Pakistan Air Force Jumping Into Commercial Ventures – Making PACPAD Tablet!

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Pakistan Airforce has added one more job profile besides protecting airspace and boundary of  its country – to manufacture Tablet on Android platform. Inside a high-security air force complex that builds jet fighters and weapons systems, Pakistan’s military is working on the latest addition to its sprawling commercial empire: a homegrown version of the iPad.

It is  a venture that bundles together Pakistani engineering and Chinese hardware, and shines a light on the military’s controversial foothold in the consumer market. Supporters say it will boost the economy as well as a troubled nation’s self-esteem. It all comes together at an air force base in Kamra in northern Pakistan, where avionics engineers, when they’re not working on defence projects, assemble the PACPAD 1.

The device runs on Android 2.3, an operating system made by Google and given away for free. At around USD 200, it’s less than half the price of Apple or Samsung devices and cheaper than other low-end Chinese tablets on the market, with the bonus of a local, one-year guarantee. The PAC in the name stands for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, where it is made. The PAC also makes an e-reader and small laptop.

Such endeavours are still at the pilot stage and represent just a sliver of the military’s business portfolio, which encompasses massive land holdings, flour and sugar mills, hotels, travel agents, even a brand of breakfast cereal. Many Pakistanis find its economic activities corrupting and say it should focus on entirely on defence. however,supporters say the foray into information technology is a boost to national pride for a country vastly overshadowed by archrival India in the high-tech field.

But our opinion is that government entities- whether it is India or Pakistan- should not dabble in business ventures as they do not have enough acumen to run it successfully. For instance in India, Air India and hotel business of Indian Tourism and Development Corporation, is being run by Government of India. Everybody knows miserable condition of Air India;infact they are on the verge of closure and government is still bent upon wasting tax payers money and have decided to pump in crores of rupees in the cancerous entity. Similarly, the government have mustered some courage and sold some loss making hotels but still some losing establishments are pain in their neck.

Similarly, Pakistan Army or Air Force, whose primary job is to safeguard borders of its country and problems within the country, should not venture into business activities, which is very complex and time consuming. The way technology is changing and to remain abreast of latest developments, it will be difficult for them to cope up with the pressures.

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