As of 2011, Pakistan has over 20 million internet users and is ranked as one of the top countries that have registered a high growth rate in internet penetration. Overall, it has the 27th largest population of internet users in the world. In the fiscal year 2012–2013, the Government of Pakistan aims to spend Rs. 4.6 billion on information technology projects, with emphasis on e-government, human resource and infrastructure development.
The Government of Pakistan has attached great importance to information technology, as part of its efforts to develop an "information age" in the country. In this regard, an elaborate national IT policy was formulated under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS in 2000, then Federal Minister of Science & technology. Through a focus on the technological development of information technology, the government aims to increase productivity in the public sector, improve the standards of IT infrastructure in the country and use it as a management tool for the promotion of good governance in general. There has been remarkable progress in creating effective computerised e-government systems in Pakistan for major departments such as police, law enforcement agencies and district administration. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has also introduced computerised registration systems for issuing important documents such as national identity cards, passports, and permanent residency cards. IT has also been critically important in improving work procedures of the civil service and other government-related fields.
According to a study published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Pakistan has been highly exposed to information technology while pursuing the concepts of e-governance and e-commerce:
Pakistan's communication system is also reliable. This has now fully graduated into the email, Internet and IT culture perse. The country is fast exploring the brave new world of information technology and keenly assimilating the requirements of e-government and e-commerce. Information technology has opened a new business frontier for Pakistan. The government is assigning high priority to information technology both in terms of policy limelight and resource allocation.——United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific，2002
In 1994, an Indian software company- Concept Software Pvt Ltd, led by Rarendra Singh & Vijay Gupta, with the collaboration of a UK company called Multilingual Solutions led by Kamran Rouhi, developed InPage Urdu for Pakistan's newspaper industry
The Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing conducts research and development in linguistic and computational aspects of Urdu, as well as other languages of Pakistan, in areas such as speech processing, computational linguistics and script processing.
Sindhi has also been digitised to make it easier to publish Sindhi newspapers, magazines and books. InPage also offers support for Sindhi with the proper fonts and ligatures which makes it easier for people to type in the Sindhi language without any difficulty.
Software development is a rapidly growing field in Pakistan; The government has initiated numerous programs to encourage software development and exports. Pakistani IT companies have begun developing software for use in different types of businesses and services. Locally made software packages are available for implementation in schools, hospitals, supermarkets and other businesses at low cost. Large control systems such as ERPs are also developed for use in large organisations which manufacture textiles, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, etc. Also, the increasing use of Android smartphones, tablets and Apple iPads has given a great boost to the mobile applications development industry. Experts can easily develop these applications at home, with very low capital investment, as a personal computer and an Internet connection are the only things required to begin. Educational institutes have also begun offering diplomas and short-courses in software and applications development for young people.
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- United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Development of the Automotive Sector in Selected Countries of the ESCAP Region: Proceedings and Country Papers Presented at the Regional Consultative Meeting on Promotion of Intraregional Trade and Economic Cooperation in the Automotive Sector. United Nations Publications. 2002: 85. ISBN 9789211201406.
- Introduction. Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing. [21 May 2012].