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Event Title: The Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development

Event Date: 2020-01-10

The Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development in its meeting on Friday at Parliament House, discussed in detail job opportunities for skilled labour in Japan, human trafficking cases referred to by M/o Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to M/o Foreign Affairs on Jungle Migrants Camp at Vucjak site, Bosnia, Wajahat Butt, imprisonment at Liwa Detention Camp, Guanghou  and non-payment of allowances to PIA employees at Damam Airport, Saudi Arabia. 

Chaired by Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman, the meeting was attended by Senator Najma Hameed, Senator Nighat Mirza, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Sassui Palijo, Senator Samina Saeed and senior officers from the Ministry for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FIA, PIA along with all concerned. 

The meeting commenced with a briefing on the status of a Pakistani detainee, Wajahat Butt, at Liwan Detention Centre, Guanghou in China and steps taken for his release.  The Committee was informed that the Chinese authorities demanded PKR 80 lacs for an out of court settlement.  The Committee stressed that all out efforts must be made to protect life and that the Government must ensure funds for his release.   The Committee was informed that as per policy the government did not provide funds for overseas residents indicted in crime.  However, help from organizations such as the Pak-China Institute and NGOs must be sought.  The Committee recommended that Baitul Maal must be consulted and a letter, asking for support in this matter will be sent on behalf of this Committee.

Taking up the case of Mr. Zahir Shah, employee of PIA at Damam Airport, Saudi Arabia, the Committee was informed that he had been serving single-handedly since 2013 at this station, working late hours and on holidays for which not a single dime in allowances had been paid.  The Committee directed that Mr. Shah must submit all documentation to the Committee and PIA, so that his case may be expedited. 

Discussing the FIA compliance report on human trafficking cases the Committee was informed that out of 190 cases, 60 had been verified, 92 were at the enquiry stage and 25 had to be dropped due to lack of evidence. 

Deliberating over details of the Jungle Migrants Camp at Vucjak, Bosnia the Committee stressed the need for sensitization of Pakistani citizens of the pros and cons of such escapades.  Stringent checks on all outland channels was stressed, especially the Iran Pakistan border that was most vulnerable due to its porous nature. 

The Committee was also briefed on job opportunities for Pakistani skilled labour in Japan and the efforts of the Ministry to tap into it.  The Committee was informed that in addition to technical skills the Japanese Government was extremely uncompromising on Language skills; consequently language training institutes were being setup in all provinces. 

Chairman Committee, Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman directed that keeping in view the travails of labour force in Saudi Arabia due to just one Passport Office in Jeddah, the Passports and Immigration Office must take measures to ensure that those travelling from other cities in Saudi Arabia are facilitated on the same day.