GCC region a favourite with Pakistanis seeking better opportunities abroad
More than 230,000 Pakistanis migrated to the UAE last year

at 1:04 am
POK and Kashmir News
File pic of Pakistani passport

Islamabad, June 13: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has been the top destination for Pakistani migrants, with the UAE remaining a favourite country.

More than 230,000 Pakistanis migrated to the UAE last year in search of better opportunities.

The UAE already has a substantial Pakistani expat community, with 1.7 million residents, making it the second largest in the country.

This influx is driven by a lack of job opportunities in Pakistan, particularly for skilled professionals like doctors, engineers, and IT specialists, raising concerns of a brain drain.

The GCC region was the leading destination for Pakistani migrants, with 862,625 Pakistanis moving abroad for work. Saudi Arabia was the top choice, with 426,951 Pakistanis relocating there, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2023-24.

Oman employed 60,046 Pakistani workers (seven percent), while Qatar hired 55,112 individuals. Bahrain and Malaysia welcomed 13,345 and 20,905 workers, respectively.

Over 13.53 million Pakistanis have migrated to more than 50 countries through official channels as of April 2024.

Approximately 96 percent of Pakistanis registered for overseas employment chose GCC countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, contributing significantly to Pakistan’s economy through remittances.

In related news, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi has directed that it will no longer issue passports to those nationals seeking asylum abroad.

As per the directives of the Directorate of General Immigration, the national identity cards of such citizens will also be blocked.

The newly issued directive instructs that passports should not be provided to those who have applied for or have been granted asylum in other countries. The directive has been circulated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant authorities.

As a result of the decision, the passports of asylum seekers and their national identity cards will be immediately expelled.

It is worth noting that the UK, the US, Germany, and Norway are among the most popular destinations for Pakistani asylum applicants, particularly as these nations do not exchange data with Pakistan, making it impossible for the government to check the visa status of its people who live overseas.

Some of the other most common locations for Pakistanis seeking asylum are Canada, Belgium, Australia, and Sweden. Thousands of Pakistanis end up taking asylum in these countries every year due to either persecution, or death threats, and the government is unable to extradite them as foreign governments refuse to send them back.

As a result, in the interest of national security, the government has decided not to grant passports to these people.