Some people hold the view that given the tremendous progress made, complaining about telecom situation in Pakistan is not justified. Yes, there have been great advances made but if we do not fix the structural issues early on, we will lose much of that progress. Left unchecked we may even regress to a point where there's plenty of competition but consumers end up without the services they deserve at a fair price. Broadband is an appropriate example. Pakistani public has been tormented with poor service and caps on the usage.Pakistan's Swat Valley area used to be known for its lush trees, towering mountains and flowing water gushing through the valley from the glaciers above. Swat was for lovers -- young honeymoon couples beginning a new life, families enamored of nature's display of bounty. An area where you could buy handmade crafts direct from artisans' humble studios, sipping tea in the shade as apprentices wrapped up your purchases.
Yet as 2008 passed into 2009 the trickle of stories coming out of the area concerning public floggings, school bombings, beheaded police officers and political assassinations turned into a flood. That such a pristine beauty could degenerate so quickly with security forces unable to hold their ground while local and federal politicians performed an entirely humorless slapstick routine in search of an effective strategy left Pakistanis shocked and terrified.
Returning to spots of honeymoon memories is too dangerous now, but conversations with friends, old sources and residents who fled the area to the relative safety of Peshawar or environs closer to the capital Islamabad paint a grim picture. "The government may like to say it has some sort of control, but the truth is the government there is now the Taliban," says Mohammad Yousifzai, a jewel carver who fled his home in January. These days Yousifzai ekes out a living in Peshawar doing odd jobs to feed his wife and two daughters. His hopes of returning home are not high.