Imran in virtual meeting with Sandberg welcomes Facebook's investments, programmes in Pakistan

Published October 9, 2020
This combo of photos shows Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg. — Photos CNN Screengrab/Reuters
This combo of photos shows Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg. — Photos CNN Screengrab/Reuters

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg held a virtual meeting on Friday to discuss the social media giant's investments in Pakistan, its support for digital literacy initiatives and its work concerning Covid-19.

The premier welcomed Facebook's investments and programmes in Pakistan and urged the company to increase their footprint, Radio Pakistan reported.

He also recognised the potential of digital platforms and the role they can play in providing global opportunities to the country's youth and entrepreneurs. The premier also noted how such opportunities can lift people out of poverty, the report said.

PM Imran raised concerns about the global rise in hate and extremism and acknowledged the immense challenge of fighting hate speech online.

Read: At UNGA, PM Imran says 'wilful provocation' to hate should be 'universally outlawed'

The pair also discussed Facebook's connectivity investments and research grants awarded this year to Pakistan-based academics. Other topics touched upon during the meeting included Facebook's feature for donating blood, which has seen more than five million people sign up since it launched in-country, as well as the company's support for a polio-free Pakistan.

PM Imran and Sandberg also spoke about the latter's SheMeansBusiness programme, which is providing training to 6,700 women across the country.

The last time the pair met was in January during a meeting held at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

The premier had invited tech firms to invest in Pakistan, and had asked Facebook to consider investments to support Pakistani incubators and help in digital literacy initiatives. At the time, Sandberg had invited the prime minister to visit Facebook's headquarters.

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