OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS BILL

By Muhammad Javed

javed f3Kerry Lugar Bill has become a hot pot in the country.  Those who were earlier criticizing it without reading the Bill, today themselves have agreed to request US to amend and change the condition which in other words means they themselves had not read the Bill but were as a fashion criticizing as it was against their wishes.

         For the last few months more particularly since take over by learned Dr. Farooq Sattar as Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis a lot is read so often government introducing this and that for more remittances through legal channel, discouraging hundi and more welfare of Overseas Pakistanis (Ops). Most of these are very nice to the extent of reading.  For example after Parliamentary Standing Committee Meeting it was disclosed that for the welfare of these OPs the remittances fees/charges would be “reduced” whereas the fact is for the last more than 10 years Pakistani Banks abroad are charging nothing whatsoever and providing free of cost speediest possible quick service.           

             The nation is crying that just for 1.5 billion dollars a year, nation is getting humiliation under Kerry Lugar Bill.  The Government can get rid of hundi as well as KRB by just offering Rs. 5/- extra on every Rs. 100 remitted through legal channel.  This Rs. 5/- be paid as Rs 2.50 from Community Welfare Fund held with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rs. 2.50 from the Overseas Pakistanis Fund.  Both these funds are Overseas Pakistanis own contributions and not a single penny from the Government.  These Rs. 5/- instead of paying cash be kept in a sort of joint account which may fetch interest. Each Rs. 5/- of a remitter are pooled in this account. When such an Overseas Pakistani returns back for good the interest than accruing on his such accumulated all Fives be paid to him retaining the principal accumulated.  This would be a sort of pension to such an OP.  A mango stolen from the garden tastes much better than purchased even cheaply from the shop.  A scheme on such lines modified for practical purpose would fetch not only remittances but idle lying huge savings of OPs abroad.  During late 80s a delegation of State Bank visited Dubai for getting a loan.  As per the newspapers then the Pakistani community under the banner of Pakistan Association offered that the Government may take this amount as loan from Overseas Pakistanis with less interest rate with honour, but this offer was not accepted.  This week PPP ex-Senator Anwar Baig invited US Ambassador in Pakistan and senior journalist in his home on a dinner.  The US Ambassador felt it right to take with her a large team treating this gathering as a discussion and removing misunderstandings.  As per newspaper reports the Americans were surprised as to why the whole Pakistani nation had all of a sudden jointly started crying against Kerry Lugar Bill.   The Americans and more than our leaders do not know the hate against India and America is a psychological factor for Pakistanis. Our leaders provided they are truly ours, can encash this psychology.  An Overseas Pakistanis Bill for Aid of Pakistanshould be introduced asking OPs to remit as their savings to National Savings.  The Bill should be unlike KLB, only consisting of a paragraph with only 3-4 conditions which should read; (i) amount non re-patriable out of the country (iii) Ops to be paid 5% above normal savings rates, © this amount only to be spent on repayment of international loans defence and nuclear etc.  To avoid any IMF or World Bank objections on this extra 5%, the same may be from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and OPF Funds as described above on which IMF can never have any objection as both those funds are self contributed.  See how the OPs pour on the nation not merely 1.5 dollar billion annually. It is beyond any doubt majority for the country sake depart even taking advance salaries if one could convince them that their deposits  will be spent for defence and honour of the country and not on tours, free Umrahs etc.

(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)

2 Comments

  1. Naeemuddin

    I support your idea and wanted to add that there should be one more bill which should bound all MNA’s MPA’s to have their at least half of assets in country rather then other countries bank and if some one fails to do so he shouldn’t be eligible to sit in assembly.

  2. Sadia Durrani

    Building a Positive Relationship with Overseas Pakistanis Overseas Pakistanis Forum on 6th December 2009 in Dubai
    Prime Minister attaches special importance to Overseas Pakistanis
    Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis to Chair the session: Javed Malik

    (Dubai) Pakistan’s Ambassador at Large for Overseas Pakistanis, Javed Malik is organizing the first session of the Overseas Pakistanis Forum Entitled “Building a Positive Relationship between Government and Overseas Pakistanis”. The Forum will take place in Dubai on December 6th, which will be chaired by the Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, Dr Farooq Sattar.

    “The Forum will act as a bridge between the overseas Pakistani Community and the Government in order to build a “positive partnership” between the community and the government. “Until now the role of Overseas Pakistanis has been limited only as a source of foreign exchange remittance, but they have a lot more to offer to their country. While living abroad have acquired skills, expertise, as well as reached positions of influence, or established themselves as leading businessmen. They have a huge potential, and they want to play a more active role in the nation building process. This Forum is the first step to reach out to this community, listen to them, address their issues, and collectively evolve strategies that are mutually rewarding.

    The Forum is being spearheaded by Javed Malik, however it will take its membership from the community living abroad by establishing committees in each region or country. It will give a voice to the Overseas Pakistanis living abroad and they will have a opportunity to be involved in the decision making process.

    We established the Pakistan International Council under the patronage and guidance of the Prime Minister and this Forum is a further step in this direction which caters to the Overseas Pakistani community. The Overseas Pakistanis Forum is starting with the UK Chapter as well as the Middle East Chapter and the first session will be in Dubai on 6th September for which the Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis is flying in specially to take part.

    Issues that will come under discussion would be as follows:

    • Better Education & Housing facilities for Overseas Pakistani Workers.
    • Facilities for Overseas Pakistanis while returning home. (Special Counters)
    • Incentives for Overseas Pakistani Businessmen
    • Special Opportunities for Highly skilled professionals
    • Creating Opportunities for Women and Youth.

    The Forum will be a permanent body associated with the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and will have the Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis as its Chairman. Ambassador at Large, Mr. Javed Malik is the vice Chairman and Secretary General, however and we will constitute Advisory committees that will take their membership directly from the overseas Pakistani community in each country, or region. The Forum is totally non-political and only aims to advise the government on the issues on behalf of the community. We are starting with the UK Chapter as well as the UAE Chapter as there is a large number of Pakistanis living here. We will also expand to other countries, he explained. I started my ‘listening to the community campaign” a few months ago in which I have been consulting with the various community members in order to better understand the issues, and make recommendations to the government for their solutions.

    The First session of the Overseas Pakistanis Forum will take place on 6th December and the Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis is specially flying into Dubai to chair the meeting.

Leave a Reply