In a recent meeting of the Senate standing committee for overseas Pakistanis, the Secretary for Overseas Pakistanis, Zeeshan Khanzada, made a startling revelation that 90% of beggars arrested abroad hail from Pakistan.
The committee, chaired by Manzoor Kakar, also discussed the disparities in skilled labor migration. Senator Rana Mahmoodul Hasan highlighted that while Japan has called for 340,000 skilled workers, Pakistan has managed to send only 200, whereas India and Nepal have dispatched 150,000 and 91,000 skilled workers respectively.
He emphasized that there are approximately 50,000 unemployed engineers in Pakistan. Hasan pointed out that even though small nations like Nepal have gone lengths to train their workforce, including language proficiency like Japanese, Pakistan lags considerably behind.
Shedding light on the numbers of overseas Pakistanis in different countries, Secretary Khanzada mentioned that there are around 1.6 million Pakistanis in the UAE and another 200,000 in Qatar. Khanzada indicated a notable trend where people are even willing to pay up to 5 million rupees for employment chances abroad.
The discussion revealed that nations with smaller populations, such as Nepal, are surpassing Pakistan in training and deploying skilled workers, with Senator Sherry Rehman mentioning the influx of Nepalese mountain sherpas to Pakistan due to their superior skills in mountain climbing.
However, the most startling revelation in the meeting was the disclosure by the Secretary about the prevalence of Pakistani beggars abroad. Khanzada said that not only are the majority of beggars arrested from Pakistan, but a significant portion of pickpockets caught in religious places like within Makkah’s grand mosque are Pakistanis. He remarked that most of these individuals venture abroad on Umrah visas. The situation has grown so dire that ambassadors from Iraq and Saudi Arabia have communicated that their jails are overcrowded, shifting the concern towards a human trafficking issue.