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PTA Bans Website of Bang-e-Sahar – A Leading Newspaper from Gilgit-Baltistan

In a strange move, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has banned the official website of Bang-e-Sahar. The move has come after PTA established its zonal office in Gilgit earlier this past January.

Imran Ahmed Hunzai



PTA bans Bang-e-Sahar

In a strange move, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has banned the official website of Bang-e-Sahar ( The move has come after PTA established its zonal office in Gilgit earlier this January.

According to a Bang-e-Sahar official, the website was showing an error at around 8:30 AM on 31st March, 2016. The website could have been blocked on the previous evening. Bang-e-Sahar is one of the leading newspapers published out of Gilgit-Baltistan. It had recently made a soft copy-version of its newspaper available on the website.

Bang-e-Sahar banned

So far, there is no news on why PTA has blocked the website for viewing in Pakistan. We checked with various ISPs and all of them (Update: except WiTribe) have blocked the website on their networks. Usually, PTA asks Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block a specific website or a set of website URLS. We are trying to reach some ISPs to get more insight on this. There is no update on PTA website about the ban.

In the past, PTA has blocked website like Youtube, Wikipedia, WordPress etc on various grounds. Some of these websites have been unblocked but hundreds and thousands of websites remain blocked on major ISPs that PTA oversees.  Youtube was unblocked after over 4 years of legislation and complaints by common citizens. Majority of the blocked websites have either adult oriented, blasphemous or other forms of controversial content. It is still to be found out on what grounds PTA decided to ban the Bang-e-Sahar’s news website.

Although the website remains blocked for normal browsing, but it can still be accessed using a proxy software. Here is a screenshot of the website taken while browsing the website using a proxy software.

Bang-e-Shahar banned

Recently, despite a lot of stir, PTA has failed in auctioning Next Generation Mobile Spectrum (NGMS). The people of Gilgit-Baltistan, along with those in Azad Kashmir, still cannot enjoy 3G/4G technologies.

Imran Hunzai is a Digital Media Consultant and activist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. When free, he likes to travel, do photography and play Rabab. He also runs a HONY inspired blog called Humans of Hunza. Follow him of Twitter @ihunzai.


Zulfiqar Essa: Contending for the Hult Prize 2019 with a Million Dollar Idea




Zulfiqar Essa

“My name is Zulfiqar Essa and I’m from Hyderabad, Hunza. I’m the co-founder of TechScape and previously have been awarded the Global UGRAD scholarship. Currently, I’m working on an idea called “Shirijon” which aims to create over 10,000 jobs in the next decade. I’m collaborating on this idea with my team members from Chitral, Punjab, and Germany.

Recently our idea got selected in the top 35 for HULT Prize 2019 from around two hundred thousand global applications received from across 120 countries. In the next round to be held in Amman, Jordan, we will be competing against young entrepreneurs from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, and other globally known institutions. Our idea is the very first Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC) to make it to the regional round of HULT Prize.

Team Shirijon from COMSATS Islamabad - Hult Prize 2019

Our team from COMSATS University Islamabad is quite excited to participate in the 10th Annual Hult Prize Regional Summit in an attempt to win a $1 million USD as a seed fund. We think that this idea has the potential to change the economy of not only Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral but entire Pakistan as well.”

This story is part of the #GBCProspers campaign by GBee. Send your stories at editor[at] or inbox your story at our Facebook page.

Join GBee to participate in our community forums and discuss topics about Gilgit, Baltistan, Chitral, Kohistan and Kashmir.

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Business & Economy

PITB’s Herself and Facebook brings you the GRAND Women Convention





PITB’s Herself and Facebook brings you the GRAND Women Convention

Punjab IT Board’s Grand Herself Women Convention (HWC) is all set to take place on the 8th of July, 2017 at Arfa Software Technology Park, Lahore. The day-long event is being organized on the 1st anniversary of the women empowerment initiative of Punjab IT Board –‘Herself’driven by Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman PITB.

Facebook, being the official partners for this event, shall be pooling in their best human resource all the way from Facebook Head Quartersto conduct activities and competitions at the convention for women in Pakistan to benefit from. The day-long event promises to bring you various exciting sessions, panel discussions featuring significant names in the industry including Seema Aziz, owner of the Bareeze and the only woman from Pakistan listed in Forbes 500, Dr. Amjad Saqib, Founder and Executive Director of Akhuwat, Zainab Abbas, the famous ‘selfiekawaar’ sports journalist, Ms. BushraAman, Secretary Women Development Department, Fizza Farhan, Global Development Advisor / Member – UN HLP, Rafia Qaseem Baig, the brave soul – Asia’s first woman bomb disposal squadron and Samar Khan the first women in the world to ride cycle on the Karakoram Mountains of Gilgit Baltistan.

Furthermore, there are some really cool workshops designed by Herself’s local partners, motivational talks by successful entrepreneurs for all those looking for inspiration in their lives, a ‘Herself Enclosure’ that shall feature the best of Herself graduates displaying their work and the most interesting part is the theatre play and much more.

This grand convention revolves around the theme ‘Steps towards a progressive nation’ focusing on breaking stereotypes of women heroes.It highlights the contribution of women to the economy of Pakistan and aims to help young women build their network with successful women in various fields. Furthermore, it encourages them to redefine and idealize women who have dedicated their lives to improve this country.

As Dr. Umar Saif comments, “At Punjab Information Technology Board, 60% of our workforce is women. Herself Women Convention is PITB’s way of showcasing and celebrating not just the women of PITB but women of this entire country, Pakistan.”

The aim of this powerful convention is to gather wonder women from all across Pakistan to highlight the success of their work in multiple domains and motivate young women to step in the workforce to contribute in the economy. In a country where 48% population is women and only 28% contribute to the economy, the issues are not only of policy but also of motivation. The convention is designed to cater all such problems existing in our society. ‘Herself’ is calling out all entrepreneurs, students, graduates, employees, housewives, and those who are beginning their careers to come and be a part of this convention with the surety that you won’t leave empty handed.

HWC is being organized by Nabeel A. Qadeer (Director Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development, Punjab IT Board) and his team. The head of the entrepreneurship wing says: “I want to thank Facebook for their support in our journey so far. The vision of ‘Herself’ is to increase women entrepreneurs, freelancers, women participation in the workforce and revamp the definition of heroes; HWC is just one glimpse of what we plan to achieve through this platform.”

“I invite you all to this one of a kind conference.” he concludes.

Through this convention, PITB hopes to highlight and celebrate women on a national level and let everyone know of their struggles and successes. This will also serve the attendees by providing them inspiration and direction for their careers. All those who are seeking inspiration and guidance are encouraged to join.

Registrations for HWC are currently open and all those who want to be a part of this first of its kind event, click this link to register free of cost on their website:

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