Pakistan cautions against Indian AI products

The Pakistan government has said that institutions should avoid using artificial intelligence (AI) products and services of “Indian origin.”

Indian AI products posed a “constant, concealed and force multiplier threat” to Pakistan’s critical information infrastructure, the country’s federal government warned in a cybersecurity advisory, according to Pakistani news outlet Geo News.

In an advisory sent to federal and provincial ministries, it called for informational technology and financial institutions – including regulators – to refrain from “collaboration, installation and use” of Indian AI products and information and communication technology.

The government noted in the document that it had learnt that Pakistan’s fintech sector, including some banks, were “engaged with Indian-origin companies who are offering them IT products, cyber security, and AI solutions.”

“All Federal/Provincial Ministries including sectoral regulators are requested to sensitize their affiliated setups/organisations/licensees, on the risks involved in the use of Indian origin products/solutions,” the document read, according to Geo News.

The government said that risks included the “possibility” of backdoors or malware in the products which could collect logs, data traffic analysis, and personal identifiable information.

The document also expressed concern about “direct Indian ingress” in Pakistan’s critical information infrastructure and “passive monitoring capability.”

The government said organizations should use Pakistani alternatives instead.

Mutual mistrust runs deep between Pakistan and India, two neighboring nations in South Asia, after decades of mostly acrimonious relations.

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