USF Board of Directors' first meeting held after selection of new board members

85th meeting of Board of Directors of Universal Service Fund was held here at USF Head office chaired by Secretary IT & Chairman USF Board Mr. Navid Ahmed Shaikh. The Chairman and the management of the USF warmly welcomed its newly appointed board members, who bring diverse expertise and perspectives to the organization. The new board members include Major General (R) Hafeez Ur Rehman, HI (M), Chairman-PTA, Mr. Hatem Bamatraf, CEO PTCL (Nominee of Fixed line licensees), Mr. Wang Hua, CEO Zong (Nominee of mobile cellular licensees) and Independent Members/Directors Ms. Sofia Saeed, Ms. Ayla Majid and Mr. Muhammad Yousuf. Muhammad Omar Malik, Member- Telecom, MoITT, other Board members and management of USF also attended the meeting.
USF under the leadership and vision of Minister of IT and Telecommunication take great pride in announcing a momentous achievement as it welcomes the appointment of two distinguished female members, Ms. Sofia and Ms. Ayla, who assume the roles of Independent Members/Directors on the USF Board. This milestone is a significant stride in fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion within the organization, showcasing the burgeoning acknowledgment of the immeasurable value that women contribute to public offices. The presence of female representation on the Board enriches and enhances the decision-making process, ensuring a more holistic and comprehensive approach.
The meeting served as a platform to discuss crucial matters pertaining to the development and expansion of connectivity in underserved and unserved areas throughout Pakistan.
In his message, the Federal Minister for Ministry of IT & Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, conveyed his warm welcome to the newly appointed board members. He stated, The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, in collaboration with the Universal Service Fund (USF), steadfastly embraces its overarching commitment to address the prevailing connectivity disparities that permeate the vast expanse of Pakistan. In pursuit of this noble objective, our unwavering focus remains on establishing pervasive connectivity in even the most remote and geographically challenging areas, thereby fostering digital inclusion, and abating the lamentable digital gender divide. By embarking upon this resolute endeavor, we attempt to engender a dynamic and flourishing ecosystem that catalyzes multifaceted socio-economic progress throughout the nation. 
During the meeting, USF's Chief Executive Officer, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, provided a comprehensive update to the esteemed Board members regarding the progress of ongoing and upcoming projects. He underscored the organization's unwavering commitment to achieving excellence by establishing meaningful connectivity and bridging the gap for those currently unconnected. Additionally, he reiterated the paramount importance of sustainability, which remains a top priority across all initiatives as part of USF's concerted efforts to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Universal Service Fund (USF) reaffirms its unwavering dedication to its core mission of delivering connectivity to the underserved and unserved regions throughout Pakistan. With the endorsement of a substantial development budget amounting to approximately PKR 18 billion. These strategic initiatives will assume a critical role in augmenting connectivity infrastructure and empowering marginalized communities by facilitating seamless digital access across the expanse of the nation./Ends