Assessing the General: How did the Pakistan telecom sector do in 2002-2008?

Posted on July 31, 2008  /  3 Comments

A few days ago, we learned that Major General Shahzada Alam Malik (Retd.) had stepped down from the leadership of the Pakistan Telecom Authority. We believe that his seven-year tenure at the helm of the PTA merits an assessment. It begins thus:

Pakistan’s recent telecom developments constitute a South Asian success story. From two million in 2002, the number of active mobile SIMs increased to 79 million by end 2007. This is a compound annual growth rate of 115 per cent a year, one of the highest in the world, and the highest in South Asia for that period.

The full document is Pakistan’s telecom transformation, 2002-07

We fully realize that readers, especially from Pakistan, may have varying views on whether or not Pakistan’s telecom sector was transformed, whether the PTA played a constructive role, and whether Major General Malik provided good leadership. We have made our assessment based on the available evidence. We welcome comments and debate.


  1. A short version of this has been published in the leading Sri Lanka English newspaper: