Telenor Easypaisa launches IBFT – A step towards Interoperability

Telenor’s Easypaisa recently launched the Inter Bank Fund Transfer (IBFT) facility for mobile account holders as well as OTC (over the counter) customers. The service can be easily be called a giant leap towards interoperability in Mobile Financial Services (MFS) arena.Inter Bank Funds Transfer

How it works:

The service is available as OTC service to anyone visiting an Easypaisa outlet as well as to mobile account users. OTC customers can send money to 24 different banks through an Easypaisa outlet by presenting their CNIC (Computerized National Identity Card) number to the agent. There is a limit of 15000 PKR per month per CNIC which is derived by the regulator.

Mobile Account users can simple dial a USSD shortcode to access the menu where they can choose the option of sending money to bank account. The limit is derived by the level of account the customer is subscribed for. Mobile Account users can also receive money from available banks. The transaction is initiated from interface provided by the bank and no action is required on part of Mobile Account user.

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What happened to the Imran Khan I knew?

When I joined PTI in 2006, not many took PTI seriously. But Imran Khan was a man of solutions back then. He used to make sense and provide solutions to problems prevailing in this country. The idea was simple, liberate the people of Pakistan from the shackles of a bogus system, invest in human resource and they will take care of their progress.

Imran Khan used to criticize Musharraf back then, but only where it was due. I remember aik srfter the earth quake, Imran Khan while criticizing Musharraf government’s inappropriate response to the disaster, suggested Musharraf to setup a camp office in Kashmir to mobilize resources. When asked about Musharraf’s refusal to Indian helicopters, he supported Musharraf saying he might have genuine reservations with Indian pilots. This was the man, I firmly believed would change the traditional politics in Pakistan.

I worked selflessly for this party for 3 years. Even when I was pushed out of the party in 2009, thanks to internal party politics, I never had any doubts on the intentions of Imran Khan and supported PTI whole heartedly in 2013 election campaign. Continue reading

Is Pakistan Idol heading towards a failure?

The latest exclusions from Pakistan Idol, especially that of Waqas Ali, have left me baffled. I have seen uproar in social media over the attitude and poor judgments of Pakistan Idol judges. But now that selection is in the hands of the people, the results are actually worse. Immensely talented singers either didn’t make through to top-13 round, or are now being excluded one by one. It shows an interesting perspective in how we – the people of Pakistan – choose when given the choice, be it general elections or Pakistan Idol voting. I have the following few observations on the outcome of Pakistan Idol so far. Continue reading

Social Media Responsibility as seen in UK’s court of law

This news item on BBC Urdu gives a brief idea about how social media is considered in UK’s court of law and I quite like it.

Social Media Responsibility

  • If you are posting something online, you are responsible for it. Not being aware of the rules is not acceptable excuse.
  • If you are originator of the post, you will have to prove what is in the content of the post.
  • If you repost something that someone else has shared, you and the person who orignally posted it are equally accountable. You cannot say in the court of law that you are only forwarding what someone else said.
  • The more a post is re-shared, the bigger will be the crime.

PTI Internal Elections – Between the rock and a hard place?

Its been almost 9 months now since PTI announced its internal elections. Since then the well-wishers of PTI have been hoping to see something positive coming out of these elections since these elections were seen as the cure to extreme divisions within the party, also pointed out by Talat Hussain recently. However till date, there is no expectation that these elections could be completed before general elections which makes one wonder, whether this was another hyped up bubble (like Hakumat Hatao, Mulk Bachao) that is about to burst? Akbar Sher Babar, once Imran Khan’s right hand (no more however), has rightly said that the party seems to be caught between the rock and a hard place.

As per my opinion, PTI has approached this whole exercise the wrong way. I would first like to share some information on why elections have been delayed in Islamabad.

What is happening in Islamabad?

There are two major groups, along with few minor groups participating in Islamabad. The stakes are high since the internal elections are deemed as the gateway to ticket in general elections. One of the major groups has raised serious reservations with the voter lists in front of the party leadership including the Chairman. Continue reading

Karakoram Highway – A wonder in itself

This year in September, I got the chance to travel on Karakoram Highway, second time in two years. I am calling it a wonder because of its altitude as well as the kind of area it was built in. From Mansehra till Khunjerab, the travel on KKH is full of exciting views and adventures.

I am going to share my views on some of the exciting places that I have seen so far on KKH. Top of the list is the junction point of 3 highest mountain ranges of the world, Karakoram, Hindukush and Himalayas. I wish we had established and publicized this point as a proper tourist spot, however the reality is that even Pakistanis dont have much awareness about it. The spot is located at Karakoram Highway where the road splits in two, one going towards Gilgit and second towards Skardu.


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Birding in Islamabad

My new found love for capturing birds has provided me a great activity to satisfy my desire to do something creative. I by no means call myself a pro, but I plan to be there someday. I would like to acknowledge the person who showed me this path, who is also like a teacher to me in photography, Zill Niazi.

Here’s a photo of Common Kingfisher, a beautiful bird I captured on last weekend.

Common Kingfisher

More pictures are available on my Flickr stream.