OPC to address grievances of Pak expats - GulfToday

OPC to address grievances of Pak expats


Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. File

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Senior Business Reporter

The overseas Pakistanis are the backbone of our country economic growth. The Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf  (PTI)-led government under the dynamic leadership of Imran Khan is committed to resolve key issues of overseas Pakistanis at the earliest, as every year they are sending over $22 billion of remittances to our country.

This was stated by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, during a media briefing at the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai, adding that now it will be easier for Pakistani expats to recover the properties they have lost to land grabbers, with the help of the Punjab Overseas Pakistani Commission (OPC).

He mentioned that he is committed  to mobilise the Overseas Pakistan Commission of Punjab to address the grievances of the community.

“People still don’t believe us when we say your problems will be solved in three months, but it is the truth. We are honoured to be helping overseas Pakistanis who contribute so much to our country,” said Sarwar.  Referring to the recently imposed “mobile phone tax” by the federal government, the governor admitted that the issue was grave and it had been under discussion.

“I have received several complaints that overseas Pakistanis could not use their mobile phone while visiting their homeland,” Chaudhry Sarwar said. The governor also took notice of the high fares of the Pakistan International Airlines, adding that he will take up the issue with the top officials of the airlines at the earliest as the poor expats passengers are unable to pay for these skyrocketing  tickets.

“We will work on “priority basis” to replace or renovate the Pakistan Consulate Dubai’s building as it is “completely falling apart,” said Sarwar.

“The mission of the Punjab governor’s visit is to listen to the complaints of overseas Pakistanis and show how the Punjab government is taking measures to help them,” said Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul-General of Pakistan in Dubai. “The consulate receives many expats who seek assistance, however, most of their problems require a stronger look from the Pakistani Government, especially the judiciary department.

“One problem is land grabbing. Other problems include prisoner fines, debt compensation, insurance, security to name a few. There are also education problems. There is a quota for overseas Pakistanis (for education), but that quota is usually never followed.”

Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, advised the Pakistan Consul-General to fix one day every week or after two weeks to listen to the issues of Pakistani expats. The Consul-General responded that he spends several hours each week interacting and resolving the problems of expats, schools including on social media.

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