On Tuesday, February 15th, 2022, representatives from Meta, the parent corporation of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger, met with the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG) in Islamabad to discuss Meta’s intentions to promote the government’s digital transformation. In October 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan established the NSMCWG to simplify engagement with digital platforms and work on applicable social media legislation. In addition, the working group is urging digital platforms to invest in Pakistan. Meta officials presented the government on their projects that contribute to digital literacy, inclusiveness, and enablement at their first meeting with the working group.
Representatives from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger, met with the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG) in Islamabad on Tuesday, February 15th, 2022, to discuss Meta’s plans to help the government with its digital transformation. Prime Minister Imran Khan formed the NSMCWG in October 2021 to make involvement with digital platforms easier and to work on relevant social media laws. The working committee also encourages internet platforms to invest in Pakistan. At their first meeting with the working group, Meta officials briefed the government on their programmes that promote digital literacy, inclusion, and enablement.
Meta’s future intentions for a stronger presence on Pakistan’s digital map were praised by members of the NSMCWG. Meta and the working group also decided to look into the possibility of establishing a Community Lab in Pakistan by engaging with universities, incubators, entrepreneurs, and telecom service providers. The lab will serve as a testing ground for novel technological solutions that will aid in the development of Pakistan’s connectivity ecosystem. The formation of the working group, according to Sarim Aziz, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for South Asia, has made it simpler for digital platforms to communicate with government stakeholders, exchange insights and concerns, and respond to requirements on the ground.
“We share the Government of Pakistan’s vision of building a sustainable digital economy in Pakistan through thoughtful investments in connectivity infrastructure and digital upskilling programs to unlock economic growth at scale. This is the first of many discussions and we are committed to working with the government to ensure that online spaces remain safe, free and accessible to everyone in Pakistan.”
The NSMCWG said that their first meeting with Meta was beneficial, and the Working Group is continuing to lobby for digital investments that will enable long-term economic development. “We are encouraged that Meta is not only committed to local connectivity efforts, but is also exploring different ways for Pakistani businesses and creators to generate meaningful, reliable revenue on their platforms, and is committed to opening up new opportunities in the future,” says the statement. As the two parties agree to improving digital access and inclusiveness across the country, this is the first meeting that lays the groundwork for many interactions between the Government of Pakistan and Meta.