Data Exchange Agreements to compile documents of overseas Pakistanis on the basis of a biometric system will be signed. Next week, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UAE for the provision of manpower will be inked.
There are also reports that a policy based on timeframe for the issues faced by the special economic zones (SEZ) will be introduced and its text will be tabled today (Monday) in the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting.
According to documents available with Express, Finance Minister Asad Umar will preside over the ECC meeting in which a two-point agenda will be discussed. The committee is scheduled to examine in detail the text presented by the overseas Pakistanis and human development division for increasing employment opportunities and facilities for them.
The issues faced by the special economic zones in terms of investment will also be discussed. The policy on the basis of timeframe would set goals and offer solutions to issues related to infrastructure, electricity, water, gas and other utility services in the economic zones.
Addressing these issues during the specified time will be ensured.
According to sources, the strategy to promote overseas employment and remuneration for Pakistani workers abroad will also be examined.
The government as per the new policy has decided to focus on the non-traditional market to increase the export of manpower.
In this context, MoUs will be signed with Japan, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany, Oman and other countries and manpower would be exported to these countries. Apart from this, a strategy would be devised to curb the return of Pakistanis from other countries, including Saudi Arabia.
The matter will be raised at the diplomatic level and the Pakistani embassies all over the world will be tasked to play an active role in this regard.
The sources said the proposed policy would include special clauses in the MoU for the rights of overseas Pakistanis, while the documents of those leaving Pakistan would be compiled with biometric verification in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
These documents will be exchanged with the foreign countries, including the UAE. There are recommendations to include clauses pertaining to data exchange regarding discrepancies in the documents of Pakistanis jailed in other countries.
This will enable the government to extend help to the Pakistanis jailed abroad and exchange information on the duration of their sentences. It would also allow the foreign ministry to pursue the cases of those Pakistanis whose imprisonment terms are about to end.
There are a number of cases of Pakistanis languishing in foreign jails for long periods over petty issues due to lack of legal assistance.
The sources said an MoU to protect the rights of overseas Pakistanis would be signed with the UAE next week, for which Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari will be touring the country.
According to reports, the authorities will be able to approach the courts with regard to the issues faced by Pakistanis residing in the UAE.
There are also reports that a policy to promote investment is being formulated so that the investors can set up new units in the special economic zones.
(This news/article originally appeared in The Express Tribune on February 4th, 2019)