P@SHA strongly condemns FIA raids on IT companies and urge Government to investigate the matter with complete transparency

(Islamabad: 18 Feb 2021) IT and IT enabled Services are rapidly emerging as one of the biggest job sectors of Pakistan. It is amongst the fastest growing export sectors which is targeted to reach $5 billion by 2025.

P@SHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) is the licensed trade body for the IT industry. Having this positive momentum, the recent abuse of power by law enforcement on IT companies in Karachi is strongly condemned. We are gravely concerned about it. The news of law enforcement harassing IT companies on ill crafted reports, raids without clear evidence, harassing the businesses is very damaging to the industry. To add insult to injury, without forensic reports, matter was escalated to media portraying all of Pakistan’s IT industry as the bad guys. This has the potential of creating an irreparable loss to our IT industry. It can be used by our competitors against us.

We strongly believe that the government should facilitate the industry in achieving Pakistan’s Vision 2025 goals. The recent development is all the more unfortunate in the backdrop of government’s superbly brilliant response to the COVID crisis. Both federal and provincial governments worked proactively with P@SHA to naturalize impact of COVID lockdowns. It worked beautifully which has been internationally acknowledged.

In this regard, P@SHA expects the government and law enforcement agencies to deal with the issue with great caution and with absolute transparency. We request that LEAs should share the case proceedings and findings only when established and corroborated. Engaging media, threatening businesses and naming and shaming the industry with premature investigation can have devastatingly negative impact.

P@SHA respectfully requests the concerned authorities to deal with matters relating to IT and ITeS with caution. This is necessary to avoid any undue concern and panic thus creating a negative international image. P@SHA hopes that the matter will be resolved in a transparent and professional way keeping Pakistan’s interest at the top.