90pc of beggars being arrested abroad are Pakistanis, MPs body informed

Secretary Overseas Pakistanis gives briefing to Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development

ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistanis are leading the world begging community as 90 percent of the beggars being arrested abroad are Pakistanis, while majority of the pickpockets caught in Haram also belongs to Pakistan

The formidable disclosure was made by Secretary Overseas Pakistanis while briefing the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development which met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar.

The Secretary Overseas Pakistanis said that flights full of beggars are going abroad from Pakistan.

“Now so many of our people are being deported because they become beggars there,” he added. 

Most of the pickpockets caught inside the Haram are also Pakistanis, he further informed. Beggars mostly go on Umrah visa, they do not get work visas, the secretary said.

Their ultimate motive is to beg there. He said that it has become a problem of human trafficking, he said.

Senator Rana Mahmood Ul Hassan lamented that 50,000 engineers and IT professionals in the country are unemployed and urged the ministry to develop a mechanism in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other related ministries to aid the Pakistani engineers as skilled workers to Japan, China and other countries considering the prevailing dire economic crisis.

He said that highly skilled qualified professionals are desperate for jobs and as of now are even willing to work for Rs15000 to Rs20000 salary per month. Senator Zeeshan Khanzada while endorsing the view point of Senator Mahmood said that the level of desperation among the People of Pakistan is such that they are willing to give millions of rupees in lieu of employment visa because of severe inflation and recession in the country.

Secretary Overseas Pakistanis apprised the committee that through a new arrangement we are now more focusing on the skilled workforce including IT professionals, engineers and paramedical staff. “It would abruptly increase the foreign remittances,” the secretary said.

Senator Rana Mahmoud-ul-Hassan raised serious questions on the inability of Pakistan to migrate engineers to Japan irrespective of the fact that Japan needed 0.3 million workers. “We were not even able to send 100 workers,” Senator Shahadat Awan said. Further inquiring the reasons behind such negligence, the committee sought list of number of skilled workers sent to Japan and also details on the educational qualification of each. The committee also inquired about the clauses of the MoU signed with Saudi Arabia.

“We have to see where we are lacking in the MoU between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” Senator Sahadat Awan said. The officials apprised that in 2019 a bilateral agreement was signed according to which a skill verification programme was set up by Saudi Arabia government in Pakistan known as the Takamol having 18 centres with its headquarters in Islamabad. The programme is led under the supervision of NAVTTC and comes under the ministry of Education. The official of the Overseas Pakistan Foundation apprised the committee that 2.8 million workers at present are employed in Saudi Arabia. While discussing the issues faced by the ministry on skilled immigrants the secretary overseas ministry contended that one of the issues is the inability to determine the migrant intentions whether he will become an immigrant or remain skilled worker which leads to issues of human trafficking and legal procedures. 

The secretary ministry further said that language is one of the issues while clearing immigrations to countries like China, Japan and Korea. He said that the committee should give directions to NAVTTC to conduct language training courses. He also said that through NAVTTC we are also planning to establish regional centres for language training and test centres. The committee sought NAVTTC briefing on the matter in the next meeting. 

The committee also inquired on the services provided to overseas Pakistanis for foreign remittances.

Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi inquired regarding the funds/grants proviso by EOBI to the mine workers after completing 30 years of service. He said that as per rules of the EOBI the grant is not given until the requirements are completely fulfilled, but amazingly the hinge in the completion is deliberately created by EOBI. He said that the mine workers are not legally registered and also not given proper training. He said that the reply submitted by the EOBI is unsatisfactory and inquired about the number of cards issued and also inquired about its verification as well. The chairperson EOBI said that 165 mines and 7883 workers are registered, she admitted that majority mines are facing issues of law and order. She said that the mine sector is running informally and also we do not have the authority to verify the license. However on inquiring of data she apprised the committee that there are a total of 25000 pensioners in the area registered with the EOBI so far. 

The committee chair sought record from the EOBI on the total number of mines along with numbers of employees working in totality and number of workers registered. He also sought data on the amount recovered by the EOBI so far through the contributions received. The committee also raised issues of illegal occupation of properties owned by overseas immigrant. The ministry replied that it is working with relevant agencies although it is also recommended that separate courts on the issue should be constituted. He said that the issue of illegal occupation of land of overseas Pakistanis is already under consideration and different forums are being constituted to redress the matter he also the urged the courts to extend cooperation in this regard.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt