ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army has proposed a new alternative network along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route for secured flow of the internet traffic as the current framework involve Indian companies posing security risk.
According to a report, a senior military official briefed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology on the matter.
Director General Special Communications Organisation (SCO) Maj-Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa informed the members that the network which brings internet traffic into Pakistan through submarine cables has been developed by a consortium that has Indian companies either as partners or shareholders, which is a serious security concern.
Seeking approval for the establishment of a cross-border optic fiber connectivity network under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), the military official proposed a new alternative network system to be set up in Gwadar for the flow of internet traffic.
A consortium without Indian involvement would be assigned the responsibility of laying the network along the CPEC, he said, adding that for Pakistan the security of projects under the CPEC is top priority.
Commenting on the importance of an independent network, PPP lawmaker and member committee Shazia Marri said the concerns shared by the DG Special Communications Organisation must be looked into thoroughly, given the significance of CPEC.
The committee was convinced with the briefing and the serious nature of threats Pakistan is facing in this digital age. It directed the IT Ministry to work on the project with the SCO jointly.
Currently Pakistan lacks in its own cyber security mechanism and our internet systems are vulnerable, Shazia said.
‘The country needs to gear up, as post CPEC, there will be greater competition in the region, and with current security concerns, we would need to simultaneously work on strengthening our security mechanisms.’