The 85th meeting of the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Fund (USF) was held at the USF Head Office, chaired by Secretary IT & Chairman of the USF Board, Mr. Navid A. Shaikh. The meeting commenced with a warm welcome to the newly appointed board members, who bring diverse expertise and perspectives to the organization. Among the new members are Major General (R) Hafeez Ur Rehman, HI (M), Chairman-PTA, Mr. Hatem Bamatraf, CEO PTCL (Nominee of Fixed line licensees), Mr. Wang Hua, CEO Zong (Nominee of mobile cellular licensees), and Independent Members/Directors Ms. Sofia Saeed, Ms. Ayla Majid, and Mr. Muhammad Yousuf. Muhammad Omar Malik, Member-Telecom, MoITT, along with other Board members and USF management, also attended the meeting.
The inclusion of two distinguished female members, Ms. Sofia and Ms. Ayla, as Independent Members/Directors on the USF Board, marks a momentous achievement. This milestone highlights the organization’s commitment to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, recognizing the invaluable contributions that women bring to public offices. The presence of female representation enriches the decision-making process, ensuring a more holistic and comprehensive approach.
The meeting served as a platform to discuss crucial matters related to the development and expansion of connectivity in underserved and unserved areas across Pakistan. The Federal Minister for Ministry of IT & Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, conveyed his warm welcome to the newly appointed board members and emphasized the Ministry’s commitment to address connectivity disparities. The aim is to establish pervasive connectivity even in the most remote and challenging areas, fostering digital inclusion and bridging the digital gender divide. By pursuing this objective, the Ministry aims to create a dynamic ecosystem that catalyzes socio-economic progress nationwide.
During the meeting, USF’s CEO, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, provided a comprehensive update on the progress of ongoing and upcoming projects. He highlighted the organization’s unwavering commitment to achieving excellence in establishing meaningful connectivity and bridging the gap for the unconnected. Sustainability remained a top priority, ensuring that all initiatives contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Universal Service Fund (USF) reiterates its dedication to its core mission of delivering connectivity to underserved and unserved regions throughout Pakistan. With a substantial development budget of approximately PKR 18 billion, strategic initiatives will play a critical role in augmenting connectivity infrastructure and empowering marginalized communities by facilitating seamless digital access across the nation.