PayPal refuses to enter Pakistan

PayPal, an American company that is the leader in online money transfers has turned down the request of the government of Pakistan to enter the Pakistani market. The main reason appears to be PayPal’s fears that Pakistan is not a country where laws and contracts are observed and protected.

During a briefing held before Pakistan’s Senate standing committee, Secretary Maroof Afzal asserted “PayPal did not decline because it has issues operating in Pakistan. Their internal working is such that they are not ready to introduce services in Pakistan.”

Others like Senator Rehman Malik, however, stated that the reason was otherwise. “One case of money laundering could cause significant problems for PayPal. PayPal must have the backing of the government that it can secure the interests of the company.”

The committee also took up the issue of the new telecom licence renewal policy. “Under which the government is asking Jazz and Telenor for $450 million instead of the previous $291m, IT Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the new policy has to be implemented under the new conditions. Jazz went to the Islamabad High Court earlier this month seeking to have the licence renewed according to the original terms and the 2015 Telecom Policy. The licence was issued for Rs16.8 billion (then equivalent to $291m) in 2004 and is now worth Rs41.4bn ($291m today). Two other mobile operators, Telenor and Warid – which Jazz later acquired – were issued licences through an auction in 2004, and both need to be renewed after 15 years. Both companies argue that the telecom operators are entitled to renew the licence at the same dollar price at which it was acquired, saying that it should be done “in an equitable, fair and transparent way”.”

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