The beauty of democracy is that it gives the civil society the voice to question and critique, and the ability to monitor whoever they choose to run the state. With this monitoring, the cyberspace remains no exception, hence Bytes for All- Pakistan, extended their assessment of state websites to the executive tier itself; the websites of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Unfortunately, Google search on ‘Prime Minister of Pakistan’ returned all kinds of results (including one the PM’s controversial videos among top ten results), but not the website. After searching for a while, we realized that there is no official website dedicated to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The President of Pakistan appears to be better off, because he does have a dedicated website, hence we decided to subject it to our benchmark analysis. This is how it scored.
The website offers two built-in contact forms through which citizens can communicate:
- ‘Write to the President’ under the second tab by the name of ‘The President’ and also as a separate box in the home page’s side bar.
- ‘Contact us’ link on the top right of the home page.
An attempt to establish contact was made using the second form and we await response which the website promises when ‘Submit’ is clicked. This section shall be updated in due time.
Search Engine Registration
Using Google search engine, B4A searched for ‘President of Pakistan’. The first website that appeared was the Presidents, hence full marks here.
As compared to other official representations, the website of the President of Pakistan appears to be better designed with state colours being dominant, the font and spacing consistent and minimal clutter. The graphics used are low resolution and call for improvement.
The content offered on the website is plenty in quantity. It is easy to navigate through the website. The search bar at the very top allows one to find information relating to a specific topic of interest.
To check the status of content quality, B4A randomly selected three pages:
- Invest in Pakistan: The page highlights how Pakistan is an investor friendly country and why people should invest in its economy. The page ends with a list of company that the website proudly terms as ‘foreign companies that have successfully invested in Pakistan’. Shockingly, the list includes ‘Hashoo Group‘ and ‘Engro Corporation‘ as ‘foreign companies’. B4A checked with official group websites and confirmed that both the groups are a part of Pakistan based conglomerates. Unfortunately, none of the links directing the user to ‘.pdf’ format company profiles work. The above raises serious questions about the authenticity and quality of all of the content available on this website!
- The second page that was analysed was titled ‘His Excellency Mr. Asif Ali Zardari‘. Punctuation errors were found here. The same punctuation problems were also found on other pages.
- The third page that we came across was titled ‘President’s Secretariat‘. The content appeared to consist of a picture, but it did not load on two different internet connections in two different cities. There was no text so B4A did not gain any significant information here and felt lost.
The website was tested across three browsers; Google Chrome 14.0, Mozilla Firefox 5, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0, and and its performance was deemed satisfactory in terms of compatibility and accessibility. In terms of speed, the website could have been more agile.
In conclusion, as a representative of the executive office of the President of Pakistan, B4A expected this website to be no less than flawless as it is meant to represent a positive image of the country and its leadership. While other issues could be of lesser priority, presentation of incorrect facts is critical and demands thorough action at the earliest.