Friends of Pakistan demand seats in parliament for Overseas Pakistanis

 Friends of Pakistan (FoP), a representative organisation of about 10 million overseas Pakistanis planning investment in the country, has demanded allocation of seats in parliament and the senate.

The demand was made at a telephonic conference addressed by FoP Founder Chairman Sarfraz Khan and Country Coordinator Abdullah Butt at the Karachi Press Club on Friday.

Speaking from Los Angeles, Khan said overseas Pakistanis have no voice in the country’s parliament or senate, with no representation in decision-making. He said they were performing important tasks in their chosen countries and improving Pakistan’s image and helping it by remitting foreign exchange.

The speakers claimed that they have the ability to increase remittances from $6.1 billion to a higher level, bring more investment in the private sector, help in the education sector, provide assistance for building schools, colleges and universities, provide assistance for introducing advanced technology in agriculture, provide support for green energy or power stations to solve the energy crisis and give assistance to the IT industry.

“To achieve these goals, we must have representation in the National and Provincial Assemblies and the senate to help them draw legislation to boost the confidence of expatriates. Thus we want the ‘right of vote’ to elect our representatives in overseas countries for the Pakistani parliament,” a written statement of FoP said.

They said that they would unveil a comprehensive investment plan for Pakistan at an international conference of the FoP to be held on February 14-15 at Los Angeles. “We have invited Minister of State on Investment and Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman, Saleem H Mandviwala, and other officials of the government and the opposition, but none of them have confirmed their participation yet,” Butt told The News on the sidelines of the conference.

FoP mentioned that over 10 million Pakistanis were living in different parts of the world including North America, Europe, Middle East and Far East.

When asked whether the idea of acquiring overseas representation in the government machinery was unique or had been implemented in other states, Khan said more or less the same system was being run in Italy, France, Colombia, Britain, Ireland, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US. The News

One Comment

  1. PAKISTAN SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN CASH MONEY FOR DEVELOPEMENT ASISTANCE BUT ALL FRIENDS OF PAKISTAN COUNTRIES SHOULD ADOPT A PROVINCE AND REGION WITHIN PROVINCE- ALMOST TEN IN NUMBERS AND MAKE A PLANE TO DEVELOP THAT REGION AS PER THE STANDARD OF INTERNATIONAL LEVEL. BULD THE INFRASTRUCTURE, CREATE INVESTMENT OPPRTUNITIES FOR BIG AND SMALL BUSINESSES. CREATE A FUND/ FORUM TO LOOK AFTER THE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTLY TO AVOID THE WASTAGE AND CORUUPTION. AND WE HOPE THE A LOT OF JOBS WILL BE CREATED BY THIS WAY AND A REAL POVERTY ERADICATION WILL BE WITNESS BY ALL OF US. OTHER WISE CASH FLOW TO ISLAMABAD WILL DO NOTHING BUT WILL MAKE FEW RICH RULERS MORE RICH TO COMPETE THE RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. A detail of the following article of mine is to guide our real friends. All the best.
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    FIVE REGIONAL CITIES OF PAKISTAN should be upgraded with in the provinces in the country. Regional cities of Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP, Gawadar/ Qalat in Balouchistan, Sukkar/ Larkana in Upper Sind, Jehlam/ Rawalpindi and Multan in Punjab province. These regional cities have been ignored by the federal and provincial governments although these cities have their own history, culture and languages.Dera Ismail Khan in south of Pakhtun khwa/MWFP is under seige, Multan/DG Khan in south of Punjab is next target of religious extremists,Sukkar/ Larkana is being rule by criminals, Gawadar/ Qalat is trouble some. The people of these regions have to travel to provincial capitals for every small issue and requirement of the daily life which should be provided in nearby cities. A good number of population travel to big cities for their survival to earn livelihood as the local feudal own majority land and keep the common man as their slaves. Creation of regional government and upgrading of the regional cities will save a lot of money and time of the poor people of these regions. Circuit benches of the High Courts are already working in these areas and only requirement is the additional staff of different departments involved in additional work at the provincial capitals. The concern authorities should immediately consider to upgrade the regional cities. And immediate attention should be given upgrade/build the airports,TV station, civic center, libraries,hospitals, educational institutes and investment opportunities for Pakistanis living abroad and foreign firms to create jobs in the area as majority population in rural Pakistan do not have enough resources to survive. It’s remind me the condition of pre Islamic revolution of Iran in Shah time when the rural Iran was ignored and the capital Tehran was developed in a way to call it Paris of Middle East with modern life style. Couple of other big cities like Isfahan and Caspian sea was taken care of because of foreign tourists but rural area was ruled by cruel police and intelligence. Then what happen rural population supported the Islamic revolution and moved to Tehran and other big cities later on. The new government after revolution developed, built and upgraded the rural areas of Iran accordingly. A fund to upgrade/build these regional cities in Pakistan should be established by public and private sector and Pakistani government, our foreign friends and Pakistanis living abroad may be asked to participate in this development mission in the country..KHWAJA AFTAB ALI,( former secretary, Iranian embassy, Saudi Arabia,1979-88) Advocate High Court & I.P. Attorney-first & the only Pakistani lawyer who earned Intellectual Property laws scholarship in USA,presently residing in Florida, USA.all_languages@hotmail.com

    Khwaja Aftab Ali, Florida, U.S.A

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