Enhancing the role of Pakistani diaspora in national development discussed in a seminar

“In commemoration of the ‘International Migrants Day’, ILO provided technical support to the Government of Pakistan, Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) – a subsidiary of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) for organizing a seminar on ‘Enhancing Role of Overseas Pakistanis in Nation Building’.

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 23 December 2016
ISLAMABAD (ILO News): The Government of Pakistan is determined to establish a Facilitation Centre for Overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan and thereby promote decent employment opportunities. This was stated by the Federal Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development, Mr Khizar Hayat Khan, at a Seminar on ‘Enhancing Role of Pakistani Diaspora in Nation Building’ organized by the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) in collaboration with the ILO.

The seminar was organized to commemorate International Migrants Day and was attended by more than 100 delegates from Government, Development Agencies, Academics, and Overseas Pakistanis.

The Chairman OPF Board, Barrister Amjid Malik expressed commitment to upgrade services for Overseas Pakistanis in line with their genuine problems. This would include development of a database of Overseas Pakistanis, ensuring access to justice and improved access to the services.

Mr Habib ur Rehman Gilani, Managing Director OPF, also affirmed efforts for enhancing the services for the Overseas Pakistanis and expressed interest in partnering with all development agencies for this purpose.

Mr Saghir Bukhari representing the Country Director of ILO, appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD and OPF for supporting Overseas Pakistanis. He mentioned that though Pakistan is not a signatory to the ILO Convention related to ‘Migrant Workers’– yet, Pakistan has put in place a number of support mechanisms for Overseas Pakistanis, which clearly demonstrate its commitment. He enumerated joint interventions of the ILO and Ministry of OP&HRD for Overseas Pakistanis including establishment of Migrant Resource Centers, code of conduct of Overseas Employment Promoters, training manuals for trade unions to protect migrant workers, research studies and counselling system.

Mr Saad Gilani from ILO elaborated case studies of Philippines and Sri Lanka for effectively engaging their Overseas Workers in national economic growth.

Ms Farzana Noshab from Asian Development Bank (ADB) elaborated Bank’s intentions to support ‘Economic Corridor Development (ECD)’ in Pakistan. For this purpose, the Bank is undertaking comprehensive studies on Economic, Empirical Analysis, Institutions & Regulations, Poverty & Inclusiveness, and Engaging Diaspora in economic corridors. She also highlighted two case studies of China and India for engaging Overseas Pakistanis in economic development.

Mr Junaid Arshad from IOM highlighted various dialogue platforms available to exchange experiences on various dimensions of migration and informed that IOM is planning to start a project for reintegration of migrant workers.

Participants of the seminar also highlighted various options to be considered for effective engagement of Overseas Pakistanis in economic development, enhancing employment opportunities, reintegration of Overseas Workers in national economy and political participation of overseas workers.