Every little bit helps
I thought I was going to be the only Pakistan delegate at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2008 in Kuala Lumpur. Imagine my surprise therefore when I landed in KL and got into the car the organizers had provided. There were two men in the car – they looked as if they were from South Asia. For about 5 minutes we were all quiet – well at least they were! I was chatting with the driver, asking him this and that.
Eventually I thought “enough is enough” so I said “Gentlemen, we have an hour’s drive ahead of us. Should we introduce ourselves to each other?” That broke the ice. I soon discovered that they were both from Pakistan – one of the guys was Khalid Chapra, head of Technology Risk Management at Sidat Hyder Morshed and the other one was Parvez Iftikhar, CEO of the Universal Service Fund. They had both heard of me, they said – talk about being notorious! Anyway, the hour sped by as we talked about the IT and Telecom scene in Pakistan and the things that needed to be done to increase the usage of ICT. At the end of the ride, we had become friends 🙂
So what has that got to do with this photo? Well, it might be difficult to tell but this is a photo of Craig Barrett, Chief of Intel Corporation. He was the keynote speaker on the first day of the WCIT event. And who do you think is the other guy on stage with him? Parvez Iftikhar of USF. Craig was talking about “A world of opportunity powered by technology”. It was a very good talk. He spoke about a number of initiatives that were taking place all around the world. And surprise surprise – The Universal Service Fund’s efforts to spread telecom services to unserved areas in Pakistan was mentioned and Parvez was asked to come on stage and talk about it. He spoke well and projected Pakistan in a positive light without creating hype. He mentioned the challenges and how they had been met. It was a balanced talk and people were impressed as was I. Well done Parvez! You helped project a good image of Pakistan – thank you.
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