PESHAWAR: The federal government has signed a Rs258 million agreement with a private cellular operator for providing mobile and internet services in North Waziristan tribal district and frontier regions (FRs) of Bannu and Lakki Marwat.

The agreement has been signed with cellular operator Jazz for which the federal government has provided a subsidy of Rs198 million. The Universal Service Fund (USF) Chief Executive Officer Rizwan Mustafa Mir and Jazz Company Chief Corporate and Enterprise Officer Ali Naseer signed the agreement.

A ceremony in this regard was organised which was attended by Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as chief guest. The minister raid in his address that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has achieved enormous successes. He said the ministry will introduce such projects with the help of USF in the whole country and will create facilities for internet users.

Rizwan Mir in his address said the purpose of the agreement was to provide mobile and internet facility to the people of North Waziristan tribal district. He said the project of providing 3G and 4G internet in the area will be completed within two years. He said the government is now focussing on building infrastructure and providing facilities to the people of the tribal districts after improvement of law and order situation. He said development of infrastructure proves that the tribal districts are now moving towards development.

Ali Naseer of Jazz Company said Jazz and USF have joined hands to bring a new digital era in the tribal districts. He said it was a very significant agreement which will prove beneficial in integrating the tribal districts into global village.

The provision of mobile and internet service in North Waziristan was the long standing demand of the local people. They were of the view that they were lagging behind due to lack of internet service in the area. The youth of the area were particularly suffering as they missed several jobs opportunities due to lack of internet service. The students are of the view that internet facility is must for them for deep study, particularly in specialised fields and higher education. The lack of internet facility means the students of North Waziristan lag behind those who have the facility.

The signing of the agreement will serve as good news for the students and businessmen. However, they would like quick implementation of the project.

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