Minister Highlights Immense Potential of Social Media in Pakistan’s Development

Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  organized an event titled ‘Digital Democracy in Action: Enhancing Engagement through Social Media.’ The Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal was invited as a guest. While addressing the event, the Minister highlighted the importance of social media, calling it an ‘essential tool’ in promoting citizen engagement, transparency, and participation in government and political processes.

“Citizens’ engagement, transparency, and participation in government and political processes have been revolutionized by social media platforms, enabling instant communication, mobilization, and dissemination of information,” he said.

According to the minister, social media platforms offer spaces for dialogue, which enables people from all spheres of life to express their opinions, and share their concerns, consequently contributing to the national and political discourse. He further said,

“The democratization of communication fosters a more inclusive and participatory political environment. As of 2023, the country had more than 71 million social media users, representing a penetration rate of approximately 31% of the total population. This widespread use signifies the potential reach and impact of digital engagement.”

He said social media had the potential to enhance the transparency of the government. It can be achieved through real-time updates and direct communication channels, under which government officials could inform the general public regarding policy decisions, developments, and initiatives.

“Social media has proven to be a powerful tool for mobilizing communities and advocating for social change. It empowers grassroots activism and ensures that marginalized voices are heard,” the minister observed.

However, on the other hand, the minister also warned of the probable risks attached to social media, including misinformation and fake news.

Also read:

Govt Taking Measures to Promote Emerging Technologies in Pakistan: Planning Minister

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