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[ossig] A point of concern for the FOSS Community

Government of Punjab Pakistan and Microsoft Promoting IT Skills in Pakistan

E skills 360 degrees for 21st Century Employability Skills a Dream for the
Province of Punjab Lahore, January 27th 2006 

Microsoft to invest $10m in Punjab The News, March 17th, 2005 

E skills 360 degrees for 21st Century Employability Skills a Dream for the
Province of Punjab

Can Pakistan afford this reckless spending amidst of massive earthquake
destruction, its commitment towards achieving the Millennium Development
Goals and poverty alleviation through ICTs? At the same time the Government
has created an Open Source Resource Centre spending millions on the
promotion of Free and Open Source Software (for e.g. 60 Million on just one

Through This aristocratic project costing millions of dollars/billions of
rupees by Government of the Punjab is working to promote proprietary
software organizations like Microsoft in collaboration with UNITAR-United
Nations Institute for Training and Research that is surprisingly against the
agenda of United Nations promoting FOSS in developing countries for reducing
digital divide and alleviating poverty and achieving the MDGs. In
partnership with the Government of the Punjab are the International
Commission on Workforce Development. 

Food for Thought:
-From where will all this money come and who will pay the loans back, our
future generations?
-Through the promotion of Proprietary Software, aren't we putting the people
of Punjab in the Software Piracy Trap? The amount sums up to 1 Million
-Would all these people be able to purchase proprietary software licenses to
implement their skills developed through this programme?
-Should we believe this is the right way to overcome the digital divide?

A question mark for the FOSS Community Activists, IOSN, FSF, OSI, Open
Source Resource Centre, others advocating the use of FOSS and those who
attend conferences and consultations from Pakistan presenting large figures
of trainings and various programmes at Asia OSS, FOSSAP, WSIS etc!

Fouad Riaz Bajwa
General Secretary - FOSS Advocate
FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan R Secretariat
FOSS Resource Centre - FOSSRC
5-A, 1st Floor, 32-M, Manzoor Plaza
Civic Centre, Model Town Extension
Lahore-54700, Pakistan
Cell: 92-333-4661290
Tel: 92-42-8496645
E-Mail: bajwa@fossfp.org
URL: www.fossfp.org ; www.ubuntu-pk.org
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