PR No. 59

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque inaugurated Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for National Root Certification Authority here on Wednesday. Addressing the ceremony Federal Minister for IT Syed Amin Ul Haque said: “Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) has established Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for National Root Certification Authority for the government, public and private sector entities. It will be the first National Root Certification Authority to establish the trust and security in the electronic transactions / communications in the Country. It will be globally recognized through WebTrust audit and highly secured PKI setup for accreditation of Certification Service Providers (CSPs).” He said establishment of National Root Certification Authority is a step towards achievement of “Accelerated Digitization”. "It’s a historic occasion for the ECAC and Government of Pakistan for achieving this milestone which was committed by the Government.” The Minister further said that Pakistan has witnessed a dynamic revolution in the sphere of e-commerce and e-governance. The use of Digital Signatures in Pakistan is unpredictable as it was unregulated due to non-existence of National Root Certification Authority, monopolistic existence of Certification Authority in private sector and lack of enforceability and implementation in public sector by the appropriate authorities. However, there is enormous use of digital signatures in Public & Private Sectors in digital contract signing, webhosting, E-mails, E-voting of intermediaries, E-filing and E-office services etc. Syed Amin Ul Haque said: “Internationally, PKI and overall Information Security is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Pakistan has the potential in the form of its youth to participate in this market and prove their mettle. It will improve Pakistan’s economy; presently the rights of the digital certificate consumers are not sufficiently protected. It is worth to note that currently all the certificates used to secure these services within Pakistan are imported certificates either from Foreign Certification Service Providers like VeriSign, DigiCert, Entrust or Go Daddy etc. or through their partners/resellers in Pakistan which is burden on foreign reserves of the Country besides security issues e.g. about 116 thousand websites and 1280 email servers registered with PKNIC making the import of only SSL certificates for these websites and mail servers worth hundreds of millions Rupees. He emphasized the role of ECAC’s PKI will address all these issues. He said rapid growth and adoption of digital technologies in all sectors of economy is inevitable for development of the country. As Pakistan embarks on its journey towards becoming a truly digital economy, establishment of regulatory framework for ensuring data protection, establishing trust, and maintaining security of all digital transactions, documents and systems are thus essential, he said. He said ECAC with the support of MoITT has deployed Pakistan’s National Root Certification Authority based on PKI that will act as backbone for digital economy of the country. Syed Amin Ul Haque said steps are underway for provision of telecom services in unserved and underserved areas of the country, adding that work on 70 projects worth Rs 65 billion is going on for providing broadband services in far-flung areas of the country. He said steps are also being taken to increase IT exports. He also vowed to resolve all the issue of telecom industry. Federal Minister for IT said Google is soon going to open its office in Pakistan. While addressing the Additional Secretary (Incharge) Ministry of IT Mohsin Mushtaq “Congratulated and appreciated the continuous efforts of the Certification Council and its officers in establishing Pakistan’s first WebTrust Audited National Root Certification Authority. He said Pakistan is in the process of Socio-Economic digitization in all sectors including e-Health, e-Commerce, e-Justice, e-Agriculture, e-Energy, e-Education and FinTech. Speaking at the occasion, Chairman ECAC Engr. Mairaj Gul apprised the audience that under the dynamic leadership of Federal Minister Syed Amin Ul Haq and Federal Secretary, ECAC has accomplished this task to provide an anchor for trust and security in the digital environment of Pakistan. Chairman ECAC also highlighted the initiatives taken by the Honourable Minister Syed Amin ul Haque in IT & Telecom sector during his period. Inauguration was concluded by distribution of the appreciation shields to Officers who worked devotedly for establishment of this National Root Certification Authority. Senior officials of Federal and provincial governments, ICT professional attended the inauguration ceremony from public/private sector and CEOs of Fintech & Telecom companies.