In a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis, Secretary Overseas Pakistanis revealed that a significant number of Pakistanis, particularly laborers, are working abroad. This discussion took place under the chairmanship of Senator Manzoor Kakar.
During the meeting, Senator Rana Mahmoodul Hassan highlighted that Japan has requested around 340,000 skilled individuals, India about 1.5 million, and Nepal sent 91,000 skilled workers to Japan. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have also dispatched skilled labor to Japan.
However, Pakistan has only sent around 200 people to Japan. He pointed out that Pakistan has a workforce of about 500,000 engineers, and Nepal has a population of 30 million, yet they have sent their people to Japan for employment, with many learning the Japanese language.
Senator Rana Mahmoodul Hassan further mentioned that around 3 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia, and while the government is preparing a proposal, Saudi Arabia is currently recruiting skilled labor instead of unskilled labor.
He added that there is a shortage of skilled workers, and Saudi Arabia is setting up skill centers in Pakistan. He also mentioned that approximately 200,000 Pakistanis are working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the UAE has made an offer to Pakistan to send 50,000 skilled workers.
The officials from Overseas Pakistanis informed the committee that a contract was signed with Japan in 2019, and Pakistan provides language training to its workforce, which is verified by Japan.
Senator Sherry Rehman emphasized that Nepal is currently sending a significant number of mountain shepherds to Pakistan, and Pakistan lacks skilled individuals in surveying and mountaineering.
Secretary Overseas Pakistanis, Zeeshan Khanzada, told the committee that Pakistan has a significant number of people living abroad, with India and Bangladesh being ahead of Pakistan in terms of emigration. Saudi Arabia has also established a skills center.
Zeeshan Khanzada further stated that many Pakistanis are being detained for begging in the holy cities, and most of the beggars arrested are Pakistanis. This has become a human trafficking issue.
He added that the majority of individuals arrested for stealing wallets inside the holy shrines are Pakistanis, and they go on religious visas but end up begging.
In essence, this meeting highlighted the emigration challenges Pakistan faces, with discussions on the need to send skilled labor abroad and address various issues related to overseas Pakistanis.