PKNIC is the registry responsible for the .pk country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for Pakistan. .pk domains are very popular in Pakistan and with good reason. There are lots of premium word .pk domains still available and companies that purchase .pk domains enjoy the natural targeted traffic that these domains bring.
These days domain registration in most general TLDs like .com, .net etc. as well as most ccTLDs is pretty much instantaneous. Domain registrars provide their customers with web based control panels that allow them to change their whois info, nameservers and other details as and when they please.
While the registration and management procedure for second level .pk domains appears to be instantaneous with payment via credit cards, the registration of third level .com.pk, .net.pk etc. domain is a different matter entirely.
When I visited the PKNIC site I was shocked to find that the registration procedure for .com.pk and other third level domains involves the buyer emailing PKNIC a form that they make available on their site. The form isn’t a web based form but a text file that you copy and paste into your email client, fill out with your details and email to PKNIC. PKNIC then may take up to a week to register your domain for you! The same procedure is followed if you want to change your whois details or your domain’s nameservers!
And thats not all. If you are looking for a publicly accessible whois server you’ll be very disappointed. PKNIC does have a whois form on its site but there is no general whois server that can take bulk queries. You can’t write a script that will scan for available domain names automatically by querying a whois server. You can’t do bulk whois searches.
Bulk whois searches are essential for domain speculators that often bring the initial demand for fledgling TLDs. Consider that the people behind the .mobi gTLD actually courted domain speculators because they understood that domainers have an important role to play.
Its high time that PKNIC was modernized. An automated system is essential if .pk domains are to become more popular. A domain name is a serious investment and nobody wants his domain tied up in bureaucratic red tape.