Tuesday Mar 07, 2017

Pak, India officials stress use of technology to improve governance

Pak, India officials stress use of technology to improve governance

DUBAI: Pakistan and India legislators and public officials have stressed on the governments of both countries that the latest technology can not only improve governance in their respective countries but would also help to open the closed doors of Pakistan-India relations.

This was highlighted in the 11th round of Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on "Technology for Better Governance in Pakistan and India" held in Dubai where participants shared their experiences.

Members of the Pakistan and Indian parliaments, legislators from different states of India, and members of provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh, along with experts and media representatives participated in the dialogue. The dialogue was organised by PILDAT, who have been regularly facilitating the dialogues in Dubai since a rise in tension between the two neigbouring countries.

Participants expressed the hope that the dialogue between Pakistan and India be held in jurisdiction of their countries instead of other countries. Pakistan and Indian representatives as well as the members of parliaments, experts and citizens intended to visit the respective countries and meet each other.

In the era of technological inventions, the speakers said that it depends on a person or an institution whether to use technology for the benefit of society or to create divisions among people.

They said, "The real changes in structures of governance to guard against corruption and other systemic ills must accompany and complement the use of technology to improve governance." 

While speaking to Geo News, former member of Indian parliament Mani Shankar Aiyar said that members of parliament from both the countries should stress on their governments to defuse tensions in the region.

According to the joint statement of the dialogue, participants asserted that while use of technology by both governments provided a critical platform to improve the quality of life of citizens, security of data and privacy of citizens from both the sides should also be maintained.

With hopes of good governance, participants recommended that governments must seek regular feedback from citizens to assess the real impact of technology in improving governance.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Dr Arif Alavi said that Pakistan and India were both ahead of many countries in the technology field, so it can be used to learn more with each other. He said that nowadays technology can make friends as well as enemies, so it depends on the user how they utilize it.

Participants asked the Pakistani and Indian governments to encourage individuals, businesses, and NGOs to come up with initiatives and interfaces that improve administration as technology is helping citizens to connect the authorities with each other.

Speakers of the dialogue demanded that a knowledge portal be set up between the two countries for exchange and sharing of information on a variety of technology-enabled initiatives.

Speaking to Geo News, President of PILDAT Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said that these dialogues had been providing a good forum to share experiences, hoping it would break the deadlock between the two countries.