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New welfare projects to be launched for overseas Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar said here on Monday new housing schemes will be launched and the education network will be expanded for the overseas Pakistanis.

“Their problems will be solved on priority basis and maximum welfare projects will be started for them,” he said. The minister expressed these views in a meeting held here. He was briefed about the activities, projects and performance of the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) by the Managing Director OPF, Nayer Husnain Haider.

The minister said capacity-building courses for the teachers working with the OPF educational institutions would be arranged. Help of international aid agencies will be sought for the purpose so that the teachers could deliver better, he added.

He said the district governments in all the provinces will be asked to launch new housing schemes while the ministry will facilitate them.Data of universities in the private sector will be collected to make contacts with them for getting 50 per cent concession in fee for the children of the overseas Pakistanis.

He said land will be allocated in the new industrial zones being set up in different cities for them so they could also invest their money in the country. Earlier briefing the minister, the MD OPF said seven housing schemes for the overseas Pakistanis in Lahore, Gujrat, Larkana, Dadu, Peshawar, AJK (Phase-I, II) and Turbat had already been completed while two schemes namely OPF Valley Zone-V, Islamabad and Mirpur (AJK) Phase-III were under development, adding the work on Zone-Vin Islamabad had been started after the lapse of 14 years.

The Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has been awarded the contract which has completed 10 per cent work on the project, he said, adding the work on housing scheme in Mirpur has been completed 70 per cent. The housing schemes in Raiwind, Lahore, Phase-I & II and Rawat, Rawalpindi would be launched soon, he further said.

The MD said that there were three OPF colleges functioning in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, while eight OPF public high schools were working in the Punjab, four in Sindh and three in the NWFP, Balochistan and AJK each. He added that a medical college in Mirpur (AJK) and nine other schools and colleges in different cities of the country will be established. The OPF Pension Scheme Overseas Pakistani has also been launched for their welfare but it needs proper publicity for the awareness of the Pakistanis living abroad, the MD said.

The minister suggested that the services of commercial and political attaches at the Pakistani missions abroad should be used to create awareness among the overseas Pakistanis and for the purpose brochures, pamphlets and leaflets should be published carrying information about the benefits of the scheme.

Source: The News, 3-Feb-09

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