Prime Minister Imran Khan in a virtual meeting with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer(COO) Sheryl Sandberg, invited the company to expand their projects in Pakistan on October 9th, 2020. Facebook’s campaign during the Covid-19 pandemic and its support for digital literacy projects and investment were primarily discussed during the meeting.
PM Khan emphasized on the importance of digital platforms and their role in lifting Pakistan out of poverty. These openings are an opportunity for the youth and entrepreneurs globally, stated the Premier. Facebook's 'SheMeansBusiness' Program, a digital platform for female entrepreneurs to connect, discuss and expand business ideas and ventures was also brought under discussion. Under this project approximately 6,700 women have been under training across Pakistan. Light was also shed on Facebook’s efforts for connectivity investments and research grants for Pakistan-based academics in the past.
Sandberg was congratulated on Facebook’s role in digitizing medical needs in the country. More than 5 million people have signed up for Facebook’s blood donation feature locally since its launch in January, 2018. The support in the Polio Free Pakistan campaign was also commended.
Hate speech and freedom of expression through digital platforms was also brought into attention. The day the Prime Minister invited one social media platform into Pakistan, another was banned by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority(PTA). TikTok was reportedly banned for indecent content after several complaints from different segments of society.