In connection with International Migrants Day, Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) in collaboration with International Labor Organization (ILO) has organized a seminar here on “enhancing the role of overseas Pakistanis in nation building.”
Addressing the seminar, Chairman OPF Board of Governors, Barrister Amjad Malik has said that it is need of the hour to recognize changing role of Overseas Pakistanis in current scenario. He said that integrated data bank of overseas Pakistanis is required to formulate policies for their betterment along with their skills profiles.
Barrister Malik said that Pakistani workers have proved as hard workers, dedicated to their work and trustworthy, which is laudable. He said that it was observed that export of manpower from Pakistan has become more expensive due to imposition of taxes by the Middle Eastern countries due to decline of oil prices or otherwise, but this reality is undesirable and International Labour Organization (ILO) should also take notice as this is another form of exploitation of workers by the employers.
The Chairman said that there is a need to develop a mechanism to take overseas Pakistanis on board for image building of Pakistan abroad and to increase exports in their host countries. He said that social coverage and economic rehabilitation of returnee migrants should be ensured. He further said that the role of overseas Pakistanis should be increased in political and policy making institutions of the country through right of vote and designated seats. He said that OPF is kick starting Overseas Pakistanis Advisory Council (OPAC) and that will act as a starting point towards political emancipation.
Federal Secretary, Ministry of overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Khizar Hayat Khan said that a regular research work is required on the issues related to Overseas Pakistanis to get in-debth knowledge and information regarding issues and problems being faced by Overseas Pakistanis. He further said that the collaboration among relevant government agencies and international organizations for sharing of data and formulation of policies for overseas Pakistanis should be strengthen to get desired results.
Managing Director OPF, Habib ur Rehman Gilani, Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis, Hafiz Ahsan Ahmed Khokhar, representatives of International Labor Organization, Board of Investment and other relevant organizations also addressed the seminar.
The participants were agreed upon to develop a mechanism for exercising right of vote by Overseas Pakistanis from abroad. They were of the opinion that overseas Pakistanis and their dependents should be recognized by the government at all forums. “The role of overseas Pakistanis should be encouraged for investment in CPEC and other economic corridors through effective awareness, besides creating conducive environment to attract overseas Pakistanis investors”, they said. The seminar was attended by representative of all stakeholders, ambassadors, diplomats, academia and policy makers.
Public Relations Officer