31.07.2020: Further to the meeting with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) held on 29th July 2020, Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) has been able to obtain a second extension to the deadline of the VPN Registration and the new deadline is now 30th September 2020. The meeting was also attended by MOITT and PSEB who supported the demands made by P@SHA where P@SHA demanded an extension till Dec 2020.
On 17th June 2020, PTA mandated all VPNs to be registered with a 30th June 2020 deadline, in a bid to stop the illegal voice traffic. In the backdrop of COVID-19 lockdown when work from home has become a norm, the IP Whitelisting mandate and then this VPN registration caused serious anguish among the businesses and created serious uncertainty among the foreign clients/investors. This short deadline for VPN sent a wave of alarm throughout the entire IT industry and other stakeholders. Vice Chairman P@SHA, Mujeeb Zahur with the active support of Chairman, Shahzad Shahid, initiated a campaign with the objective to highlight the economic disaster that could be caused by blocking of VPNs and to find out a solution which ensures business continuity.
PTA acknowledged the need to extend the deadline from 30th June to allow both the ISPs and the companies to become aware of the registration process. P@SHA also organized an online panel discussion on the issue as a part of its “Candid with P@SHA” series with representatives from PTA and the IT sector as panelists which helped in addressing the queries raised by the industry stakeholders. Based on these efforts, an extension on the deadline was granted by PTA till July 31st, 2020.
As the first extension on VPN registration neared its end, P@SHA office bearers held detailed discussions with the member base to gather their input. In the recent meeting with the PTA officials, P@SHA Chairman and VC have raised the following recommendations:
PTA has agreed to extend the deadline till the end of September 2020. P@SHA would like to thank PTA for understanding the concerns of the IT industry and ensuring continuous support towards P@SHA and other stakeholders during the implementation of the VPN Registration process. We shall continue to work with PTA for other recommendations to be accepted.