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Pakistan to introduce its first National AI policy

Amid a growing threat to the country's critical data infrastructure from cyberattacks and hackers the minister of Infomation Technology and telecommunication, Syed Aminul Haque has announced that the government will soon unveil its first-ever AI policy.

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The Government will soon unveil its first National AI policy, said Pakistan’s Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Syed Aminul Haque.

The minister announced the welcome news while addressing a BlockChain Conference in Karachi on Sunday.

Referring to the attacks which recently targeted the country’s banking sector and national institutions’ databases.

Digital Pakistan Policy

The minister expressed his deep concern over a growing threat posed by cyberattacks and hacking to the country’s critical data infrastructure. The minister said that adopting a National AI policy had become imperative for the state to respond effectively to these grave threats.

Read More: Artificial Intelligence in military affairs: prospects and perils

The minister said that cyber security and AI had become critical elements to any state’s economic system in today’s world.

The minister further remarked that excellence in cyber security and AI were the two core pillars of the Digital Pakistan Policy 2021‑ launched early this year by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

In his opinion, the banking sector and the country’s financial institutions would be the primary beneficiaries of these policies.

The minister also stressed narrowing the gap between academia and industry through agreements that would allow IT, academicians, to supervise industrial projects.
It is worth mentioning that in July this year, the Government had already introduced its first-ever cyber security policy.

Concern over recent attacks 

The policy declared that any attack on the country’s national institutions would be considered an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.

The minister’s remarks come more than almost a month after a cyberattack on the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). The attack-inducing nationwide service disruptions affected the disbursement of pensions and other payments for former and current public sector employees.

Read More: Artificial intelligence: Undeniable reality – Dr. Zafar Jaspal

Subsequently, the NBP issued statements assuring its customers that their financial data was safe and that their data had not been breached during the attack.

However, the fortunate customers faced extreme difficulties as it took the bank weeks to restore its services completely.

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