In a shocking news, Punjab government on Monday, 13th October decided to remove the chairman of Punjab Information and Technology Board (PITB), Dr.Umar Saif. The news was revealed by Dr. Umar Saif himself on his Facebook and Twitter pages. Surprisingly no, notification has been issued by the government while a summary to replace him has already been approved.
Talking to DAWN, Dr. Umar confirmed this news and said,
“It is the prerogative of the government to appoint anyone they wish, I have worked for the government for seven years. I hope they appoint someone who can take this forward,” he said.
The public, however, was not happy with this and many criticized the government’s decision, especially on Twitter where the public erupted with anger and asked the government to explain this decision to the public.
Some criticized PTI’s decision and mocked the vision of ‘Naya Pakistan’ where hardworking and competent individuals like Dr. Umar Saif were shown the door instead of being awarded higher posts in the government.
While others acknowledged that Umar Saif was perhaps the greatest find by the former Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif.
Dr. Saif, who is also the vice-chancellor of Lahore’s Information Technology University (ITU), in a Facebook post said it had been his privilege to serve the country “for as long as I could”.
“I served 5 successive governments and established two institutions: PITB, which became the main reform engine for the government with over 300 projects in Punjab and other provinces, and ITU, which in just 5 years, became one of the premier technology universities of Pakistan with close to 100 Ph.D. faculty members,” he wrote.
Dr. Umar Saif got his bachelors of Computer Science from LUMS in 1998 after which he received his doctor of philosophy degree in computer science from the University of Cambridge at the age of 22. He then received his post-doctorate degree from MIT in 2002 and then taught there from 2001 to 2005.
Once he came to Pakistan, Dr. Umar led spearheaded entrepreneurship and freelancing related projects like Plan9, PlanX, eRozgaar, Herself and TechHub Connect under the hood of PITB. Under his watch, the board also played a key role in digitalizing the governance in Punjab and helped other provinces step up their game.