Friday, September 2, 2011

Pakistani Diaspora is the World's 7th Largest

Nearly 5 million Pakistani emigrants make up the world's 7th largest disapora, according to the World Bank Factbook 2011. Adding the foreign-born children of these Pakistani emigres to the tally pushes the total figure up to about 7 million. The top five nations that the Pakistani diaspora calls home include the United Kingdom (1.2 million), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1.2 million), the United Arab Emirates (1.1 million), the United States (700,000) and Canada (300,000), according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

The nations ranking ahead of Pakistan are Mexico at #1, India at #2, Russia at #3, China at #4, Ukraine at #5 and Bangladesh at #6. Both the UK and Pakistan are tied at #7 with 4.7 million emigres, according to the World Bank.

World's Top 10 Diasporas:

Here are the top 10 national diasporas:

1. Mexico 11.9 million

2. India 11.4 million

3. Russia 11.1 million

4. China 8.3 million

5. Ukraine 6.6 million

6. Bangladesh 5.4 million

7. Pakistan 4.7 million

7. United Kingdom 4.7 million

8. Philippines 4.3 million

8. Turkey 4.3 million

9. Egypt 3.7 million

9. Kazakhstan 3.7 million

10. Germany 3.5 million

10. Italy 3.5 million

Diaspora Remittances:

The World Bank's Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 ranks Pakistan at #11 in 2010 for remittances of $9.4 billion sent home by its diaspora. The State Bank of Pakistan reported that overseas Pakistanis sent home $5.291 billion during six months from July to Dec, 2010, an increase of $761 million or 17 per cent year over year, according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

India tops this list with remittances of $55 billion sent home in 2010, followed by China ($51 billion), Mexico ($22.6 billion), Philippines ($21.3 billion), France ($15.9 billion), Germany ($11.6 billion), Bangladesh ($11.1 billion), Belgium ($10.4 billion), Spain ($10.2 billion), Nigeria ($10 billion) and Pakistan ($9.4 billion).

Per Capita Remittances:

In terms of per capita remittances based the World Bank data, China leads the world with an average of $6,100 sent home by each member of the Chinese diaspora, followed by the Philippines ($4,953), India ($4,824), Bangladesh ($2055), Pakistan ($2000), Mexico ($1904), UK ($1,574), Ukraine ($803) and Russia ($504). These per capita figures are an indication of the wealth of each diaspora and the extent of the brain drain experienced by these nations.

Top Immigration Countries:

With 42.8 million immigrants, the United States is home to the world's largest immigrant population. India and Pakistan also have the distinction of being on the list with 5.4 million immigrants in India at #10 and Pakistan with 4.2 million immigrants at #13. Other nations on this list include Russia at #2 (12.3 million immigrants), Germany at #3 (10.8 million), Saudi Arabia at #4 (7.3 million), Canada at #5 (7.2 million), the UK at #6 (7 million), Spain at #7 (6.9 million), France at #8 (6.7 million) and Australia at #9 (5.5 million).

Examples of Diaspora's Role:

Diasporas of various nations are mutually beneficial to both the sending and the receiving countries. They send home the money to help their families and friends financially. And they often acquire advanced education and technical, professional and managerial skills and contribute to solving problems in their host nations in the West. And given the right political and policy context, the members of the diaspora can also help their countries of origin by using their deep knowledge of their home countries and by offering advanced skills, experience and knowledge acquired in more developed nations.

In terms of development help with the skills and capital of the diaspora for their home nations, there are three examples of fairly old and mature diasporas: China, India and Armenia. While China and India have benefited greatly from their diasporas, Armenia has lagged badly, according to a World Bank report titled "Work Globally, Develop Locally: Diaspora Networks as Springboards of Knowledge-Based Development".

Pakistani Diaspora's Role:

In Pakistan's case, growing remittances amounting to 5% of its gdp in 2010 from the nation's diaspora provided an important lifeline for the state of Pakistan in funding its large current account deficit and in helping the individuals and families receiving the funds to supplement their incomes.

Remittances are a source of income for households in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other provinces in Pakistan, according to a 2010 World Bank report titled "Poverty fell in Pakistan in 2001-08 partly because of remittances". A recent Asian Development Bank study found that foreign remittances constituted 9.4 percent of household income in KP, compared to 5.1% for Punjab, 1.5% for Baluchistan, and 0.7% for Sindh.

Beyond the remittances, can Pakistan also benefit from its growing diaspora like India and China have from theirs? With millions of Pakistanis in Europe and America, many of them highly skilled entrepreneurs and business and technology professionals, Pakistani diaspora can be very helpful to their home country in its business, economic, social, political, educational and technological development. The realization of such great potential will only be possible if Pakistani government's public policy, public-private partnerships and state-to-state relations with the West create the necessary conditions for it to happen. Existing organizations of Pakistanis, such as OPEN Silicon Valley, APPNA, and PakAlumni Worldwide, can be helpful in such an endeavor.

Among the emerging diaspora networks, the effort of South African Network of Skills Abroad (SANSA), established by the University of Cape Town’s Science and Technology Policy Research Center, is worth watching. SANSA aims to promote collaboration between highly skilled expatriate scientists and technologists and their counterparts in South Africa. The target group is alumni of all major South African universities working in the West.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

PakAlumni Worldwide

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision

OPEN Forum 2010

Pakistani-American in $500 Million NFL Deal

Is Pakistan Too Big to Fail?

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Fighting Poverty Through Microfinance in Pakistan

Silicon Valley Summit of Pakistani Entrepreneurs

Pakistan's Multi-Billion Dollar IT Industry

Media and Telecom Sectors Growing in Pakistan

Pakistan's Middle Class Growth in 1999-2009

Social Entrepreneurs Target India, Pakistan


Data Cruncher said...

Hello Riaz,

For a person who is so careful to cultivate the image of Pakistan and Pakistans == India and Indians, I must say I am surprised that you posted NY Times data as if you are right. If any thing, many of your often repeated points have been blown away. Let me take it point by point.

1. There is dignity of labor. Nothing wrong being a taxi driver, just like there is nothing wrong being a software coolie. Will you apologize to all indians and me included (I am also a coolie as can be seen in my nick).

2. I once maintained that for every 1 pakistani in IT I see 30 indians. The data confirms it(125K vs 4K).

3. Look at top 3 indian professions and you will see where indian education stands or where indians stand. What do you think is the reason Pak is so far behind.

4. For every Hillary Clinton jokes, there is Obama's repeated reference to american children should be able to compete with Chinese and Indian children. Strange you don't mention that.

Ego is a bad thing and we Pakistan have a massive chip over our shoulder when it comes to India.

You also don't understand why indians love to send you such bigoted mails. It is because you don't seem to live without mentioning India. Stop comparing Pak with India. Stop commenting on India and you will see Indians disappear. Take a look at your Karachi violence post. How many indians posted in it.

Anonymous said...

Indians are the richest national origin group in the USA overall and Hindus are the second richest religious affiliation in the US after Jews.

There is a reason Indians are referred to as 'brown jews' by many people around the world(google about this)

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "I once maintained that for every 1 pakistani in IT I see 30 indians. The data confirms it(125K vs 4K)."

I have never doubted that Indians have cornered the code coolie business....making up 16% of NRIs in India. So why focus on just one particular profession?

Why don't you also highlight the fact that 7.2% of Pakistani-Americans are doctors versus only 5.3% of Indians?

Also not the fact that more Indians are escaping "Shining India" as obvious from two facts:

1. India's illegal immigration into US has risen 125% since 2000.

2. Indian population in US has risen 260% from 1990-2007 vs 220% for Pakistanis in America in the same period.

DC: "Take a look at your Karachi violence post. How many indians posted in it."

I get the same hateful comments from many Indian readers regardless of the subject of my post. The fact that you don't see all of them is because most such comments are quickly put away in my circular file.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Indians are the richest national origin group in the USA overall and Hindus are the second richest religious affiliation in the US after Jews."

It also confirms the severity of brain drain from India to US...particularly given the fact that Indians have among the lowest graduation rates (3.1%)at tertiary level in India...even lower than Pakistan's (3.9%).

Riaz Haq said...

Here's US Vice President Joe Biden on Indian-Americans working at 711s and Dunkin Donuts in Delaware, according to CBS:

On a recent edition of the C-SPAN series "Road to the White House," the Delaware Democrat is shown shaking hands with a man and boasting about his support among Indian-Americans.

"I've had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking," Biden said.

vicks1980 said...

Riaz, in a post about Pakistani diaspora, you, courtesy your petty sniggering at India and Indians have once again reduced what could have been an interesting discussion into a slanging match between India and Pakistan. I've long been a reader of your blog, and that is because you do seem to possess a wealth of data which is useful to any informed Indian or Pakistani, even if your data are always presented so as to make Pakistan look head and shoulders above India. If you were to put aside your intrinsic hatred of us Hindu infidels and look dispassionately at facts, I'm sure that your blog will be frequented by many more intelligent readers from India, which will serve to enlighten, inform and benefit people on both sides of the border.

Anonymous said...

Dunkin donuts or no dunkin donuts Indians are the richest national group in USA and are richer than the average in UK,Canada,Australia,Singapore and all other I world countries etc.

Brain drain doesn't seem to have had a significant effect in slowing industrialization or creating world class companies at home.If anything they have created large conduits for Indian businesses to enter and transfer technology and advanced management practices.Not to mention the massive remmitance flows which keeps the CAD well within manageable limits.

'It shows that there are 16000 Indian taxi drivers in America versus 10,000 Pakistan taxi drivers.'

umm given ratio and proportion ie India is 7 times larger so if India was as bad as pakistan there should have been 70,000 taxi drivers instead on only 16, India is 4 times better in this metric.

But way of please don't let facts get in the way of your rhetoric.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "mm given ratio and proportion ie India is 7 times larger so if India was as bad as pakistan there should have been 70,000 taxi drivers instead on only 16, India is 4 times better in this metric."

The stereotype being discussed here is that Pakistanis are all taxi driver in America, and this stereotype is clearly demolished by the fact that there are 60% more Indian taxi drivers than Pakistani tax drivers in America.

The data also confirms the severity of brain drain from India to US...particularly given the fact that Indians have among the lowest graduation rates (3.1%)at tertiary level in India...even lower than Pakistan's (3.9%).

Ashmit (India) said...

Mr. Haq
Your pervese attempts to colour the opinion of netizens is really disappointing. Specially, since you resort to mutilating facts beyond recognition. Allow me to add some perspective.
1. Indian Taxi drivers - 16,000 and Pak Taxi driver - 10,000. According to the NYT data that you quoted Indian drivers account for only 2.157% of the total worker in various occupations. Where pak drivers account for 9.606% of the total pak workers. Roughly that means that every 1 out 10 pakistani in US is a taxi driver.
2. But assuming that one believes in dignity of labour, let's take a more objective indicator of 'power' of respective diasporas - median income. Median income for indians (2007) stands at USD 91,195 ( Pak doesn't even come close. Median income for pak (2005) stands at a measely USD 57,852 ( Clearly, drving cabs doesn't help finances.
3. As for brain drain. Acc to the NYT data, total number of Indian Software developers number around 125,300. From Tamil Nadu ALONE, for engineering ALONE - there are 175,000 gradutes approx. per annum. Ever heard of the words - "India's demographic dividend"??
4. Here's another indicator. Lobbying capabilities. I recommend a read of the following work of Dr. Aminah Mohammad-Arif ( He concludes that the indiad diaspora for reasons such as economic might, the Indian diaspora has been more successful.
5. As for escaping from india?! Pak's diaspora stands at 4.7 million - which is 2.76% of pak's population. Meanwhile, indian diapora includes 11.4 million, ONLY 0.95%. Looks to me that Pakistanis are more keen on escaping a failing state, than Indian's escaping "shining india".
6. And finally, your cheap shot by quoting the Time Magazine article. If you had bothered to dig a little deeper, you would have discovered that both, Time and Joel Stein have issued apologies for the racial and "bigoted" article.

Riaz Haq said...


I suggest you and other readers read an Indian blogger's post "Why one million Indians Escape from India every year" to get a full dose reality about "Shining India":

Here are a few excerpts:

Any crackdown on illegal immigrants abroad or restricting quotas to Indians are a major concern to India’s politicians. The latest statistics from US Department of Homeland Security shows that the numbers of Indian illegal migrants jumped 125% since 2000! Ever wondered why Indians migrate to another countries but no one comes to India for a living?
Quit India!

Sixty years ago Indians asked the British to quit India. Now they are doing it themselves. To live with dignity and enjoy relative freedom, one has to quit India! With this massive exodus, what will be left behind will be a violently charged and polarized society.
15 per cent Hindu upper castes inherited majority of India’s civil service, economy and active politics from British colonial masters. And thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus in to an oppressed majority in India’s power structure. Going by figures quoted by the Backward Classes Commission, Brahmins alone account for 37.17 per cent of the bureaucracy. [Who is Really Ruling India?]

The 2004 World Development Report mentions that more than 25% of India’s primary school teachers and 43% of primary health care workers are absent on any given day!
About 40 million primary school-age children in India are not in school. More than 92 % children cannot progress beyond secondary school. According to reports, 35 per cent schools don’t have infrastructure such as blackboards and furniture. And close to 90 per cent have no functional toilets. Half of India’s schools still have leaking roofs or no water supply.

Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities for its 1.2 billion people. In the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities by Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong, only two Indian Universities are included. Even those two IITs in India found only a lower slot (203-304) in 2007 report. Although Indian universities churn out three million graduates a year, only 15% of them are suitable employees for blue-chip companies. Only 1 million among them are IT professionals.

Anonymous said...

"There are currently (as of 2005) 40,838 doctors of Indian origin in the United States of America and they account for 5% of all doctors in the USA and 20% of all International Medical Graduates employed in the US workforce. It is noteworthy that India provides the largest number of International Medical Graduates to the US in absolute numbers. With 59,523 Physicians of Indian Origin working in the English speaking Western world (the US, UK, Australia and Canada combined), India is by far the single largest source of emigre physicians in the world. [1]"

Jack Welch said about India "india is a developing country with an already developed intellectual capability" [ Quoted in The World is Flat ].

When do you think someone like Jack Welch would say the same about Pakistan


Select one of the above.

We understand that you are very envious.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "It is noteworthy that India provides the largest number of International Medical Graduates to the US in absolute numbers. "

All this while India ranks #124 (0.6 physicians per 1000 people) on a list of 204 countries in terms of access to doctors. This compares with Pakistan at #120 with 0.74 doctors per 1000, according to Nationmaster.

It also explains why Indians have higher disease burdens and shorter life expectancy (64 yrs) than Pakistanis (67 yrs) by 3 years.

Ashmit (India) said...

"All this while India ranks #124 (0.6 physicians per 1000 people) on a list of 204 countries in terms of access to doctors. This compares with Pakistan at #120 with 0.74 doctors per 1000"

Well, pak might have more physicians, but according to Nationmaster - not enough hospital beds for the the people to seek treatment from those physicians.

India has 0.9 beds per 1000 people. While pak has 0.7 beds per 100 people. That's a difference of nearly 30%.

But the key takeaway is not status quo, but corrective action.

And indians are spending far more than what pak can afford. India's dollar spend per capita on health is USD 31.4. Meanwhile, pak spends ONLY USD 13.4. Which means, India spends 131% more than pak.

Moreover the GDP spend is also higher. India allocates 6.1 percent of GDP, which is 91% more than 3.2 percent of the GDP allocated by pak. India is ranked 89th and pak stands at 172.

PS - statistics sourced from Nationmaster.

Riaz Haq said...

Ashmit: "And indians are spending far more than what pak can afford. India's dollar spend per capita on health is USD 31.4. Meanwhile, pak spends ONLY USD 13.4. Which means, India spends 131% more than pak. "

And what does India get for it? Shorter life spans and higher disease burdens than in Pakistan.

Poverty, hunger, unsanitary or unsafe conditions and inadequate health care in South Asia's developing nations are exposing their citizens to high risk of a variety of diseases which may impact their intelligence. Every year, World Health Organization reports what it calls "Environmental Burden of Disease" in each country of the world in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per 1000 people and total number of deaths from diseases ranging from diarrhea and other infectious diseases to heart disease, road traffic injuries and different forms of cancer.

In the range of DALYs/1000 capita from 13 (lowest) to 289 (highest), WHO's latest data indicates that India is at 65 while Pakistan is slightly better at 58. In terms of total number of deaths per year from disease, India stands at 2.7 million deaths while Pakistani death toll is 318, 400 people. Among other South Asian nations, Afghanistan's DALYs/1000 is 255, Bangladesh 64 and Sri Lanka 61. By contrast, the DALYs/1000 figures are 14 for Singapore and 32 for China.

India lags behind its neighbors, Pakistan and Bangladesh, on human development indices like life expectancy at birth and mean or average years of schooling and gender parity, a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report released last year said.

Titled "Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development", the report had a global launch and was released at the UN in New York by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, according to media reports.

According to the report, life expectancy at birth in India is 64.4 years, while in Pakistan it is 67.2 years. In Bangladesh, life expectancy is 66.9 years.

ragho said...

''And thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus in to an oppressed majority in India’s power structure.'' Indian society is still following the heirarchies of caste at social
level. But at political level it is all together a different
matter.Two large most populus states Bihar and UP are continuously run by dalits and backward classes for last 2 decades. In the highly
enlightened state Tamil Nadu the power is equally shared by backward classes or perhaps even more. Even if the present chief minister is a brahmin, that state
compulsarily follows a whopping 69% reservation to backward classes. At the end 15 year rule of Lalu's era in bihar, a person from backward class commented, ''earlier when we were walking, forward class people used
to spit before us and we used to jump out of the way. Now we are
spitting and they are jumping out of the way''.Even the present CM of bihar, nitish kumar belongs a very backward class. when he won the election for second consecutive time with sadak,siksha,suraksha slogan
(roads, education and law and order) with overwhelming majority
against Lalu by showing vast improvement in law and order in
development then an analyst commeted '' had it not been for Lalu who buldozed his way into uppercastes possession of tyrannycal political and social power, then Nitish would not have existed now''.So in a way
Indian democracy,with all its flaws, is providing a breather for the oppressed sections of extremely feudal society, albeit painfully slowly. In India and (in Pakistan also I guess) with emergence of middle class due raise of economy,large number of people(small in
percentage of total population) are escaping the miserable life of
fuedal society. But are backward classes of Pakistan able to raise to heights of political power? ( It is quite another matter that
Mayavathi now and lalu then went on feeding themselves through lot of corruption instead of uplifting the economic state of the very
backward classes they represented)

Anonymous said...

Dear Riaz

the figures

India 11.4 million

Bangladesh 5.4 million

Pakistan 4.7 million

give some false idea of immigration. India is 6 times larger than Pakistan or Bangladesh. Also the figures of India contains people who left beofre the creation of Pakistan or Bangladesh. So the rate of immigration from Pakistan and Bangladesh is at least 6 times higher than India's. Alo the foreign remittences for India is mostly through middle east workers. Usually the other diaspora from USA etc contribute very little.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "So the rate of immigration from Pakistan and Bangladesh is at least 6 times higher than India's.."

Where's the evidence? Opinions are not facts!

A 2006 opinion poll by Outlook—AC Nielsen shows that 46 % of India's urban class wants to settle down in US.

If US did not limit immigration from high-immigration countries like India, it would be inundated by Indians.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a France24 story about New York's "Little Pakistan":

Following the 9/11 attacks of 2001, renewed fears of terrorism turned the New York community of Little Pakistan into a ghost town. But 10 years later, this Brooklyn neighbourhood has learned some important lessons in community activism.
In Little Pakistan, a New York neighbourhood where the store signs are in English and Urdu, the rich smell of freshly fried samsosas entices mothers in hijabs walking their children home from school.

On the corner of Coney Island and Foster avenues, a cheerful, matronly woman roasting corn on a charcoal spit provides a lively commentary on the neighborhood. “This is Little Pakistan, it's going well here,” Kaneez Fatima says, in her native Urdu. “This is my home. I'm the queen of this place,” she adds with a throaty laugh. Around her, a clutch of clients chomping her roasted corn sportingly agree.

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, commerce is brisk – or as brisk as one could hope for during an economic crisis – along this stretch of Coney Island Avenue.

The area has come a long way since the dark days following the biggest terrorist attacks on US soil. As law enforcement officials began patrolling here and detaining hundreds of Pakistani immigrants – often for minor infractions – in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a climate of fear gripped the community. Numerous wives, mothers and sisters, some of them non-English speakers, had no idea back then where their menfolk were being held.

In the following months, once-thriving stores permanently closed their shutters as thousands of Pakistani immigrants packed up and left, often either for Canada or Pakistan. By May 2003, about 15,000 of the once 120,000-strong community had left, according to Pakistani government estimates.
Of the estimated 700,000 Pakistani-Americans, roughly two-thirds live in the New York area. Over the past decade, Little Pakistan has periodically turned into a focal point for journalists who swoop down on the area to take the community's temperature with every new black mark on Pakistan's terrorism track record.

And there have been many black marks. In May 2010, a newly nationalised US citizen of Pakistani origin attempted to detonate an explosive device in a car on Times Square. When he was arrested, Faisal Shahzad admitted to receiving bomb-making training in Pakistan’s Waziristan province.

A year later, US Navy SEALS and CIA operatives found and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a house in Abbottabad, not far from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, renewing US suspicions that Pakistan's military establishment is protecting Islamist militants.

With every crisis in US-Pakistani relations, community leaders in Little Pakistan spring into action, taking to the airwaves to reiterate the community's rejection of violence and their history of being patriotic, law-abiding US citizens.
COPO, for instance, was founded by a local businessman who turned his fabric store into a temporary community service centre, believing that once the neighbourhood's immediate problems were resolved, he would close down the organisation and get back to business.

Engaging with America

Nearly a decade later, COPO not only survives but has vastly expanded its operations, conducting English-language classes, youth programs and forums where law enforcement officials meet with community members in order to discuss each other's concerns.

Caught unprepared shortly after 9/11, the community is now keenly aware of the importance of empowering its members to engage actively with officials in their new home, rather than fearing and fleeing them.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a brief summary of Pakistan foreign education market put together by the British Council:

Pakistan is one of the six countries which accounts for 54 percent of the UK’s (non-EU) international students. After September 2001, it has become the market leader, a place traditionally taken by the US, but the US is picking up after a long time, owing to simplified visa procedures and increased marketing efforts, not to forget the excellent scholarship opportunities that thy have to offer Pakistani students.

There were 5222 students from Pakistan studying in the United States in 2009/2010 (Source:IIE Opendoors). Pakistan now has the largest Fulbright Scholarship Programme in the world. There is an upward trend of Pakistani students studying in Australia. 2557 students studied in Australia in 2009/2010 compared to 2190 in 2008/2009 (Source: AEI). Other European countries have also become quite active in marketing their education in Pakistan. Countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are more visible and perceived as offering quality education at lower prices. UK has remained the highest in this with 10,420 students studying in the UK in 2009/2010 (HESA, 2011).

Market opportunities
Pakistan is predominantly a postgraduate market, of the students currently studying in the UK, approximately 71 per cent are postgraduate and 29 per cent undergraduate. While the further education market is still relatively small, there is potential for growth, as there is a greater need for skills in a more service sector-led economy.

One-year Master's programmes are popular, due to their shorter duration compared to competitors. A further major aspect of the postgraduate market is the relatively wide availability of scholarships by UK institutions and Government funding agencies. In addition to the Pakistan Government‘s new overseas scholarship schemes, this target group also has access to scholarships offered by international organisation such as IMF, Commonwealth and World Bank. Popular subject areas are for 2009- 2010 are Business Studies, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Social Sciences followed by law.

Based on HESA statistics, the total number of Pakistani students enrolled in the UK was 10,420 in 2009 / 2010, a 2 percent growth on 2008/2009.

There is also significant growth in GCE O- and A-levels conducted in Pakistan, which naturally leads to demand for UK undergraduate study. More than 46,000 students took these examinations in 2010 / 2011. Popular subjects include business, law, accountancy, IT, management and engineering.

Foundation programmes have a market in Pakistan as a pathway from 12-year study into UK higher education.

Vocational programmes are a new market in Pakistan, with increasing student awareness of the opportunities. National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC) is a regulatory body for promoting linkages among various stakeholders to address challenges aced by Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET)....

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank’s new estimates released on Thursday placed Pakistan among top 10 recipients of remittances among developing countries, fetching $12 billion this year, reports Dawn:

India leads with $58 billion followed by China at $57 billion, Mexico $24 billion and the Philippines $23 billion.

Bangladesh follows Pakistan with $12 billion, Nigeria 11 billion, Vietnam $9 billion and Egypt and Lebanon $8 billion each.

Remittance costs have fallen steadily from 8.8 per cent in 2008 to 7.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2011.

The ‘Outlook for Remittance Flow 2012-14’ shows that the officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to have reached $351 billion in 2011, up 8 per cent over 2010.

Worldwide remittance flows, including those to high-income countries, reached $406 billion in 2011 and are expected to rise to $515 billion by 2014.

There are several sources of vulnerability to forecasts for remittances to developing countries.

The ongoing debt crisis in Europe and high unemployment rates in high-income OECD countries are adversely affecting economic and employment prospects of migrants.

These persistently high unemployment rates have created political pressures to reduce current levels of immigration.

There are risks that if the European crisis deepens, immigration controls in these countries could become even tighter.

This would affect remittance flows to all regions – especially to countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The World Bank report says that high oil prices, which have hovered over $100 a barrel in recent months, continue to provide a much-needed cushion for migrant employment in, and remittance flows from, the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) and Russia. Oil driven economic activities and increased spending on infrastructure development are making these countries attractive for migrants from developing countries.

Remittances from the GCC countries to Bangladesh and Pakistan where the GCC countries account for 60 per cent or more of overall remittance inflows grew by 8 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively in the first three quarters of 2011 on a year-on-year basis.

The Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI), a joint initiative of the central bank and Pakistan’s government, has been working actively with commercial banks and money transfer operators to lower the cost of inward remittances and improve the payments systems and delivery channels in order to bring a larger share of remittances into formal channels.

The indigenisation programmes being considered or implemented in the GCC countries like the ‘Nitaqat’ programme in Saudi Arabia have raised concerns of adverse implications for future remittances to the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other migrant-sending countries, it says.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some of the highlights of Pakistani-American data from US Census 2010 as gleaned from a report titled "A Community of Contrasts Asian Americans in the United States: 2011" published by Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice:

1. There are 409,163 Pakistani-Americans in 2010, the 7th largest Asian-American community in America.

2. Pakistani-American population doubled from 2000 to 2010, the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

3. 6% of Pakistani-American population is mixed race.

4. 65% of Pakistanis in America are foreign-born. 57% of Pakistani-American population is naturalized citizens.

5. There are 120,000 Pakistani legal permanent residents of which 42% are eligible to naturalize.

6. There were 69,202 immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis from 2001 to 2010.

7. 28% of Pakistanis have limited English proficiency.

8. Average per capita income of Pakistani-Americans is $24,663.00 and 15% of them are classified as poor.

9. 55% of Pakistanis own their own homes.

10. 55% of Pakistanis have bachelor's degree or higher.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Express Tribune on Saudi Arabia hiring thousands of Pakistani doctors:

Dr Nawaz* (not his real name) is a medical officer (MO) at Mayo Hospital and, like all government-employed doctors in BPS-17, got a Rs15,000 raise last year, taking his monthly pay to Rs44,000. Yesterday, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health offered him a job for 6,000 riyals (Rs145,000) a month.

“It’s a handsome offer. I’m going to take it,” said the doctor after an interview with the Overseas Employment Corporation, a Pakistani government agency that is hiring doctors for Saudi Arabia.

At Mayo Hospital, Dr Nawaz has to serve in shifts of up to 48 hours straight. In Saudi Arabia, he will get two days off each week and work eight-hour days.

“Here we have a lot of uncertainty. We cannot get a raise unless we protest and boycott work. I am getting out of it,” he said.

Dr Nawaz has been in a government job for three years and said he would resign before leaving. However, many doctors with more years in government service will likely seek permission from the government to go on leave to Saudi Arabia so they can return to their government jobs upon coming back to Pakistan.

Two private Saudi agencies are also interviewing Pakistani doctors for posts in government hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Saturday was the last day of interviews in Lahore. Interviews in Islamabad will take place from January 11 to 13.

“Around 3,000 doctors have been interviewed in Lahore for different positions including residents and consultants,” an OEC official told The Express Tribune.

He said that the Saudi government had recently built a lot of new hospitals and they were short of doctors. He did not say how many doctors the Saudis aimed to hire from Pakistan.

Residents (trainee doctors) are being offered salaries of between 5,000 (Rs121,000) and 8,000 riyals (Rs193,000), while consultants with a fellowship are being offered between 12,000 (Rs290,000) and 16,000 (Rs387,000) riyals. Senior professors and associate professors are being offered up to 30,000 riyals (Rs725,000) per month.

Last year, the Saudi Ministry of Health hired a thousand Pakistani doctors. Shortly afterwards, government-employed doctors in Punjab went on strike to demand better pay.

“This time they are going to hire more doctors,” said a senior doctor who went for an interview.

“The Indian government has just increased the salaries of public doctors and no Indian doctors are going to Saudi Arabia. They are focusing more on Pakistani doctors this year.” The Pakistan Medical Association warned that the country was losing its best doctors to Saudi Arabia and urged the government to improve the service structure for health professionals to stop the brain drain.

“The government on one hand claims to invest in health and education and on the other it does nothing to stop the brain drain,” said PMA Joint Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi.

“The government announces a pay package for doctors and nurses only when they go on strike or take to the streets. This is no solution. The government needs to develop a structure otherwise we may run out doctors.”

A Health Department spokesman said that the government couldn’t match the salaries offered to doctors abroad, especially when they had only recently been given raises. He said the government spent hundreds of millions of rupees on educating and training doctors and they should consider reasons other than monetary for working in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Recorder story on 23% YoY increase in remittances to Pakistan:

KARACHI: Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $8,592.79 million in first eight months (July 2011- February 2012) of current fiscal year 2011-12 (FY12), showing impressive growth of 23.40percent or $1,629.51 million when compared with $6,963.28 million received during same period of last fiscal year (July- February 2011).

Remittances received from all countries of the world showed growth in first eight months of current fiscal year. Inflow of remittances during July- February 2012 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC states (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar & Oman) and EU countries amounted to $2,325.98 million, $1,903.89 million, $1,525.45 million, $991.20 million, $968.91 million and $244.91 million respectively as compared with $1,563.00 million, $1,627.09 million, $1,298.26 million, $770.91 million, $820.02 million and $220.24 million respectively in July- February 2011, State Bank of Pakistan SBP said Friday.

Remittances from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries in first eight months of current fiscal (July- February 2012) amounted to $632.45 million as against $663.73 million received in first eight months of last fiscal (July- February 2011).

Monthly average remittances for July-February 2012 period comes out to $1,074.10 million as compared to $870.41 million during corresponding period of last fiscal, registering increase of 23.40%. Last month, $1,156.81 million was sent home by overseas Pakistanis, up 36.86%, when compared with $845.28 million received in same month of February, 2011.

Almost all of this growth in remittances during February, 2012 over corresponding period of last fiscal year was through banking channels.

In February, 2012, inflow of remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC states (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar & Oman) and EU countries amounted to $317.51 million, $259.55 million, $197.14 million, $137.73 million, $123.50 million and $29.27 million respectively as compared with $209.60 million, $190.04 million, $152.55 million, $101.21 million, $98.55 million and $24.58 million respectively in February 2011.

Remittances from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries in February 2012 amounted to $92.11 million as against $68.75 million received in same month (February 2011) of last fiscal.

The continued impressive growth in workers' remittances is result of efforts made by Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) in collaboration with other stakeholders to facilitate both Overseas Pakistanis and their families back home.....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece in a Russian newspaper on Putin's visit to Pakistan:

Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin will, on his first foreign tour after taking office, make his first stop in Pakistan. It symbolizes not just Pakistan’s importance in the region, but the shift in relations which means that the two countries, kept apart for so many years because of Russia’s espousal of Communism, are trying to come together. Russia seeks a new ally in the region, to substitute for India, now in the American lap, after the collapse of the USSR. Mr Putin’s visit shows that Russia intends to play a more proactive role in world affairs. It must do so, because by ceding to US supremacy, it has seen it not just invade Afghanistan physically, but threaten Iran. Russia has found its own physical space threatened by US expansionism, with the expansion of Nato threatening it in the West, the snatching away of India and the occupation of Afghanistan threatening it in Asia. The visit is a result of the successful visits to Russia by President Asif Zardari, in August 2010 for the Quadrilateral Summit, and by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar earlier this year.

Russia had previously tried to make headway in Pakistan through the Steel Mills project, and now it has offered to be involved in the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. This is an offer that Pakistan must not hesitate to take up. While Pakistan's official 'ally' has done its best to sabotage the project, and has insisted India withdraw from it, Russia is extending a helping hand. Unlike the steel mills, the pipeline from Iran is existential, providing as it will, gas not just for domestic and industrial users, but also for power production. Thus not just for strategic concerns, but national interest should incline Pakistan towards Russia. However, as strategic concerns include Afghanistan, which Russia has been deeply interested in for a very long time, Russia would also be interested in how Pakistan sees the future of Afghanistan.

It should also be recognized that Russia has a deep interest in the reset in relations between the USA and Pakistan that is presently being discussed by the joint sitting of Parliament. Russia too has seen that the US has not just gained access to South Asia through Pakistan, but also Central Asia. As Russia is seeking an ally in the region to substitute for India, and as Pakistan is distanced from the USA, Russia is naturally more interested in Pakistan than ever before. President Putin’s visit, the first ever by a Russian President to Pakistan, reflects that.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of Daily Mail report on Dr. Hasnat Khan who dated Princess Diana now volunteering in Pakistan, following in the footsteps of plastic surgeon Dr. Jawad of "Saving Face" fame:

The backwater in Pakistan for which Hasnat Khan will leave Britain couldn’t be further removed from the glamour of his London life and his Kensington Palace liaisons with Princess Diana.

But his work there will at last fulfil a dream that he and Diana once shared – to help those in need.

As head of cardiac surgery in the first charity-run hospital of its kind in Pakistan, Dr Khan will transform lives and communities.

The Abdul Razzaq Medical Trust hospital, in Badlote village, will treat for free rural patients too poor to afford even the transport fares to a hospital in the nearest town, let alone surgery costs.

Those patients will include children suffering rheumatic fever, which leaves many with narrowed arteries to the heart which become fatal if untreated.

Even for the few families who can afford surgery, waiting lists for treatment at the nearest heart hospital are two years. Most have no choice but to watch their children weaken and die.

Every time Dr Khan visits his parents in the nearby town of Jhelum, a queue of patients forms outside the house to seek his help, many of them poor families with desperately ill children.

‘They ring my mother to find out when I am coming home,’ he said.

He recalled a nine-year-old boy who came to see him with his father, with arteries so narrowed Dr Khan realised he would not survive long.

‘I said to his father, “I can’t believe he has got to this stage and you haven’t taken him to hospital,” ’ he said. ‘He told me he had taken him to hospital but it was going to cost 250,000 Rupees (£171) for an operation and there was no way he could afford it.

‘So he just left it, knowing the boy was going to die soon. He was such a happy kid. He was still running about and he had no idea what was going on.

‘I felt helpless. All I had was a stethoscope. I couldn’t even give him the money for the operation because it was too late for him to be operated on. He wouldn’t have survived the surgery.’

As he recounted the case, Dr Khan phoned a friend in Jhelum to find out if the boy was still alive. An hour later, the call came back with the news that first the boy and then his father had died.

The hospital where Dr Khan’s heart unit will be based is the first charitable cardiology unit in Pakistan. He is setting it up with fellow cardiologist Dr Azhar Kayani, director of medicine for the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Pakistani president’s personal physician.

Dr Kayani, who grew up in Badlote and studied with Dr Khan in Lahore, said the hospital would cost the equivalent of £1 million and should open before the end of the year. It is named after his father.

Volunteers from Basildon Hospital in Essex, where Dr Khan works, are helping the fundraising drive for the unit and will help train doctors and nurses. They have also helped find donated equipment from other NHS hospitals.

Describing the life that awaits him in Pakistan, he said: ‘If you look out from the hospital you see open countryside with cows and camels. There are no taxis or cars or buses. People walk for miles and miles just to see someone.

‘It is very simple to live here. My [family] home is just down the road so I will have no rent to pay.

‘This unit is a dream come true. It is very satisfying. Of course I find my work in England satisfying but my work there is also routine. To come here and to build something from scratch is very different.’..

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an APF PR release via Marketwatch:

The American Pakistan Foundation (APF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced plans to collaborate on sustainable socio-economic development in Pakistan. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and APF CEO Awais Khan recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad to establish a working alliance between the two organizations.

APF seeks to effectively catalyze long term economic development and social change in Pakistan by engaging the diaspora and the private sector and by building partnerships with key stakeholders in Pakistan and the United States. APF identifies and supports credible and scalable socio-economic initiatives by collaborating with partners on the ground in Pakistan, and by mobilizing intellectual and financial resources towards these programs.

This partnership between APF and USAID will focus on development activities across various sectors - including basic and higher education, vocational and technical training, an investment fund, and a small grants program. The partnership also seeks to engage the Pakistani diaspora and the private and philanthropic sectors in the US to further support innovation and civil society in Pakistan.

"The private sector is the engine of growth, and is vitally important to Pakistan. The US government recognizes that as part of private sector engagement, the Pakistani diaspora can play an important role in the development of Pakistan by building partnerships, networks and linkages, economic opportunities, and helping to increase access to social services", said Dr. Rajiv Shah at the signing ceremony.

"We will leverage our network and experience in the United States and Pakistan to facilitate funding, skills transfer, and knowledge-building to support activities and programs. The collaboration will pursue a robust engagement of the Pakistani diaspora, and private and philanthropic sectors to boost development impact for the people of Pakistan", said Awais Khan.

The signing ceremony was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, APF Board Vice Chair Wahid Hamid, Board Members of the British Pakistan Foundation (APF's sister organization in the UK), members of the APF Leadership and Advisory Councils, and representatives from the Pakistani private sector and the U.S. government.

About the American Pakistan Foundation (APF)

APF seeks to effectively catalyze long term economic development and social change in Pakistan by engaging the diaspora and the private sector and by building partnerships with key stakeholders in Pakistan and the United States. APF identifies and supports credible and scalable socio-economic initiatives by collaborating with partners on the ground in Pakistan, and by mobilizing intellectual and financial resources towards these programs. APF's recent flood recovery and rehabilitation program is impacting over 42,000 lives in Pakistan. APF offers a secure and transparent channel for charitable giving and is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the United States.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report on women migrant workers from India & Pakistan:

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan together account for 71% of international female migrants from South Asia. While 2.7 million were from India, about 1.9 million female migrants came from Pakistan.

Widespread poverty, unemployment at home and wage differences at the destination have triggered international labour migration from India to Gulf countries, according to a study 'Migration of Women Workers from South Asia to the Gulf'.

The study by UN Women and the V V Giri Labour Institute analyzed the current situation in five major sending countries of South Asia - Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - and six major receiving countries of the Gulf region - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Women are half of international migrants, comprising 49.6% of 190 million migrant workers. A majority of these women migrate alone as domestic workers to make more money or to support their families with an ever-increasing proportion of migrants from South Asia migrating to the Gulf region, where the demand for domestic workers, especially female workers, is high.

In 2010, about 6.45 million international female migrants originated from South Asia. Of these, 71% came from India and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia was the Gulf country that received the highest proportion of Indian migrant workers.

"Most of the low-skilled women migrants are caught in a web of marginal existence, on account of being women and low-skilled migrants working in the confines of the households where the piercing eyes of labour law do not reach," Anne F Stenhammer, regional programme director of UN Women South Asia said.

The report recommended making policy discourse more sensitive to the needs of women migrant workers, coordinated regional interventions by sending countries and countries of employment, standard operating procedures for gender sensitive labour migration management and joint response by UN agencies and intergovernmental bodies.

"The impact of the migration of women workers is much broader than its immediate economic aspect. There is great potential of such migration to bring forth the social and political empowerment of women, and reshape gender power relations," Dr S K Sasikumar, V V Giri National Institute lead author, said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn article by Michael Kugelman on Pakistani-Americans:

...For sure, many if not most Pakistani-Americans and US-based Pakistanis retain strong links to Pakistan. Some do so by staying close to relatives still in the country, or via the Internet and the various Pakistani media outlets accessible in America. Others quite famously exemplify the diaspora’s “giving” bonafides. We often hear about the remittances sent back to relatives, yet it’s equally important to acknowledge the humanitarianism. This largesse can be seen in the work of groups like APPNA, but also from the quiet actions of individuals. I know of various Pakistani-Americans — who otherwise rarely visit Pakistan — spending extended periods in the country to provide relief assistance after the 2010 floods.

Then there are the many diaspora organisations dedicated to Pakistan. Some, such as the various chapters of the Pakistani American Association (from North Carolina to Florida), promote Pakistani culture. Others, such as the Pakistan American Business Association, advocate business ties between the two countries. Still others are unabashedly political.

In the context of politics, only in recent months have I begun to fully understand the considerable influence Pakistani politicians’ exercise over the diaspora. As I’ve suggested before (only somewhat in jest), Pervez Musharraf seems to have more supporters in America than he does in Pakistan (and he has an extraordinary public relations operation to sustain his apparent popularity here). Then there’s Imran Khan, whose PTI party was scheduled to hold a jalsa in New York City until it was abruptly postponed with no apparent explanation. When Musharraf spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center last summer, many of the 400 people in attendance were Pakistani-Americans. I suspect a visit by Khan would draw many more.

Yet my main interest here is those diaspora members who decide to go back to Pakistan — and not simply to visit relatives or attend weddings. I’ve previously alluded to Ijaz Nabi and Adil Najam, long-time successful professionals in this country who returned to Pakistan to join LUMS. There are also the likes of Pakistani-American Nadia Naviwala, a Harvard-educated, one-time USAID staffer who not long ago decided to relocate to Pakistan to serve as the US Institute of Peace’s country representative there.

These are only the more well-known cases. I recently received an email from a young, newly minted law school graduate, born and raised in America, who had decided to move to Pakistan — where she had never lived before. I imagine there are other examples like this one.

So what inspires diaspora members to return to Pakistan? More than three years ago, a blogpost by Nosheen Abbas highlighted the various opportunities diaspora members perceive in Pakistan, and the sense of attachment that attracts them.

In truth, I doubt there’s one overarching motivating factor — and certainly not idealism. Several years ago I had lunch with a deeply cynical diaspora member who lamented — as many do — the hopeless state of Pakistan. Not too long after this conversation, he returned to the country to take a prominent position in government. He was likely drawn to Pakistan by a job, not by do-goodism.

Another question is how diaspora members are treated once they arrive back in Pakistan. Do they encounter hostility? Are they dismissed as out-of-touch outsiders? And, in the case of those born in the United States, are they tainted for being Americans?

On all accounts, I suspect the answer is no. Various Afghan and Iraqi diaspora members (from accountants to politicians) have returned to help rebuild their countries of origin, a process that seems to be encouraged in these countries......

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on record high remittances from Pakistani diaspora:

With an impressive 17.7% annual growth, remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis surged to a record high and crossed the psychological mark of $13 billion in the previous fiscal year 2011-12, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced on Tuesday.

Continuous growth in remittances is being billed as a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy, especially when energy shortages and high inflation have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

“Remittances have been playing a key role in the country’s economic performance,” said Muzammil Aslam, Managing Director of Emerging Economics Consultancy.

“One can safely say that the continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments.”

Aslam suggested that the government can further increase the flow of remittances if it reduces the difference between interbank and open market exchange rates for the US dollar from the present one rupee to 10 to 15 paisa. “This will encourage overseas workers to send more and more dollars through banking channels instead of illegal means.”

Invest Capital Markets analyst Khurram Schehzad commented that the continuous rise in remittances is significantly positive for the country as the money supported the economy in different forms. Overseas Pakistani workers remitted a record amount of $13.186 billion in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, compared with $11.201 billion received a year earlier, the SBP said.

Except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million), Pakistanis remitted more than $1 billion in each of the remaining 10 months.

Monthly average of remittances rose 17.73% to $1.099 billion compared with $933.41 million a year earlier.

In June overseas Pakistanis sent home $1.117 billion compared to $1.104 billion received in the same month of 2010-11.

In the same month, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries and EU countries amounted to $333.68 million, $219.14 million, $206.60 million, $128.12 million, $126.72 million and $29.24 million respectively. In comparison, remittances from these countries were $291.55 million, $270.04 million, $204.64 million, $121.35 million, $106.20 million and $33.83 million respectively in June 2011.

Analysts believe that the SBP’s initiative for facilitation of remittances, called the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI), has significantly contributed to the growth of remittances.

Since its inception in April 2009, PRI has taken a number of steps to enhance the flow of remittances through legal channels. These include preparation of strategies on remittances, taking all necessary steps to implement the overall strategy, playing an advisory role for the financial sector in terms of preparing a business case, relationship building with overseas correspondents, creating separate and efficient remittance payment highways and becoming a national focal point for overseas Pakistanis through a round-the-clock call centre.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR story on inflow of foreign loans and grants in 2011-12:

Rupees 114 billion ($1.3 billion) were disbursed to Pakistan in 2011-12 according to the Economic Affairs Division data, however, budget documents reveal Rs 226.1 billion ($2.6 billion) as revised foreign inflows for the year. The rupee-dollar parity taken for the budget 2011-12 stood at Rs88.

The economic managers budgeted Rs 413.9 billion as foreign inflows for 2011-12 but were compelled to revise the amount downward to Rs 226.1 billion due to three major factors. First, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not extend a Letter of Comfort which is a prerequisite for programme lending (budgetary support) by other multilaterals (World Bank and ADB).

This resulted in the non-materialisation of Rs 118 billion budgeted for the year under programme loans. Second, Pakistan had estimated Rs 44 billion under Euro Bonds but this also did not materialise due to international financial crisis as well as Pakistan's domestic economic crunch. And finally, the tensions between Pakistan and the US post-Salala led to considerable reduction in releases under Coalition Support Fund as well as under Kerry Lugar package.

Documents available with Business Recorder reveal that the country received Rs 89 billion ($1.01 billion) from multilaterals; $497.2 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $479 million from the World Bank and $35.4 million from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) while the amount received from bilaterals stood at Rs 23.9 billion ($271 million).

The US remained the major grant provider to Pakistan during last fiscal year despite the fact that relations remained tense between the two for the latter part of the year. The US released $114 million to Pakistan with $2.7 million released by Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM), $0.4 million by the US government, $1.8 million from Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance USA OFDA, $108 million from USAID, and $0.5 million released by then United States Department for Agriculture.

During the last fiscal year, Australia released $23 million to Pakistan, Belgium $8.8 million, Canada $13.3 million, China $0.5 million, Denmark $1.6 million, UN $50 million, European Union $13.5 million, Netherlands released $18 million and $86 million from other bilateral donors such as UK, Germany, Switzerland, international private donors and France, etc.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on remittance inflows in Pakistan:

Pakistan is ranked seventh globally among the list of countries that are receiving large inflows of remittance as the country received net remittance of $9.7 billion in 2010. Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its recent report titled ''Asian Economic Integration Monitor July 2012'' says that the largest remittance inflows go to countries with the largest populations, but dependence on remittances is highest among landlocked and small island countries.

Though the remittance to GDP ratio is low in East Asia, the PRC is the largest net recipient globally, India, is second ($50.1 billion in 2010) while Philippines ranks third, Bangladesh fourth, Pakistan seventh, and Indonesia fourteenth. The report says that the lower commodity prices are helping reduce imports, which significantly spiked trade deficits in South Asia since the middle of last year. Exports have declined faster than imports causing trade deficits to widen although offset somewhat by stable remittance inflows, the widening trade deficits contributed to depreciation in currencies in most of the South Asian countries.

Asian Economic Integration Monitor July 2012 says that Asia has been particularly active in negotiating and completing regional trade agreements. While these are clear evidences of regional co-operation, they are often restrictive in scope and not all aspects are easy to implement. The utilisation of facilities offered by Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is so far relatively low. Finally, in South Asia and the Pacific and Oceania, FTA initiatives are dominated by India and Pakistan in the former and Australia and New Zealand in the latter. The report says that total number of FTAs of Pakistan as of January 2012 were 16 including 7 under negotiations and 9 concluded. Out of these 16 FTAs; 9 have been made with the countries outside Asia while the rest of 7 have been made with the countries inside Asia.

Total foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan excluding gold have been recorded worth $15.7 billion in the year 2011 that are 7.5 percent of GDP. According to the report, the Central Asia Regional Economic Co-operation (CAREC) Program, set up in 2001, covers Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the PRC, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Under its new 10-year (2011-20) strategic framework (CAREC 2020), CAREC''s strategic objectives are to expand trade in the sub-region and improve competitiveness by implementing focused, action-oriented, and results-driven regional programs and projects in energy, trade facilitation, trade policy, transport, and economic corridor development. During 2001-2011, the CAREC Program has implemented 121 priority projects worth $17.7 billion.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story about Pakistani-American mayor of Paris, Texas:

This charming, droopy city needed new fire trucks not long ago, but, like many American municipalities today, couldn’t necessarily afford them. The mayor, a small-government Republican, dithered: to buy or not to buy? He turned to the natural choice for advice on running a Texan city: Pervez Musharraf, the exiled ex-president of Pakistan.

Mr. Musharraf may seem an unlikely adviser to the mayor of a Southern town where crickets chirp shrilly and the leafy streets are dominated by places pledging to fix your truck. But even more unlikely is the man he advised: Mayor Arjumand Hashmi, a Pakistani-born cardiologist who has become one of the United States’ most improbable politicians.

He is like the opening line of a joke: “So a Texan, a Muslim, a Republican, a doctor and the mayor of Paris are sitting at a bar ...” Except that he is, by himself, all of the people in the joke.

America seems to be an ever more divided, bitter country. Lost amid those divisions is the story of how a down-on-its-luck town in Texas struck its own little blow for unity. A little more than a year ago, this city of 25,000 — overwhelmingly white and Christian — made a Muslim outsider their mayor. (Dr. Hashmi had campaigned to be one of seven city councilors and, having won, was voted mayor by the council.)

The mayor swept into office with an immigrant’s zeal: planting hundreds of crepe myrtle trees on the loop around the city; surprising local agencies with impromptu visits during his lunch hour; interrupting the “brother-in-law deals,” as they’re called in the South, that gave contracts to the wrong people; using tax abatements to lure businesses to Paris.

All this while serving as a cardiologist and leader of a local hospital catheterization laboratory that is often the only thing standing between the chicken-fried steaks that patients keep on eating and the deaths they nonetheless wish to defer.

Which is why Dr. Hashmi, who is in his early 50s, wakes up at 3:30 a.m. most days. He prays the first of his customary three daily prayers. (He maxes out to the prescribed five when he can, but says he’s pretty sure Allah wouldn’t want him stopping to pray when he’s got a catheter up someone’s groin.) Then he alternates throughout the day between doctor and mayor, doctor and mayor.
U.S. politicians are wont to conceal the complexity and worldliness in their backgrounds — as with Mitt Romney’s ability to speak French or President Barack Obama’s early years in Indonesia. Dr. Hashmi takes a different approach, speaking Urdu to friends or family in front of his colleagues, answering the phones with “Salaam aleikum” at times and at times with “How ya doin’?” His Pakistani accent remains strong.

Just after 11 p.m. that same night, after a full day’s work twice over, he was sitting on a sofa at home with his family and some friends, nibbling on flaky cookies specially bought in Lahore.

His beeper sounded. A middle-aged man was at the hospital with chest pains, and the emergency room doctor wanted his advice. He asked for an electrocardiogram to be texted to his iPhone. When he saw it, he concluded that the man needed him. He told the doctor to prepare the catheter, and he drove away down a dark country road into his Paris.

Riaz Haq said...

In recent years, Pakistan has become essentially a money-order economy relying heavily on remittances from overseas Pakistanis. Given this reality, the hostility of many resident Pakistanis toward their comrades living overseas is really baffling. It’s just another case of biting the hand that feeds Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a GeoTV story on Pakistani doctors in the UK:

Pakistan has become the largest exporter of young doctors to Britain's state funded National Health Service (NHS) after clearing Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test, the main route by which international medical graduates demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK.

More than at any point in time in the past, there is a huge surge in the number of Pakistani medical graduates coming and settling in the UK where they are getting good jobs as Pakistani doctors enjoy good reputation and its easy for newcomers to settle easily due to good community connections. The number of doctors taking a flight to the UK is set to go up further as their dissatisfaction within Pakistan grows, as demonstrated recently by the nationwide strikes of young doctors, especially in Punjab.

According to General Medical Council (GMC), over 600 Pakistani medical graduates have taken the PLAB test this year alone. Training opportunities in Pakistan for young doctors are limited. The situation is not helped by the killing and kidnapping of doctors of various sects which has created a surge of fear in the medical profession. The kidnapping of the chief psychiatrist in Baluchistan has upset all doctors in Pakistan.

According to GMC, the number of Pakistani doctors who sat PLAB1 and PLAB2 since 2007-first half of 2012 stands at 6826. For two years from 2007 to 2009, 1786 medical graduates from Pakistan took part in PLAB1 examinations and for the same period 899 doctors took PLAB2 test. But the number went up unprecedentedly for the following years. In 2010 and 2011, 2490 doctors sat PLAB1 Test and 1011 took PLAB2 Test for the same period. The number of Pakistan registered on the GMC data stood at 8,552 on 7th of August, 2012.

Until 2006, around 70 per cent of the so-called "international medical graduates “ came from the Indian subcontinent, considered till then a traditional recruiting ground for NHS recruitment but the Labour government brought in new and stricter immigration rules to benefit doctors from the European Union (EU) countries. Till that time the greatest export of doctors was from India while Pakistan stood at around number 5.

Large scale protests were held by the 25,000-strong British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) against the new government regulations which were brought in without any consultation and warning. However, the government was not budging. Eventually BAPIO challenged the government in the court of law. The case went up to the House of Lords where BAPIO had a victory for those who were already in the training posts, thus saving jobs of about 15,000 doctors. However there were about 10,000 doctors who were not in the job and had to return to their countries mostly to India and Pakistan.

This episode created really bad vibes in India and since then Indian doctors are hesitant to come to UK. India is number 5 on the list now, from number one, according to GMC figures. There are two more reasons why Indian doctors are not keen on coming to the UK anymore. Indian doctors are enjoying benefits of the economic boom in India, private hospital conglomerates are expanding and public and private sectors are investing in the health sector while this is not the case in Pakistan.

There are many Pakistani doctors’ organisations active in the UK especially the alumni associations of medical colleges and there are three large collective associations, British Pakistani Doctors Forum, All Pakistani Physicians and Surgeons UK and Pakistan Medical Association UK; these have about 8000 doctors as members amongst them. Hundreds of doctors are not part of these organisations. These organisations provide active support to the new doctors in terms of helping them find new jobs and settling in...

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Pravda Op Ed on Indians "inundating" Russia:

India dreams to get rid of tens and maybe even millions of its own citizens and deliver them to Russia. This idea was voiced yet again by Indian officials during the recent Moscow-Delhi video conference. The conference was organized by RIA Novosti and was dedicated to to the state of affairs in the BRICS organization (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

A question was raised during the conference about a possible immigration of a considerable part of the Indian population to Russia. Alexander Apokin, an expert with the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis particularly stated the following: "If some people in India will find money and labor resources to work in Russia, it will be a promising development of events. Hundreds of millions of people will be able to find work."

Tatiana Shaumyan, the director of the Center of Indian Research of the Institute of Oriental Studies, said that such methods are already being practiced towards the Chinese in the Far East of Russia. "The Chinese use that. They bring capital and people and they work here," she said.
"The persistent desire of the Indian side to get rid of hundreds of millions of people is very easy to understand. First and foremost, it goes about the population of the plains of Indus and Ganges rivers, which makes up 700,000 million. Most of those people live in horrific anti-sanitary conditions. You have to see it with your own eyes to realize that. Those who have not been to those areas can watch "The Slumdog Millionaire" to get the picture. In the movie, they build skyscrapers over the slums. In real life, though, the slums do not go anywhere, and Russia runs the risk of bringing all of that over.

"The situation has become even more serious due to the climate change. It became much hotter in India than before. Forty percent of Himalayan glaciers have disappeared. Droughts occur more frequently than before too. The Indians have nowhere to go. They face a serious threat of national famine, so they are trying to put the cart before the horse. They will continue to put pressure on Russia at this point. Why Russia you may wonder? Because Russia is virtually the only country in the world where there is a lot of uninhabited land that is good to live on.
"The Indian government will try to get rid of the dangerous burden. There are many fundamentalists among Indian Muslims. It is simply enough to take a look at them to understand that. For example, practically all women over 12 years of age wear niqabs - the clothes that completely cover their face, body and even their fingers. The level of the inter-religious violence in the country is very high. All of that may come to Russia if Indians begin to migrate here.

"Taking into consideration the speed of the growth of the Indian population, one may say that they will inhabit everything in Russia very quickly. It is incredibly silly to believe that those people will be able to develop the Russian agriculture. Some apparently believe that the Russians can't do it. I'd say to this that they have very good harvests in Orenburg, in Kuban and on Don.

"Let's take, for example, other countries that lie on the altitudes similar to those of Russia. They are Canada, USA's Alaska and Scandinavia, for instance. The combined square of those countries is comparable to Russia's territory, with approximately the same amount of arable lands. However, there are only 60 million people living in those counties. It seems OK for them, they are happy about it, and their GDP is twice is large as that of Russia. Russia needs to learn the lessons that Britain has recently been given instead."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story about rising remittances from Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia:

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia send more remittances to Pakistan than from anywhere else in the world, according to a senior official of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

Khalid Bin Shaheen, senior executive vice president and group chief of the Global Home Remittance Management Group at NBP said: “Saudi Arabia is no longer just one of the leading sources of remittances for Pakistan. Instead it is the forerunner followed closely by UAE”.

This was corroborated by figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan recently, which showed that Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia sent home $657.78 million in the first two months of July-August FY12. In comparison, the inflow of remittances from the US, UK and Europe was only $446.61 million, $334.06 million, and $63.57 million.

He said that it was a widely held misguided view that affluent Pakistani immigrants in Western countries including USA, UK and Europe sent more remittances back home than their Middle Eastern counterparts.

The remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers have more than quadrupled in the last eight years to more than $13.186 billion, the highest-ever amount received in a year by the country in the last fiscal year, which ended in June 2012.

Explaining the reason for this anomaly, Shaheen said: “Even though the Pakistani diaspora living in the West is more prosperous than the majority of working class doing menial jobs in Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Gulf region, the former invest more in the countries they are residing in as they acquire citizenship there whereas the latter are unable to acquire foreign citizenship and therefore, they send back more money to their relatives and families in Pakistan.”

He added: “The rising remittances, which are the second major source of foreign exchange earnings after exports, has helped sustain Pakistan’s economy despite the extreme political instability, high oil prices and costly imports.

He praised the Pakistani community residing abroad who have always played an important role in the country’s foreign exchange reserves and credited the sharp increase to a crackdown on the illegal hundi and hawala money transfer system in general and to easier methods of transferring money though banks.

He said: “NBP is one of the largest players in the remittance market of Pakistan and partnerships with Western Union and other international exchanges will only consolidate the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI), which has increased worker remittances coming through the banking channel considerably and this ultimately has spillover effects for the entire economy.”

According to the World Bank data, Pakistan has become the fifth largest remittances recipient developing country in 2011 after India ($58 billion), China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), and the Philippines ($23 billion).

The World Bank has estimated that the remittance flows are expected to continue growing, with global remittances expected to exceed $593 billion by 2014, of which $441 billion will flow to developing countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Nation's story on allocating parliamentary seats for Pakistan diaspora:

In the wake of disqualification of lawmakers holding dual nationalities by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran has called for amendments in the constitution, enabling overseas Pakistanis to be elected for parliament through reserved seats, as remittances from abroad proved a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy.The APAT urged the government as well as the opposition parties to allocate at least 10 per cent reserved seats for overseas Pakistanis in the parliament. The government will have to amend the constitution with the support of all opposition parties to facilitate those Pakistanis having dual nationality, living abroad, he said. In this way, their interest in affairs of their motherland will further increase, as remittances have been playing a key role in the economic performance of Pakistan, it observed.Continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments, stated general secretary Naeem Mir.He said that presently, several countries including all the seven states of South Asia, counting India as well, and Pakistan’s share has been phenomenal during 2011-12 when overseas Pakistanis sent home record $13.21 billion that eclipsed all the receipts of several decades. Pakistan has now become among top five countries of the world which are receiving big remittances from overseas workers, majority of them might have dual nationality, he added.“This goes without saying that remittances from abroad proved a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy at a time when energy shortages, high inflation and missing revenue collection targets have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.” He appreciated the right of vote for the overseas, calling for their representation too in parliament, as in this way, they will turned to be the ambassadors of Pakistan. They will not only remit their income but also pursue foreign investors to make investment in Pakistan. He said that if more incentives are introduced for sending money home in easier way by overseas Pakistanis, they might send more than $20 billion remittances as experts expect. He said that except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million) in last fiscal, Pakistanis remitted $1 billion or more in each of the remaining 10 months of 2011-12.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Express Trib on Pakistani Norwegian as culture minister:

A 29-year-old woman of Pakistani origin has earned a position in Norway’s cabinet, Express News reported Monday.

Hadia Tajik, the first Muslim member of the Norwegian cabinet, has been named as the culture minister.

Tajik is also the youngest in the cabinet.

The newly elected minister said that in future, multicultural values will become a part of Norway’s everyday life.

Tajik, of Pakistani origin, was elected as a member of the Norwegian parliament in 2009.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of an interesting Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry paper regarding Indian diaspora:

In the theatre of development, the competitiveness and growth of an economy is determined by its capacity to acquire and apply new knowledge. In a rapidly globalizing world, learning new ways of doing things depends in no small measure on the ability to integrate with the larger world outside. We live in a world in which the free movement of goods and capital across borders is seen as a virtue. Arguably, it is seen to reinforce the principle of competitive advantage and help spur savings, investment and demand. What is less recognised is that International migration of human capital: the movement of knowledge, talent and skills across borders is central to learning and development.

The emergence of significant Diasporas has in recent years brought into sharp focus two key facts. First, there is a large expatriate population of skilled people from emerging economies in the developed world. Second, overseas communities can constitute a significant resource for the development of the countries of origin. The movement of the high skilled and low skilled workers from less to more developed economies and back opens several new opportunities for development. To view the Diaspora only through the looking glass of remittances and financial flows is to take a myopic view. Not all expatriates need to be investors and their development impact measured only in terms of financial contributions to the home country.

An overseas community can and does serve as an important 'bridge' to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin. The success of this bridge is often predicated upon two conditions: the ability of the Diaspora to develop and project a coherent, intrinsically motivated and progressive identity and the capacity of the home country to establish conditions and institutions for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement. Home countries are now beginning to recognise the need to pursue and promote the dynamic of the Diaspora and development.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on PIA scrutiny by Pak Supreme Court:

Another notorious entity landed into court this week, probably because of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry himself. According to a report, “Already in the headlines for all wrong reasons, PIA again came under the flak on Monday when counsel Khalid Anwar requested the court to take a suo motu notice of the pathetic state of affairs in the airline. The request was made against the backdrop of Sunday’s incident when an Islamabad-bound PIA aircraft developed fault in one of its engines and was stuck at the Karachi airport for hours. The chief justice and some federal ministers were among the passengers.”

The report says, “The Pakistan International Airlines bemoaned in the Supreme Court on Monday that the unilateral grant of liberal traffic rights to foreign airlines was one of the reasons for the national flag carrier’s decline. It said Pakistan had become a lifeline for foreign carriers, mainly from the Gulf region, which were sucking away the resources of Pakistan (Pakistani passengers). The report regretted that foreign airlines had been increasing their capacity on Pakistan routes because of the facility of liberal traffic rights. Successive governments have allowed foreign airlines to fly to and out of the country without offering any reciprocal rights to PIA to fly to their countries.” Is PIA justified in blaming its substandard performance on foreign competition which it can’t seem to come to terms with? What about the unrelenting decline of customer services, which is a major part of the business that is being questioned by the court?

Another recent analysis states, “Pakistan recently allowed five international airlines to begin direct passenger and cargo flights from Sialkot International Airport. Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Etihad Airways and Emirates would start their operations from Sialkot soon. The number of international flights to various foreign destinations from the industrial city will reportedly rise to 45 from the existing 21 in a month.

The business community was thrilled. “The transport costs and the ability to respond to demand swiftly in a fast changing, competitive international market makes or breaks a business. Better connectivity will save local businesses time and money. Siakot will return favour by investing in modernisation of the airport and jacking up efforts to outperform their competitors in the international trade”, Mohammad Azam, a businessman from Sialkot commented.

“Sialkot is a big commercial centre with a motivated business community. The decision is a step in the right direction”, Zubair Motiwala, a known business leader said when reached over telephone.

The ministry that authenticated the government’s decision, however, did not share the euphoria. The ministry of defence, responsible for the aviation industry, detested the move that, it said, was forced on it. It believed the decision compromised national interests.

“People will still be happier if you allow them to travel free but would you do that?” a senior officer in the ministry asked when contacted in Islamabad for comments. “The sound economic decisions are not necessarily popular”, he answered without waiting for a reply. Why is the ministry not inclined to favour ‘sound economic decisions’? Why is fair and productive competition being regarded as detrimental? Could the fact that a self-absorbed ministry (that has too much on its plate in the first place) been given control of the aviation industry is proving out to be a disastrous decision?

With only three Pakistani airlines in the market, that seem are ever ready to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, what possible options are left for improvements in Pakistan’s aviation industry

Riaz Haq said...

n his piece for The Nation newspaper, author Kamal Monnoo worries about future declines in overseas remittances to Pakistan from Pak diaspora.

The author is focusing too much on the cyclical economic factors and not enough on the longer term demographic trends.

Western nations are going to need more, not fewer, workers from developing nations like Pakistan because the populations in the OECD nations are aging and shrinking.

Kerala example is not relevant either because Kerala itself has sub-replacement TFR of just 1.7 which is worse than some of the European nations.

Pakistan, with its total fertility rate of 3.5, has the world’s sixth largest population, seventh largest diaspora and the ninth largest labor force. With rapidly declining fertility and aging populations in the industrialized world, Pakistan's growing talent pool is likely to play a much bigger role to satisfy global demand for workers in the 21st century and contribute to the well-being of Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Gulf News report on new tech training center in FATA's Bajaur agency in Pakistan:

Islamabad: In keeping with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide assistance to the people of Pakistan and to support technical and vocational educational there, the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UPAP) has announced completion of the project to build a technical college at Bajaur in Pakistan at a total cost of $3.4 million (Dh12.4 million). The project was delivered to the local government in Bajaur following completion.

The official inauguration of the college was attended by Chief of Pakistan Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Eisa Abdullah Al Basha Al Nuaimi, Abdullah Khalifa Al Gafli, Director of the UPAP, and senior Pakistani officials.

The college is built on a 34,000 square foot area. It will provide diploma-level technical education for up to 450 students in various disciplines of engineering such as electrical, mechanical, civil and mining.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on Pak students participating in international robotics competition:

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Robotics team will leave for United States of America on April 23 to take part in First Lego League (FLL) international robotics competition to be held on April 24 in United States of America (USA).

According to details, the National Robotics Champions Team would be the first-ever Pakistani team to take part in World Festival. Pakistani team, out of 20 teams, won the regional championship title earlier in qualifying round held for the International competition.

It was also the winner team in the national robotics championship as it defeated 13 other teams.

It may be noted that out of 20,000 teams which took part in the competition worldwide, only 85 teams were declared successful as they cleared the national qualifying rounds. Now they would take part in the FLL World Festival to be held from April 24 to April 27 in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Three-member team comprising Vice Captain Muhammad Rafay Arshad, Abdullah Gulraiz and Umar Khalique along with coach Saeed Akhtar will leave on Tuesday.

The team members have expressed the hope that they will win the international title for Pakistan.

Earlier, the team comprised 7 members but now only three team members will participate in world festival along with their coach, said a statement. (PPI)

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from Dawn Op Ed on foreign remittances holding up reserves:

AT a time when the rupee is under constant pressure because of rapidly falling foreign exchange reserves, the increase in the amount of money sent home by overseas Pakistanis is good news. Remittances have grown 9pc in the first quarter of the present fiscal to $3.9bn — equal to the liquid reserves of the central bank. Although foreign currency earnings of overseas Pakistanis have been feeding the country’s reserves and propping up the rupee for some time now, the importance of remittances has increased recently as exports stagnate and foreign official and private flows dry up. Even an IMF loan has failed to shore up the reserves or revive public confidence in the rupee. In recent days, the latter was hit hard by a weakening exchange rate and capital flight. Most people like to park their savings in dollars rather than in rupees as indicated by the rising volume of foreign currency accounts of commercial banks to $5.17bn — an amount that is substantially higher than that of the official liquid reserves.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Pakistani-German correspondent's piece on Pakistan for Der Spiegel:

"The initial plan was for me to move to Delhi, India, where I would work as SPIEGEL's South Asia correspondent. I had reported from India before, but when I sought accreditation for the post, India refused without giving any explanation. For the first time, I personally felt what it means to have Pakistani roots. It becomes your defining aspect.

So Islamabad became the choice. And what a place: It was a city that had been planned and then not allowed to grow out of control -- lush and green, with beautiful hills and Bauhaus architecture. I soon realized I could mingle with people without them immediately recognizing that I was a foreigner. I could travel to places usually closed to Westerners. And once I polished the Urdu I learned in my childhood, I could also talk to people."
It's also often a one-sided argument. Yes, it is very unfortunate that quite a number of journalists are sure to include the words "Taliban" and "terror" in their pieces on Pakistan, even if the subject of their reporting is cricket, literature or butterflies in Gilgit-Baltistan. To write about Pakistan without the Taliban and terror seems to be unthinkable for many reporters -- and what they often end up delivering is a black-and-white image of a very colorful and complex country.
"As a Pakistani-German, I have roots in the country. I like Pakistan. I brought my German wife there, and my child spent the first years of his life in Islamabad. If I hadn't liked Pakistan, I wouldn't have stayed on for four years. Still, things are heading in the wrong direction in the country. Rather than pointing fingers at others and blaming them for the country's ailing image abroad, people should be focused on seeking real solutions. The first step is to be critical and to honestly identify the country's problems. The second is to address them.

It will only be after that happens that Pakistani-Germans might be proud enough to call their establishments Pakistani restaurants."

Riaz Haq said...

The fifth edition of the ICC World T20 which commenced in Dhaka on Sunday, features at least 36 Pakistan born players playing for various teams including Pakistan.

The Green Shirts’ 15 member squad led by Muhammad Hafeez will launch their campaign on March 21st when they take on arch-rivals India.

The remaining 21 Pakistan born players are representing six teams.

Hong Kong has the most number of Pakistan born players, after Pakistan’s squad. Gujrat born Tanvir Afzal and Munir Dar, Babar Hayyat and Ehsan Nawaz of Attock, Haseeb Amjad and Waqas Barkat of Rawalpindi along with Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Nizakat Khan – all will be representing Hong Kong in ICC World T20 2014.

The United Arab Emirates has seven Pakistan born players in their squad and they’re Khurram Khan, Amjad Ali, Faizan Asif, Rohan Mustafa, Shaiman Anwar, Sharif Asadullah & Kamran Shahzad.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and the Netherlands have one Pakistan born player each in their squads.

Pakistan born Imran Tahir will be representing South Africa, Mudassar Bukhari will be playing for the Netherlands, Sikandar Raza is selected in Zimbabwe’s squad while Gulbadin Naib will be wearing Afghanistan’s jersey in the event.

Riaz Haq said...

HOSPITALS have had to recruit 115 trainee medics from Pakistan to try to maintain services from next month amid fears of another major shortage in junior doctors.

It comes as hundreds of Irish- trained junior doctors are among those who are shunning posts in hospitals here and opting for training abroad, despite the taxpayer paying up to €100,000 to fund each of their degrees in medical school.

The knock-on effect for patients is that hospitals are drawing up contingency plans which could see clinics and other services reduced in the coming weeks in order to ensure control is maintained over standards of safety as the doctors switch jobs as part of their six-month training schedules.


The Health Service Executive (HSE) said yesterday that there is an ongoing vacancy rate of 100 to 120 junior doctors posts in hospitals and the shortage of some grades is particularly felt in emergency departments.

It is hiring doctors from Pakistan and other EU States, said a spokeswoman.

The shortage of doctors means more payments of around €1,000 a day to agency staff who are needed to maintain rosters.

However, the HSE said the positions will be filled.

"Vacancy data to date suggests that the fill rate of posts is slightly ahead of same period in 2013 and taking this into account, it is not anticipated at this time that there will be any reduction in service arising from difficulties filling posts," a spokeswoman said.

The HSE said it also trying to make training posts more attractive by offering contracts of one to two years for some jobs.

It is now on its second round of recruitment to fill basic jobs for trainees in specialties such as obstetrics, psychiatry, general practice and opthalmology.

Health Minister James Reilly said figures show that the educational cost of educating a doctor in an Irish medical school is now in the region of €80,000 to €100,000.

"This cost does not all fall to be met by the State," he said.

"In relation to undergraduate medical programmes, most students pay a student contribution; this is currently set at €2,500 per annum and will rise to €3,000 in 2015. Grant holders may have this paid on their behalf.

"Undergraduate students who are not eligible for "free fees" are liable to pay fees. In relation to graduate medical programmes, the student pays a fee of approximately €15,000 per year. "

Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke has called on the minister to make it a requirement that doctors whose education is paid for should work in an Irish hospital for the first three of the five years after graduation.

Around 600 are graduating from medical schools here annually but half of these emigrate after they complete their intern year, he added.
- See more at:

Riaz Haq said...

In previous years, the HSE has targeted India and Pakistan, and South Africa, to plug the gap in the Irish health service arising from a shortage of junior doctors. This year, it has indicated that recruitment is being stepped up in eastern Europe.
“While the Department of Health and the HSE acknowledge that there are some ‘challenges’ with recruitment, they seem to fail to appreciate the extent of the problem and its likely implications for patients,” the association says.
Where gaps appear in the roster, this will inevitably lead to more delays in the treatment of patients, it says. “This places patients at increased risk of avoidable poor outcomes and will also heap further pressure upon the remaining medical and nursing staff in EDs.”
The association say many Irish graduates are now training and working abroad, especially in Australia, “in preference to working in overcrowded and poorly staffed EDs in Ireland”.
“If this potentially lost generation of medical graduates is to be attracted back to Ireland, then the underlying problems of poor levels of staffing, comparably poor terms and conditions of employment, inadequate numbers of consultants, poor infrastructure and persistent ED overcrowding need to be rapidly addressed.”
“Urgent steps” need to be taken to more effectively recruit doctors from around the world, it says, and the time taken to process applications needs to be shortened.

Riaz Haq said...

“My goal is to use the professorship to increase awareness about complex health challenges in developing countries, including Pakistan, and develop stronger academic ties between students,” he says, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Collectively, I hope, we will be able to address high-impact health challenges of the developing countries, through innovation, context awareness and a broad-based approach.”

Boston University’s Hamid Zaman and his students have developed a detector for counterfeit and defective drugs flooding poorer countries, among other technologies to improve medical care in the developing world.

Zaman is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at BU’s College of Engineering and a columnist for The Express Tribune. But now he has another feather in his cap.
He is one of the 15 professors across the United States – and the first Pakistani – to receive the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professorships, awarded to researchers to introduce innovative techniques for undergraduate science education. And for this, the professorship confers a five-year $1 million grant to each HHMI professor.
The aim of the professorship is to provide resources to research scientists who are making science more engaging for undergraduate students and empower these individuals to create new models for teaching science at research universities, according to the HHMI website.

And how will Zaman make this happen? “My goal is to use the professorship to increase awareness about complex health challenges in developing countries, including Pakistan, and develop stronger academic ties between students,” he says, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Collectively, I hope, we will be able to address high-impact health challenges of the developing countries, through innovation, context awareness and a broad-based approach.”
The goal is to go beyond the disciplinary boundaries and integrate policy, development and health research with engineering education to come up with new and more potent tools to address these challenges, he explains.
“A lot of my approaches and appreciation of global health challenges are derived from my background. I grew up in Pakistan so not only do I have a soft corner for global health challenges.”

Omar said...

Such a wonderful webpage Mr Haq. Keep up the good work. I noticed you have alot of trolls who come to your page. You might need to start filtering them out. Enjoyed reading your piece on the Pakistani Diaspora and look forward to reading more. Again, keep up the good work!

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's Ambassador to Germany Syed Hasan Javed inaugurated the first Pakistani super store in Berlin on Friday.

Speaking to the participants of the inaugural ceremony, the ambassador said that the Pakistani community should undertake such business ventures as it would not only benefit to their country but also help them move vertically in the German society, said a message received here.

He congratulated the owners of the super store who pooled together their resources and expertise to open this super market of Hilal Food with majority items imported from Pakistan. The owners of the super store thanked the ambassador for taking time to inaugurate the first Pakistani super market in Berlin and expressed their resolve to expand it with opening more branches in different cities of Germany.

Riaz Haq said...

Before the new year, more than 1,000 aspiring astronauts received an email with good news: They had beat out more than 200,000 people who applied for a one-way trip to Mars.

The Mars One mission plans to launch the first humans to Mars starting in 2024.

Reginald Foulds, an ex-military pilot who served in Pakistani military, was in the pool of applicants who made it to the second round of screening.

Foulds was born in Pakistan in 1954. As a child growing up near an airforce base, Foulds saw jets flying over his head almost every day, he told Business Insider over e-mail. He joined the Pakistan military after college, where he flew as a helicopter pilot before retiring in 1992.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Economist Magazine: In Britain, Bangladeshis have overtaken Pakistanis. Credit the poor job market when they arrived and the magical effect of London

In many people’s minds, and often in official statistics, the 447,201 people who called themselves Bangladeshi in the 2011 census and the 1,124,511 who identified themselves as Pakistani are lumped together. And the two groups have much in common. Mass immigration for both began in the 1950s. Both are largely working-class and Muslim. Both tend to vote Labour (see Bagehot). Both are concentrated in one business—restaurants in the case of Bangladeshis, taxi-driving among Pakistanis. But their fortunes are now diverging. And that says something about what it takes to succeed as an immigrant in Britain.

Even during the half-term holiday, the library in Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets is busy with mostly Bangladeshi children. Around three-quarters of the school’s pupils are so poor that they qualify for free school meals. A similar share do not speak English as their first language. And yet, last year, 70% got five good GCSEs, the exams taken at 16—much higher than the national average.

Pakistani pupils do not fare too badly in school either, considering how poorly educated and badly off their parents tend to be. But Bangladeshis overtook them more than a decade ago and have pulled farther ahead since then (see chart 1). Some 61% of Bangladeshis got five good GCSEs in 2014 compared with 51% of Pakistanis and 56% of British whites.

That will help their job prospects. Both Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have low employment rates because so many women do not work. But among the young, Bangladeshis are more likely to be studying or in work. And Yaojun Li, a sociologist at the University of Manchester, calculates that Bangladeshis’ average monthly household income, though still low, is now slightly higher than that of Pakistanis.

Bangladeshis born in Britain are also more likely than their Pakistani counterparts to socialise with people of a different ethnicity, according to another study (see chart 2). Both still overwhelmingly wed within their own ethnic group. But among young men, for whom marrying out is easier, 26% of Bangladeshis now do so compared with 17% of Pakistani youths.

The explanations lie partly in the past. Pakistanis—many of them from the rural Mirpur Valley in Kashmir—began to settle thickly in Britain in the 1960s. They often took jobs in the textile mills of the north and the foundries of the West Midlands.

Most Bangladeshis came later. Many men arrived in the 1970s as refugees, but the peak of migration was in the early 1980s, when the women and children turned up. They thus arrived when British industry was on the ropes—which was oddly lucky, suggests Shamit Saggar of Essex University. Though many were working in the rag trade, they had not committed themselves to one doomed industry. Pakistanis had: they suffered greatly from the collapse of British textile-making.

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank Report: #Pakistan attracting millions of foreign workers from abroad …

A report by the World Bank (WB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reveals that, Asia and the Pacific are on the onset of new economic growth patterns, countries like Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore are on the lead to attract the foreign workers . Like wise Malaysia and Thailand are now “net importers” of labour, countries like Pakistan and India are also attracting millions of workers from abroad

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan-born environmentalist Shoaib Sultan could become next #Oslo mayor. #Norway …

A Muslim environmentalist originally from Pakistan could become Oslo’s next mayor after his party became kingmaker in the Norwegian capital following local elections.

After winning five seats on Oslo city council in Monday’s election, the green party MDG holds the balance of power and says it will insist its candidate, Shoaib Sultan, be given the position of mayor in upcoming negotiations with the other parties.

“He would be a wonderful mayor for all of Oslo, he would be the most representative mayor the people of Oslo have ever known,” MDG party leader Rasmus Hansson, told NRK radio on Tuesday. “The position of mayor is definitely part of the package to be negotiated,” he said.

Both the right wing, which has been in power in Oslo for 18 years, and the left have said they are ready to negotiate with MDG to obtain a majority on the council. The right won 28 of the 59 seats up for grabs, while the left took 26 seats.

MDG presents itself as officially independent from the two blocs, but has traditionally voted with leftist parties. “The issues will be what is most important for us,” said Hansson, hinting that the party could be swayed to give up the mayor’s post if it wins concessions on policy issues in exchange.

Shoaib Sultan, 41, is a former secretary of the Islamic Council, an umbrella organisation representing Muslims in Norway, and has also worked for an anti-racism centre. He came to Norway from Pakistan when he was around a year old.

Monday’s local election saw the defeat of the parties sitting in the national government, Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conservative Party and the populist Progressive Party, as well as their centre-right allies. The Labour party and its allies appear to have won majorities in most big towns.

Riaz Haq said...

#London mayor election 2016: odds shorten on Sadiq Khan …

Labour's Sadiq Khan has overtaken Tory Zac Goldsmith to become the bookmakers' favourite to replace Boris Johnson in next year's London mayoral contest.

The MP for Tooting and former shadow justice secretary was chosen as the Labour party's mayoral candidate last week, winning 59 per cent in the final round of voting.

He beat former cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, veteran Labour MP Dianne Abbott, former ministers David Lammy and Gareth Thomas, and transport expert Christian Wolmar.

His campaign is expected to focus on housing, while also promising to freeze Tube and train fares for five years, to campaign against Heathrow expansion and to improve London's air quality.

The son of a Pakistani-born bus driver, Khan was brought up on a council estate in south London and later became a human rights lawyer. He is a practising Muslim and was the first person from an ethnic minority background to enter the shadow cabinet.

"City Hall might have been a few stops up the Northern Line, but to a young Londoner like me it seemed a million miles away," he said after the announcement. "I never dreamed I'd be standing here as your candidate for Mayor."

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith had long been the bookmakers' favourite to replace Boris Johnson, who returned to the House of Commons in May.

Johnson stormed to victory in the safe Tory seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip and pledged to carry out both roles for a year – although if he does step down as mayor more than six months before 5 May 2016 a by-election will be called.

With the capital now home to more than 8.6 million people, a greater number than at any time in its history, any future mayor will face an even bigger challenge in managing transport, housing and regeneration of the city.

Goldsmith is on the Tory shortlist alongside Syed Kamall, a Member of the European Parliament representing London; Andrew Boff, a London Assembly member; and Stephen Greenhalgh, deputy mayor for policing and crime.

Other potential candidates include a couple of well-known faces, as well as a few outsiders...

Riaz Haq said...

British #Pakistani Sadiq Khan (Labour) widens lead in polls ahead of #MayoralElection2016 in #London election …

Labour's Sadiq Khan is on course to be the next Mayor of London, according to a new opinion poll.

Khan has widened the gap with his Tory rival Zac Goldsmith since a similar survey in November.

The YouGov poll for radio station LBC puts Khan seven points in front of Goldsmith.

Ukip's candidate is ahead of both the Liberal Democrats and Greens.

Khan's lead extends to a massive 10% if other candidates are eliminated.

A Labour victory in the contest to replace Boris Johnson in May could help secure Jeremy Corbyn's position as party leader.
Khan, the MP for Tooting, polled 31% to Goldsmith's 24%
Ukip candidate Peter Whittle is on 4%
Green's Sian Berry in fourth place on 3%
Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon and former Respect MP George Galloway both polling 2%
The survey asked Londoners how they would vote if the election was tomorrow.

But polling day is four months away and a third of voters (32%) are still undecided, suggesting the election is still wide open.

Labour has moved ahead in the finest to replace Boris Johnson as the next Mayor of London.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan ranks 8th with its 6 million strong diaspora sending $20 billion home in remittances via @ePakistanToday

Pakistan stands on the eight place among the top 10 recipients of remittances this year at $20.1 billion, according to a report.

According to Khaleej Times, the World Bank estimates that more than 247 million people, or 3.4 per cent of the world population, live outside their countries of birth among which more than six million are Pakistanis.

These Pakistanis, between July 2015 and January 2016, have sent an estimated $11.2 billion a marked increase of about 6 per cent compared with July 2014 to January 2015.

Overseas Pakistanis are remitting more than $1.5 billion a month, making a significant contribution to their families and bringing about a socio-economic change. The State Bank of Pakistan expects remittances to cross $20 billion this financial year, the highest ever and these expectations are in line with the World Bank’s calculations that place Pakistan on the eight rung among the top 10 recipients of remittances this year at $20.1 billion.

“The inflows from remittances (at current levels) now fully cover the country’s petroleum imports. Currently, international remittances are moving six per cent of the total GDP of Pakistan,” says Rizwan Wyne, a Pakistan-based expert on international remittances from Middle East to South Asia. The Migration and Remittance Factbook 2016 produced by the World Bank notes as of 2015 international migrants are expected to have sent $601 billion to their families in their home countries, of which developing countries like Pakistan received $441 billion.

At more than three times the size of development aid, international migrants’ remittances provide a lifeline for millions of households in developing countries. In addition, migrants hold more than $500 billion in annual savings. Together remittances and migrant savings offer a substantial source of financing for development projects that can improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, says the report.

Riaz Haq said...

Fair allocation algorithm developed by #Pakistan mathematician in #Australia hailed as "major breakthrough" … via @smh

The field of game theory in which they work – fair allocation – has potential to develop computerised conflict-resolution algorithms, the researchers claim.

Haris Azizand Simon Mackenzie published their paper on the Cornell University Library archive site, in April.
Their solution has been described as a "major breakthrough" by Professor Steven Brams at New York University, who has worked on such problems for more than 20 years.

And it all comes down to cake.

Imagine a rowdy kid's birthday party and a cake to cut. Simple right? Nine children, cut nine equal slices.

"My piece didn't get any chocolate curls!" wails some over-entitled brat. It's not just size but the value you place on a slice that counts.

Cake is a metaphor for any kind of divisible good, be it time, property settlement, or computing resources.

And "envy-free"? By this, mathematicians mean no one prefers another person's share ahead of their own.

Solving this problem for two people is simple and is at least as old as the Bible, where Lot and Abraham divided the lands of Canaan (Genesis 13).

One person cuts the cake into what they perceive as two equal slices. The other person chooses their preferred piece and the cutter takes the other. Simple.

But add more people and it gets much trickier.

In the 1960s, John Selfridge and John Conway independently developed a solution for envy-free cake cutting for three people.

By this Selfridge-Conway protocol, if the envy-free allocation is not solved by an initial three-way division, then it takes just three more cuts to solve the problem. You can read about it here.

And there it sat for years. However, in 2015 Dr Aziz and Mr Mackenzie at CSIRO's Data61 and UNSW published a solution for envy-free allocation among four agents. That can take between three and 203 cuts of the cake.

Not to rest on their laurels, Dr Aziz and PhD student Mr Mackenzie have published an algorithm for any number of agents.

The paper is yet to be peer reviewed, however, Professor Brams told the Herald the "results look solid".

In an associated field Professor Brams has developed an "adjusted winner" system of division that he has applied to problems as diverse as Donald Trump's divorce to his former wife Ivana and the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt.

"There could even be applications in your part of the world," the NYU professor said. "It could be applied to the Spratlys Island dispute in the South China Sea."

Professor Brams said that while the Aziz-Mackenzie protocol is too complex for practical application, it is an important theoretical step forward.

Another researcher in this field is Ariel Procaccia at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He told the Herald: "I was convinced that a bounded, envy-free cake-cutting algorithm [did] not exist. So the breakthrough result of Aziz and Mackenzie is nothing short of amazing. It is a beautiful piece of mathematics."

Professor Procaccia hopes the research will inspire new solutions to solving fair-division problems in the real world.

Dr Aziz said: "We hope that our new algorithm opens the door for simpler and faster methods of allocation. One day, problems such as allocating access to a telescope among astronomers or the fair distribution of scarce water resources could be made very easy."

Riaz Haq said...

Most people choose not to migrate in spite of poverty and oppression as obvious from lowest rates of migration out of sub-Saharan Africa.

Results show that despite increase in the absolute number of migrants, Africa, particularly SubSaharan Africa has one of the lowest rate of emigration in the world and a majority of them migrate to other African countries signifying the importance of south-south migration. Poorer countries generally have lower rate of emigration and higher rate of intra-African migrant. Bad socio-economic conditions generally seem to lead to higher rate of emigration by highly skilled individuals. Generally, migration is driven by motives to
improve livelihoods with notable evidence on changes in labor market status. Often, self-employed or unemployed émigré ended up in wage employment. The paper outlines policy issues emerging from the migration trend in Africa.

t is often said that the only way to reduce migration from poor countries is to boost development, but this ignores the inconvenient fact that development is generally not associated with lower levels of emigration. Important emigration countries such as Mexico, Morocco, Turkey and the Philippines are typically not among the poorest countries. Meanwhile – and against popular perceptions of a “continent on the move” – Sub-Saharan Africa is the least migratory region of the world.

Development drives migration

In fact, when you examine the data, human and economic development is initially associated with increasing emigration. Any form of development in the poorest countries of the world is therefore likely to lead to accelerating emigration. Such findings contradict conventional thinking and force us to radically change our views on migration. Such rethinking can be achieved by learning to see migration as an intrinsic part of broader development processes rather than as a problem to be solved, or the temporary response to development “disequilibria”.

Riaz Haq said...

As 7th largest immigrant population, #Pakistanis not eligible for US diversity visa. #Pakistan #America #Immigration

According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to counties that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Pakistan had 104,000 immigrants in the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, he said, explaining why Pakistanis are no longer eligible.

The state department has only stopped diversity visas and there are a lot of other options, such as petitions, student, visit and exchange programme visas, which come under the non-immigrant category. “One can always apply for immigrant visa if they have immediate family in the US,” explained US consulate’s Non-Immigrant Visa chief Mary Pellegrini.

She also explained that it takes around one year for spouse and children, two years for parents and, for siblings, the time can vary up to a decade.

Nevertheless, the Pakistanis who have managed to immigrate are doing pretty well. According to a recent survey, an average Pakistani in the US earns $63,000 every year while an average US citizen earns only $51,000 a year, said Asmus.

Asmus dismissed the misconception that fewer Pakistanis are able to get visa for the US. The percentage of applications is increasing every year and the number of Pakistani citizens getting visas has also increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, and another 20% between 2015 and 2016, he said.

The US Consulate in Karachi only deals in non-immigrant visas while immigrants visas are dealt at the embassy in Islamabad. Last year, the consulate issued a total of 72,000 visas across the country. So far in 2016, the US consulate in Karachi has issued a total of 14,400 visas.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani community in Estonia ‘highly qualified and skilled’

The total number Pakistanis in the country is 200 people and vast majority of them are highest degree holders

Majority of the Pakistanis residing in Estonia constitute highly qualified and skilled people including engineers and software experts, said Chairman Pakistan-Estonia Association (PEA) Dr Yar Mohammad Mughal.

In a meeting with Enn Eesmaa, the first Vice-President of the Estonian Parliament at the parliament House in Tallinn, Mughal said that the total number Pakistanis in the country is 200 people and vast majority of them are highest degree holders.

30 % of the community is highly skilled engineers and software engineers who obtained jobs after completion of their education in Estonia, a country of 1.3 million in the Baltic area. 20% are either self-employed or have odd jobs. The rest are mostly students of PhD, Masters and Bachelors degree programs.

Dr Yar Mohammad also briefed the Vice President of the parliament about aims and objectives of his organisation. The PEA is a platform to strengthen relationships between both countries, to increase trade and cooperation in different sectors such as e-Governance and IT. The organisation also works to promote international mobility to exchange of faculty members, researchers and students

Dr Yar also told the leading Estonian lawmaker about the cultural activities of Pakistani community in different cities of Estonia. Steps and objectives of Pakistan Association Estonia were highly appreciated by Mr. Enn Eesmaa. He emphasized on further efforts for enhancement of ties between Pakistan and Estonia.

Dr Yar Mohammad, who is assistant professor at University of Tartu, Estonia has started his efforts for exchange of students and scholars between the two countries and so far has achieved an agreement on exchange faculty members between NUST University of Pakistan and an Estonian university. During the meeting, the two sides agreed that educational diplomacy can be used as an effective tool in Pak-EU ties, especially Pakistan’s relations with Estonia.

Higher educational institutions of both sides play a significant role to promote bilateral relations, he added. Dr Yar sad that collaborative study and research projects, joint degree, consulting contracts and others activities can be increased between Pakistani and Estonia.

Riaz Haq said...

Mar 20 2018
Sabrina Toppa

Pakistan’s Pashtun belt has many extended families depending on one person to make ends meet, Umer says. “Most of the time, 30-50 members of an extended family are dependent on a single worker’s salary,” adds 22-year-old Sajjad Hussain, a student from Waziristan. The burden is much higher on Pashtun families.“The main reason they go abroad is because there are no job opportunities in Waziristan.” The region is beset by economic underdevelopment and the fall-out of Pakistani military operations and U.S. drone strikes, and there are few industries to employ young men outside of subsistence agriculture. Residents of Waziristan often migrate to other provinces in Pakistan in search of economic security, but often return empty-handed. “They’re living overseas for five to six years because life is better there,” Sajjad says.


Today, Pakistan is the second-largest exporter of migrant labour in South Asia, and remittances account for 7% of the country’s GDP. In 2017, approximately half a million Pakistanis migrated overseas through legal channels, though it is estimated that a far higher number sought out migration through irregular channels. Many Pakistanis spend up to USD 9,000 to find a job in countries like Saudi Arabia — in some cases spending 14 times their monthly salary for the opportunity to work abroad.


Pakistani migrants pay some of the highest recruitment fees in the world for the opportunity to work abroad, says Nasir Iqbal, an Islamabad-based researcher who has studied the cost of Gulf migration. Migrants who rely on friends or family to find jobs often pay astronomical recruitment fees, resulting in asset depletion and heavy debt traps. Part of the problem derives from the fact that most Pakistani migrants organise their jobs outside of the government’s official channels – raising the cost exponentially. If a migrant pursues labour migration through formal means, he normally pays $200-$900 for a bundle of services, the two largest components of which are visa fees and the recruitment agent’s fee. To go to Saudi Arabia outside official channels, the average labourer spends upwards of $4,000 toward the cost of migration. To reach the UAE, the amount is $2,000 on average. Migrants seeking jobs in Saudi Arabia are required to work through a licensed recruitment agency in Pakistan and the Saudi embassy, but some skirt this altogether.

Riaz Haq said...

How the Pakistani diaspora in Barcelona established itself in the heart of the city
Ana Ballesteros Updated December 13, 2017 Facebook Count

My interest in South Asia, and specifically Pakistan, started when I finished my degree in Islamic studies in Madrid.

It was not easy to pursue South Asian studies as a Spanish scholar; unlike other European countries such as the UK, Spain still does not have a university department for this area.

I moved to India for PhD research for two years (2001-2002) when 9/11 clearly marked a change. Islam came to the forefront of international academic and non-academic interests, often for the wrong reasons.

When I returned from India, I observed that my friends in Barcelona often talked about the increasing presence of Pakistanis and other people of South Asian origin in the city.

To the delight of the British nationals in town and other more adventurous citizens, the proliferation of curry houses was a reason to celebrate the formerly less diverse culinary scene.

It was clear that the Pakistani community in Barcelona had become a talking point. Their presence was unavoidable, particularly after the prayers on Fridays. And nowhere were they more visible than in the neighbourhood of El Raval.

Many wondered where these men were from, why they dressed like that (shalwar kameez), and why they were seldom accompanied by their womenfolk.

In 2008, Casa Asia, an institution of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that promotes knowledge of Asia in Spain, awarded me a grant.

My project was to conduct a piece of research that would be called Atlas of Pakistani Migration in Spain.

I took this opportunity to visit Pakistan and travel around Spain to go to the different places where Pakistanis had settled.

More than half of all Pakistanis in Spain lived in Catalonia, especially Barcelona, which is why I moved there in the summer of 2008.

Pakistanis in Spain
Compared with other European countries, Spain has not always been a country of immigrants.

Pakistanis, for example, have traditionally preferred to migrate to the UK, USA, Canada, and the Gulf because of the better economic prospects in those nations.

Spain has a population of approximately 46.5 million, of which 9.5% are foreigners. The main foreign nationalities represented in the country are Romanians, Moroccans, British, Italians and Chinese.

Pakistanis are 1.2% of all foreigners and barely 0.1% of the population in Spain. How have they managed, then, to attract so much attention?

One of the explanations can be found in their local concentration, in terms of both origin and destination.

Gujratis make up 44% of all Pakistanis in Spain, while in other destinations in the European Union, they are about 11%.

As for destination, more than half of all Pakistanis in Spain are in Barcelona.

At their peak, in 2012, there were about 68,000 Pakistanis in Spain, although the Spanish Institute of Statistics only accounts for those legally resident.

Several thousand others are thought to have resided there illegally.

The Pioneers
The first Pakistanis to arrive in the country were a group of about 300 Gujratis who migrated from other European countries in the 1970s and landed initially in Barcelona.

Some of the migrants had experience working in mines elsewhere in Europe and Pakistan; some had lost their jobs in factories or mines in the UK where the industrial crisis had begun; others had working experience in oil refineries in Libya.

Those were the last days of Franco’s dictatorship and Spain’s industrial labour market was small. Some migrants opened shops and boarding houses; others looked for jobs in industry or manufacturing.

Those who had no previous experience in mining had to learn from scratch. The main mines where they began to work were El Bierzo (coal) and Linares (lead), and others in La Rioja and Teruel.

Riaz Haq said...

2.43 million Pakistanis working in Europe
By Qadeer TanoliPublished: April 24, 2017

Out of the total Pakistan’s overseas workforce, 27 per cent have jobs in European countries, revealed statistics shared by Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development with the lawmakers in the Senate.

After Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom caters to the largest overseas Pakistanis followed by Italy, France, Germany and Spain.

In response to question of senator Rozi Khan Kakar, the ministry stated that presently around 9.08 million workforce is living/working abroad, out of which, 2.43 million got job opportunities in around 25 countries of Europe.

UK at the moment has provided jobs to 1.7 million Pakistanis. Saudi Arabia continues to be the favourite destination of Pakistani workforce with 2.6 million workers. United Arab Emirates is at the fourth place in the list with 1.6 million and United States fifth with 900,350.

In Europe, Italy is providing jobs to 119,762 Pakistanis, France 104,000, Germany 90,556, Spain 82,000, Greece 70,002, Norway 38,000 and Netherlands 35,000.

Turkey is providing jobs to only 557 Pakistani workers while China has accommodated 14,355 Pakistani workers. Chile is providing jobs to 760 Pakistanis and Cuba has given job opportunities to 600 Pakistanis. Afghanistan provided jobs to 71,000 Pakistanis and India 10,000. Iran has provided jobs to 7,065 Pakistanis.

Currently, 120,216 Pakistanis have been provided jobs in Malaysia and 65,000 in Thailand.

Libya provided 12,008 Pakistanis jobs, Iraq accommodated 4,709 and Yemen 3,024. Russia gave jobs to 3,560 Pakistanis, stated the statistics.

The reply also contains that 19 Community Welfare Attaches are posted in Pakistan’s missions abroad in the countries having a sizeable concentration of Pakistanis to provide them certain facilities.

These facilities include, issuance of passports, provision of assistance in implementation of Foreign Service Agreement which is made between employee and employer and some others.

Riaz Haq said...

#Remittances from #diaspora keep #Pakistan's economy afloat. Estimates average from $1.7 to $1.9 billion a month, adding up to $22 billion per year. #IMF #Reserves #bailout #exports #trade #imports

Pakistan's economic lifeline is its remittances. A staggering $2billion from overseas Pakistanis per month on an average is a blessing in disguise for the cash-starved economy and has widely helped in balancing payments towards imports, especially oil. They have acted as a catalyst in growth and investments. Undisputedly, it is one of the primary sources of foreign exchange reserves for the country and for an economy, which is ridden with inflation and slump in exports, the annual subscription of more than $25 billion acts as its backbone.

The good point is that despite somersaults on the global economic level and a nosedive, Pakistanis have stood fast in retaining their culture of remitting back home, and have widely entrusted the country's banks and other legal avenues for transfer of funds. Despite a wide gap in the dollar rates in open and banking markets, overseas Pakistanis preferred to send money mostly through the banking channel. This reflects their confidence in the government, as well as banks operating in Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan, in one of its recent reports, said that Pakistan has fared relatively better than other regional countries concerning foreign remittances.

Estimates say an average of $1.7 to $1.9 billion is received on a monthly basis, which accounts for a staggering $22 billion per annum. Most of the remittances are from the Middle East and Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman. Payments from all important destinations, except Saudi Arabia, showed positive growth. Inflows from the kingdom declined 7.5 per cent during the last fiscal year to the tune of 5.5 per cent. Nonetheless, Pakistan received $2.5 billion from Saudi Arabia in the year 2017. The second highest inflow is from the United Arab Emirates, which increased 1.13 per cent to $2.2bn.

A silent but sizeable chunk of remittances, although on a quarterly and six-monthly basis, are also registered from the United States, the European Union, South Africa and Australia. Many of the Far East Asian countries, especially Malaysia and Hong Kong, Korea and Japan also are potential remittances pockets. Remittances from the US have also seen an upward trend by around 10 per cent, to cross the barrier of one billion dollars per quarter. Similarly, inflows from the UK also recorded an increase of 23 per cent to $1.35 billion.

This primarily acts as seed money for the country's balance of payments, and to a great extent compensates for lack of foreign investment and slowdown in portfolio investments. The pre-budget Economic Review, however, estimated that remittances could grow by 50 per cent if the government provides due incentives to its non-resident citizens, and ensures that their foreign exchange is safe and reusable in the same currency. Likewise, remittances directly deposited in Pakistani bank accounts can also get a boost and shoot up to $100 billion - a retained safe territory, if stringent measures are taken and assurances on withdrawals limits are waived.

The free flow of foreign currency in the form of remittances can lift the economy to new heights. Pakistani foreign currency accounts maintained abroad are in billions of dollars, and a submission in the Senate of Pakistan said that they account for around $800 billion. That money sooner than later should be in the mainstream of Pakistan economy, provided anti-money laundering policies get thumbs up.

Riaz Haq said...

At 17.5 Million, Overseas Indians Are Largest Community In The World: UN

Migrants from Mexico constituted the second largest diaspora - 11.8 million, followed by China - 10.7 million, Russia - 10.5 million, Syria - 8.2 million, Bangladesh - 7.8 million, Pakistan - 6.3 million, Ukraine - 5.9 million, the Philippines - 5.4 million and Afghanistan - 5.1 million.

The International Migrant Stock 2019, a dataset released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs or DESA today, provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for all countries and areas of the world.

The estimates are based on official national statistics on the foreign-born or the foreign population obtained from population censuses, population registers or nationally representative surveys.

The report said that the top 10 countries of origin account for one-third of all international migrants. In 2019, with 17.5 million persons living abroad, India was the leading country of origin of international migrants.

Migrants from Mexico constituted the second largest diaspora - 11.8 million, followed by China - 10.7 million, Russia - 10.5 million, Syria - 8.2 million, Bangladesh - 7.8 million, Pakistan - 6.3 million, Ukraine - 5.9 million, the Philippines - 5.4 million and Afghanistan - 5.1 million.

India hosted 5.1 million international migrants in 2019, less than the 5.2 million in 2015. International migrants as a share of total population in India was steady at 0.4 per cent from 2010 to 2019.

The country hosted 207,000 refugees, the report said adding that refugees as a share of international migrants in the country was four per cent. Among the international migrants in the country, the female population was 48.8 per cent and the median age of international migrants was 47.1 years. In India, the highest number of international migrants came from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

In 2019, regionally, Europe hosted the largest number of international migrants (82 million), followed by Northern America (59 million) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (49 million).

At the country level, about half of all international migrants reside in just 10 countries, with the United States of America hosting the largest number of international migrants (51 million), equal to about 19 per cent of the world's total.

Germany and Saudi Arabia host the second and third largest numbers of migrants (13 million each), followed by Russia (12 million), the United Kingdom (10 million), the United Arab Emirates (9 million), France, Canada and Australia (around 8 million each) and Italy (6 million).

The share of international migrants in total population varies considerably across geographic regions with the highest proportions recorded in Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand) (21.2 per cent) and Northern America (16.0 per cent) and the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean (1.8 per cent), Central and Southern Asia (1.0 per cent) and Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (0.8 per cent).

A majority of international migrants in sub-Saharan Africa (89 per cent), Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (83 per cent), Latin America and the Caribbean (73 per cent), and Central and Southern Asia (63 per cent) originated from the region in which they reside.

Riaz Haq said...

The World’s Biggest Diasporas [Infographic]
Katharina Buchholz

I am a Statista data journalist using charts to explain news topics.

The list of countries with the biggest share of the native-born population living in the diaspora reveals stories of war and displacement but also of economic stagnation and a lack of perspectives. While there are many reasons why someone might leave the place where they were born, small countries are most often affected by the phenomenon as they are inherently at a disadvantage when offering opportunities and chances to move within the country first.

In regions where small countries are common and remoteness is added as another factor, for example in the Caribbean or Oceania, living in the diaspora is the most widespread. Out of all sovereign countries with at least 750,000 inhabitants, Caribbean nation Guyana had the biggest share of its native-born population—36.4%—living abroad. Jamaica comes fifth at 28.6%. Taking into account independent countries of all sizes, island nations dominate the top ranks with up to half of their populations having settled in other countries. Polynesia was the region with the highest overall diaspora share in 2020, at 28.7%, followed by the Caribbean at 17.7%.

Riaz Haq said...

72,000 non immigrant visas issued in year 2022 to Pakistanis for USA.

In 2019 the number was 59,000

2020 and 2021 Covid time was 34 and 20k

So 2020 2021 2022 average is still around 40k which is lower than 2019 avg

I can sympathize with ppl who see lots of ppl leaving and feeling every one is leaving as number of ppl leaving is 3 times more than 2021 and twice as much as 2020 .

However fact is ppl are going as they have always done. In fact we haven't returned to pre Covid levels of Emigration and tourism outside Pakistan

Even in 1997 close to 50,000 ppl were issued non immigrant visa by US from Pakistan!


Who’s Getting U.S. Immigrant Visas?
Last year, more than 285,000 U.S. immigrant visas were issued. Here’s a look how that is distributed across every country worldwide:

Rank Country Immigrant Visas Issued (2021)
#1 🇲🇽 Mexico 40,597
#2 🇨🇳 China 18,501
#3 🇩🇴 Dominican Republic 17,941
#4 🇵🇭 Philippines 15,862
#5 🇦🇫 Afghanistan 10,784
#6 🇻🇳 Vietnam 10,458
#7 🇮🇳 India 9,275
#8 🇸🇻 El Salvador 7,813
#9 🇵🇰 Pakistan 7,213
#10 🇧🇩 Bangladesh 5,503
Total 285,069


H1 B visa from Pak to US

What is the H-1B Visa Category? The H-1B is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa category that allows employers to petition for highly educated foreign professionals to work in “specialty occupations” that require at least a bachelor's degree or the equivalent.

In year 2022 , 1100 from Pakistan

166,000 from India !

If the exodus is 1100 ppl then we have nothing to fear

If 1100 is exodus than what is 166k

Why the one with 166k is rising India and one with 1100 failing Pakistan