Two million Pakistanis move abroad in three years


ISLAMABAD: As many as two million Pakistanis have moved abroad to seek jobs due to the worsening employment condition in Pakistan during the last three years.

Increase in inflation, poverty and lack of job opportunities in the country led the people to throng various countries of the world, said a senior official of the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF).

He said that 953,945 people had moved to Saudi Arabia, 112,670 to Oman, 845,000 to the UAE, about 23,000 to Bahrain, 45,000 to Malaysia and 277,108 to Qatar in the same period.

He said that the National Migration Policy had been drafted in 2008 but it could not be finalised because of devolution of the then Ministry of Labour and Manpower under the 18th Amendment.

He said about 3.417m Pakistani workers had registered themselves for overseas employment over the past five years.

The official said the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has failed to create job opportunities in the country and it had spread uncertainty among the youth.

The government should have to ensure hire of local labour in the work of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to receive the true fruit of this project, he said. On the other hand, he said China had succeeded in engaging its companies and workers in the projects.

He said Pakistan had a good man power and many countries could benefit from it.

The official said that the ministry concerned was making its best efforts to increase the export of manpower to different countries and the country had signed MoUs with Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE for the purpose.

It may be mentioned here that recently, thousands of applicants with a master’s degree applied to become gardeners and door attendants in the Department of Education in Chakwal. The mushroom growth of colleges and universities across Pakistan has produced a large cohort of young graduates belonging to working class families.

The lacklustre economy had failed to generate employment opportunities for the youth, resulting in an oversupply of the educated unemployed, sources claimed. Even more troubling is the realisation that job creation is not a priority for the ruling elite.

The current officially stated unemployment rate rests at under six per cent. This represents the fraction of the labour force that is actively looking for work.

The World Bank considers individuals 15 years and older and looking for work to be a part of the labour force. According to the World Bank, Pakistan’s labour force is estimated at 65 million. With a population estimated at over 196 million, the labour force size is one-third of the population.

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