wowed our mentors and judges during the late night mentoring sessions at the Empire Hotel in Brunei. They shared it with me and I was blown away. Well done Areej. We are proud of you.
My EXCO duties were shared by Jawwad, Zafar and Sultan who are very popular at APICTA and who’ve made many friends in the region. They, and Badar Khushnood, have as judges won the respect of counterparts from the Asia Pacific and Pakistan is lucky to have such passionate and dedicated professionals representing us. Badar covers his own costs (as did Faizan Siddiqi this year) to travel to APICTA, to provide great feedback to nominees during the prep sessions and to generally be there as part of the supporting team that projects our country and our industry so phenomenally. Thanks guys. Where would we be without you?
The Head of Delegation duty was transferred to Sultan Hamdani – and who better than our Sultan to head a delegation to Brunei. The man is a total charmer and gets people to do whatever is needed whenever its needed and finds creative solutions to any problem that may creep up.
As you can see, the team was in good hands… and yet like a mother hen, I worried nonetheless. I kept bugging them with emails and messages on GTalk. The night before the results were announced I didn’t sleep because I was so anxious. First thing in the morning I kept pinging them to ask if there was any news coming out of the Final Judges’ meeting. I was on pins and needles. It was as if my life depended on it. I needn’t have worried though. Team Pakistan didn’t let us down. They held the flag high and did us proud. Thank you guys and girls. Thank you for allowing us to hold our heads up high once again.
Other relevant posts:
APICTA Photo Blog – Arrival
If you are planning to lease a car, you better make sure that you are able to make the payments on a regular basis to the bank because if you don’t, this could be your car!
I first saw this car in the basement of my office building months ago and I wondered why no-one cleaned it or took care of it. Then I saw the tyres had gone flat and the amount of dirt on it had increased.
One day I asked the chowkidaar whose car it was. It was then that he told me that this was a car that had been repossessed by the bank for non-payment and hence it just stood there until it met its fate – probably the bank would sell it and try and get part of its money back. One would think that if they want to sell it at a good price, the least they could do was to keep it in good shape. Ah well, who am I to make any suggestions? It’s just that it hurts me to see a car being treated thus.
On life’s journey very rarely do you meet people who not only make an impression on you but who also contribute to and influence your growth, your values and your development as a human being. Rita M. DeSouza was one such person. Learning of her death on May 25 at the age of 92 made me feel a sense of deep personal loss. She was a good soul who did so much for so many. I was sorry that since i was traveling I could not attend her funeral and pay my last respects. She had been a part of my life since High School as the Principal of St. Lawrence’s School in Karachi but our relationship did not stop there.
It has been a long time since I graduated from High School but throughout my college and university years and then as I entered professional life, Rita DeSouza was always there taking pride in whatever I achieved and guiding my development. She was the kind of educationalist who cared about her students, about the young people under her care, someone who followed their careers with a great deal of interest and took pleasure in their success and in their achievements.
A group of us who were in school together visited her regularly on her birthday, at Easter, at Christmas and New Year. She looked forward to our visits with great anticipation and often told her family and friends about this “special group of former students”. She never forgot to call us on special occasions like Eid to wish us Eid Mubarak. Whenever she saw anything about us in the newspapers or saw an interview on television, she would call and say how proud she was of what we had done and the way in which we had conducted ourselves. Her praise always meant so much because it was honest and sincere.
Rita DeSouza was a wonderful conversationalist. Each discourse with her taught you something new but she was also a great listener (a quality very few have). We talked to her about everything – our careers, our personal lives, our problems, our challenges, our successes, our failures. And the advice she gave very often helped us look at things from a different perspective and discover new solutions.
Rita DeSouza was an amazing human being. She was a great teacher, an efficient administrator, a role model for many, a humanist, a caring and loving person and a mentor and guide. She cared so much about this country and never really wanted to live anywhere else even though she was not short of options. Of late she had been very concerned about the political and societal changes taking place around us. She was also concerned about the quality of education and tried to do whatever she could to advise and work with various groups to improve the standards. She was a strong member of the community and an active participant. She was often seen visiting people who were old and sick or who needed attention.
I remember when I last visited her she was bedridden but still mentally alert. Her kidneys were giving up. The doctors had advised that she undergo dialysis but she had refused. She was adamant that she had lived a very full life and wanted to leave this world with dignity and grace and not tied to a machine. Those of us who knew her and loved her respected her decision.
Rita DeSouza had always been a fighter, a very strong human being. She had overcome a number of medical problems but had remained active and independent even after her husband Cyril’s demise. She wanted to die the way she had lived – with courage and grace. She didn’t want to linger and I am so glad she got her wish. We will of course miss her but the memories will sustain us and she will no doubt continue to live through the many young people whose lives she guided and whose values and ethics are strong because of her.
Farewell Mrs. DeSouza! You will always be remembered. You were a wonderful role model, a tremendous mentor and a great friend to all who knew you. You will continue to live in our memory and in our hearts. Rest in Peace. God has a special place in heaven for people like you.
Article in Tribune: http://tribune.com.pk/story/384730/transitions-adios-rita-de-souza-rest-in-peace/
Many of us have often had heated conversations about the difference between education and learning; about the dire need for making education a fun experience; about bringing learning to life instead of letting it lie between the pages of a book. With multimedia, interactive learning and initiatives like the Khan Academy, this is indeed beginning to happen in some small way – probably not fast enough or widely enough – but nonetheless it is happening and that’s wonderful to see.
Another area of concern for many of us has been the lack of an attempt on the part of government and educationalists to focus on creating a passion and interest for science and technology amongst the young in our country. This is of course not restricted to Pakistan. All over the world there is concern that not enough young people (especially young girls) are opting for the sciences.
It was therefore a pleasure to visit the Robotics Labs in Karachi and see the kind of things they are involved in. The Robotics Lab is a high tech initiative targeted
towards the young generation of Pakistan who want to develop a passion for Science. At the lab the kids have the opportunity and resources to learn cutting edge technologies in Robotics, Programming, iPad Game Development, 3D Scanning, 3D Modeling, 3D Printing and many more through interesting workshops held throughout the year. The children get to use the state-of-the-art equipment including laptops, robotics kits and high-end software. The modern, secure, air-conditioned facility offers an un-interrupted power supply and has high speed access to the Internet.
The vision of the Robotics Labs, according to co-founders Afaque Ahmed and Yasin Altaf, is to create a learning environment for children where they can come, learn and get exposure to “practical science”. With the world changing at a fast pace and technology taking over literally all aspects of our lives, it is imperative that our children are taught and given such hands-on opportunities from an early age. They are also able to determine which areas are of particular interest to them so that when they are choosing a discipline in high school or college level, they are aware of the opportunities in science and technology that are open to them.
In order to create awareness amongst students and parents in Karachi, the Robotics Lab has been hosting field trips for schools in which the students are given hands-on experience of Robotics. Besides this, most of the courses are also offered in after school workshops and in summer/winter camps. The Robotics field trips have been very popular amongst both children and their teachers.
Our objective is to create a ‘National Impact’ through Robotics education and equip the young generation with the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century, say the founders of the lab. If you have a child or a neice or nephew or a younger brother or sister who is free this summer, it is worth looking at enrolling them into the summer camp. You will be surprised at how much they learn and how excited they get about the potential use of science and technology in the real world.
Students, graduates, aspiring developers, professionals and virtually anyone in the development community is invited to create their very own PC and Mobile software applications and be part of the contest.
wi-tribe Bazaar supports Windows Desktop as well as Mobile Apps for Android, Blackberry and Symbian. Although there has been a worldwide surge in the mobile apps industry, there is a ripe market opportunity within the local market of 22 million internet users. With wi-tribe Bazaar, you have the added opportunity to develop desktop software applications to reach a potentially untapped and lucrative consumer market.
There is a lot of talent in Pakistan that is often not recognized. There are applications that are developed that don’t have a chance to be tested or sold because a platform for showcasing such applications is not always available. With the Pakistan Developers Challenge 2012, wi-tribe is presenting young developers with an opportunity to test out their products in the local market. It is a great opportunity not to be missed. A number of key organizations have therefore agreed to partner with wi-tribe on this challenge. P@SHA is one of them. Our mandate is to encourage innovation and showcase talent.
Don’t miss the opportunity of joining the Pakistan Developers’ Challenge 2012. Register to participate NOW. wi-tribe believe this contest to be more than a platform for showcasing your talents; it will also contribute towards a new market opportunity, within Pakistan.
How to Participate:
In order to participate, contestants must follow the simple steps below:
1. Read through the ‘terms and conditions’ of the contest (available online)
2. Select one of 9 categories that best describes the software application they are developing or have developed
3. Register for PDC2012 by visiting http://bazaar.wi-tribe.pk and fill in the online form in the ‘Seller FAQs’ section.
Once registered, wi-tribe Bazaar will email contestants the PDC2012 submission form and the Developer’s Agreement, both to be completed and sent back along with 2 copies of the software application on separate CDs to:
Pakistan Developers Challenge 2012,
c/o Marketing Department,
14N, F-8 Markaz, Islamabad
5. After a thorough quality check, the software will be published on wi-tribe Bazaar with a confirmation email sent to the contestant.
6. Once published, the software is open for promotion and downloading.
Awards & Cash Prizes:
With PDC2012, contestants can win a number of cash prize awards, based on the following categories:
· Biggest contributor award (institutions only): Rs. 100,000
· PDC 2012 Grand prize: Rs. 100,000
· Runner up – Best Software: Rs. 50,000
· Best Student Software: Rs. 30,000
· Most popular: Rs. 10,000
· Highest ratings: Rs. 10,000
Exclusive jury awards:
· Best concept: Rs. 25,000
· Best design and UI: Rs. 25,000 (Rs. 10,000 each)
· Awards for best of each category
· Anti-virus & anti-spam
· Internet and Networking
· Mobile Applications
· PC Widgets
· System Utilities
With 17 prizes being awarded, the PDC2012 promises to be an exciting opportunity for developers.
For more information, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been receiving this message off and on since I landed in Mumbai on the 13th:
It reads: Warning: We believe your account was recently accessed from India (RJ) (18.104.22.168)
Even though I have now been back in Pakistan for the past few days, yet I still continue to receive this warning at intervals. Why? First of all why should there be a warning in the first place? Who is responsible for it? I have traveled to many parts of the world and I have never received such a message stating that I should beware that my account had been accessed from that country. It just seems so strange … and to be frank, I don’t like it one little bit.
News for software developers who want to sell their software locally online! Wi-tribe has just announced the beta launch of wi-tribe Bazaar – Pakistan’s first Buy and Sell software portal – as a platform where Pakistani software developers can sell and monetize their software. The portal, as all things wi-tribe, is slick and the User Interface is very simple to use. This is in beta so developers are warned that there might be a few bugs – and these should be reported so that they can be fixed.
The basic categories that they have defined in the portal include:
- Anti-virus & anti-spam
- Internet & Networking
- Mobile Applications
- PC Widgets
- Systems Utilities
So all a software developer has to do is fill in the details in the online application form, mention the price, provide a description, the OS the app runs on and send it to w-tribe alongwith a sign up fee of Rs. 1000. According to the information on the portal, wi-tribe will get a contract to the developer within 7 days. In accordance with the contract, the developer will get 65% of all revenues minus taxes. There are some pre-requisites though. The software must have had a minimum of 100 downloads and should have been on the portal for at least 3 months. The shopping experience for buyers is very simple – add to shopping cart, use the scratch card and download! You can also create a wish list if you are not sure how many products you want to end up buying.
According to Ali Fahd, Director Marketing wi-tribe, the wi-tribe Bazaar is powered by wi-tribe scratch cards, allowing the purchase of software through scratch cards available at over 600 locations throughout Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Faisalabad. There is no hassle or requirement of credit cards or other e-commerce payment methods. Understanding the Pakistani market, they are aware of the fact that consumers in Pakistan are familiar with scratch cards and use them frequently for various services. So why not software?
“wi-tribe Bazaar is our effort to support, encourage and proliferate the local IT industry and software developers in particular,” says Ali Fahd. “We understand that there are a lot of developers with products that they would like to sell in the local market. We are also aware of the challenges in monetizing software and applications (apps) in Pakistan. With wi-tribe Bazaar, software developers will enjoy a significant portion of the revenue share as the main beneficiary. The software and apps can be priced at Rs.100, Rs.250, Rs.500 or Rs.1,000 by the developer. wi-tribe Bazaar also offers hundreds of free applications, which will support developers in building and reaching a larger market.”
Currently, wi-tribe Bazaar supports Windows Desktop and Mobile Apps for Android, Blackberry and Symbian. It is a robust platform for selling any windows software and mobile applications such as games, system utilities, wallpapers and customized themes. The platform is open to all types of developers who would like to bring either their commercial product or even a final year university project to their target market, says Ali Fahd.
wi-tribe state that they are only acting as a catalyst by providing the platform. To help build a local ecosystem of software and apps, wi-tribe has taken a conscious decision to open the platform to all – not just to wi-tribe users. They will aggressively market the wi-tribe bazaar in Pakistan.
Test drive the beta version at http://bazaar.wi-tribe.pk.
Provide feedback on the Bazaar to email@example.com.
wi-cam, a CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) Management and Administration tool, developed by students and graduates of KICS-UET using open-source technology, allows broadband companies, such as wi-tribe, to remotely configure and manage CPEs, while receiving instant notifications and access to live data. Not only does this result in an improved customer care experience, it also enables customers to continue enjoying seamless connectivity.
Wi-cam was the result of a strategic public-private partnership that wi-tribe entered into with KICS-UET to conceive, develop and launch a fully funded research and development program, enabling the innovation of this breakthrough feature-rich management tool. With wi-cam, wi-tribe and UET jointly demonstrate that sourcing local development of critical customer service innovation is not only possible, but also essential to the proliferation of technical capabilities within Pakistan.
In his speech on the occasion, Dr. Tanveer-ul-Haq, VP Technical at wi-tribe impressed on the fact that wi-tribe believes in the potential of Pakistani youth. He said that all over the world universities are the research grounds for a lot of industry innovation and this needs to happen more in Pakistan.
At KICS-UET, researchers are keen on capitalizing open source technologies and developing cost effective solutions for local telecom and IT industry, said Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director of KICS-UET. wi-cam is a product built with local talent and it has helped KICS-UET researchers better understand software needs of the telecom industry, he said.
UET has established collaboration with international research organization of high repute such as Broad Institute of MiT Harvard, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada, University of California Barkley, Purdue University USA, Caviam Networks USA, CISCO Systems, European Language Authority, Microsoft research and many others. Several companies have opened their design and training centers in the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. It has attracted US$8.3M worth of equipment funding from Huawei Technologies China.
wi-tribe should be congratulated for investing in local R&D. It is by increasing the research and development capabilities of our universities that the industry will flourish at a much faster rate and the innovation ecosystem will be further strengthened.
On 11th January Badar Khushnood, Haris Nadeem and I made our way to the new Lahore Technology Park (now renamed the Arfa Karim Technology Park) on Ferozepur Road. The idea was to check out the Auditorium, the multimedia projection system, the wifi and the sound system to ensure that everything was in good shape for the Interactive Session on “How to Stay Safe Online” that was scheduled for the next day.
Why were we concerned? Well, this would be the first event to take place at this new Technology Park and Dr. Umar Saif, the Chairman of the Punjab IT Board, Fasih Mehta the PITB Program Manager and their team had been working 24×7 to make sure that the venue was ready for us in time for the event.
We needn’t have worried though. Everything was in perfect shape thanks to the great team at PITB. After checking out the Auditorium we went up to Dr. Umar Saif’s office to chit-chat and discuss the program for the next day. The view of Lahore from his office is absolutely breathtaking. You have to see it to believe it! The official opening of the Arfa Karim Technology Park will take place in the next couple of weeks. P@SHA will have an office there and I hope that it will soon be populated with a large number of IT companies. Umar Saif has lots of other plans for it but more on that later. Just wanted to share the first few pictures of what looks like a top class facility.
Oh by the way, if you are wondering why Badar is playing cowboy, it was cold in Lahore and he tied a scarf round his throat. Haris and I didn’t remind him to remove it when the photo was taken.