Telenor Pakistan received Prime Minister of Pakistan Trophy 2011 from Prime Minsiter himself being recognized as highest Foreign Direct Investor in Pakistan. The award was given in Lahore on the occasion of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Achievement Award 2011.
On September 10, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan concluded her visit to Norway where she received The Bridge Builder Award 2011 on behalf of PM Yousaf Raza Gillani in Norway. The award was meant to appreciate PM’s efforts to improve Pakistan’s relations with Western Countries and recognize his efforts to maintain the democracy in Pakistan.
Dr. Firdous also met with Telenor’s Group CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas and Telenor Pakistan CEO Christian Albech at company’s head quarter in Oslo. She was briefed about the future plans of Telenor in Pakistan.
Both of these awards are as worthless as our politics. Telenor Pakistan in its press release mentioned that the Trophy is for the largest foreign direct investment in Pakistan. We contacted Telenor’s spokesperson and came to know that it has invested approximately US $ 2 Bn so far in Pakistan. According to statistics, Zong has invested a similar amount whereas; Mobilink stands at US $ 3.7 Bn, the highest so far.
Award to Prime Minister in Norway is also ridiculous as neither democracy in Pakistan has been strengthened during last 3 years nor our relations with European countries have improved which is very much evident from the state of our fragile economy and isolation at the time of natural calamities.
Federal Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan being received by President & CEO Telenor Group Jon Fredrik Baksaas (center) and CEO Telenor Pakistan Christian Albech in Norway
What Dr. Firdous did is not out of comprehension as our rulers and even several other local organizations earn such awards at the cost of national exchequer. But private companies mostly do it to remain in lime light.
LCCI Achievement Awards are conducted every year and who ever sponsor the event gets the recognition in shape of awards. It does not have be on merit. This time, Telenor Pakistan promised to support the event by spending Rs. 500,000, which it has not paid to Chamber so far.
We asked LCCI about the criteria of recognizing any company. According to the representative, “whoever apply to participate on our platform gets the award. Previous year this award was given to National Bank of Pakistan and a year before it was received by Warid Telecom. This year, Telenor Pakistan was the only company representing Pakistani Telecommunication sector”.
None of the above award winning companies can be rated as highest investor in Pakistan. One can ask this question, how important these forums are and what kind of profile our private companies make by receiving these paid awards.
Personally speaking, at the end of the day, all that matters is the quality of service that you provide. One more thing, PR departments must consider the true facts before claiming and making anything public.