OPF should provide better services to overseas Pakistanis – Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi

  • May 15, 2009
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) should provide better services to overseas Pakistanis who are playing a crucial role in the development of national economy by sending significant amount of remittances. This was stated by Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement. He said many Pakistani workers, particularly working in Middle East complain that no OPF representative ever visited their workplace to find out about their working conditions & problems and urged that OPF overseas representatives should help our foreign workers by coordinating with their employers to sort out their workplace related problems. He said OPF had established its counters at airports, but no worthwhile support is provided to overseas Pakistanis in their boarding & customs issues.

Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi said due to global recession and it’s after effects, many overseas Pakistanis are returning home due to loss of jobs. He said large number of these returnees is highly skilled workers having worked on advanced technology and machinery. Therefore, he emphasized upon OPF to play its effective role in their rehabilitation by coordinating with industries for their absorption in local industry. He said OPF should also collect data of highly skilled overseas workers in collaboration with institutions like NAVTEC and NADRA so that on their repatriation, they could be provided jobs in different industries according to their skills and competency. This arrangement will also greatly help local industry by meeting their need of better trained and skilled professionals. He said OPF should lure back Pakistani investors as in these times of global recession, Pakistan offers them more attractive opportunities of investment in different sectors of its economy. It should also launch small industries schemes in collaboration with SMEDA for overseas Pakistanis so that they could be motivated to invest in the country, he added.

ICCI Vice President said OPF should launch more housing schemes in different cities of the country to meet the housing needs of overseas Pakistanis. It should also establish more educational institutions in all provinces of Pakistan for providing quality education to their children. He said overseas Pakistanis are providing strong cushion to country’s foreign exchange reserves by sending sufficient amount of remittances. According to some estimates, they sent $ 7.5 billion so far and stressed upon the OPF to encourage them to send their remittances through banking channels instead of hundi or hawala, which will further push up the amount of their remittances. He said OPF should further improve its welfare services for providing relief to overseas Pakistanis and their dependants in the rehabilitation of return migrants, redressal of grievances, early settlement of death and disability dues/compensation and providing better health facilities. He said OPF should extend its pension scheme to maximum number of overseas Pakistanis so that they could not face problems in their old age.