ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Inter Provincial Coordination Muhammad Shafqat Hayat Khan on Friday informed the National Assembly that Kuwait has not stopped the renewal of visas to Pakistanis who are residing and working in the state.
In a reply during question hour in the House, he said it is a fact that Pakistanis, residing in Kuwait are not allowed to call their relatives in host country because of visa restriction on Pakistani nationals along with five other countries i.e. Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.
He said the government has raised the issue with the Kuwaiti Government for lifting of visas restrictions on Pakistanis at high levels including Amir of Kuwait, Prime Minister of Kuwait and other authorities like Crown Prince, Speaker of the Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other officials.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that matter is constantly being pursued at all levels by Pakistani authorities, but despite assurance by Kuwait authorities, visa restriction has not been relaxed so far.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq informed the members that he had also talked to the Speaker of Kuwait Parliament and he has assured to resolve the issue.
Ayaz Sadiq asked the Parliamentary Secretary to use his office and take up the matter with Interior Minister of Kuwait and expedite the issue so that people are facilitated.
To another question, he said there are approximately 3.8 million Pakistanis currently working and residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
He said that keeping in view population, the share of Pakistani manpower in the GCC countries is reasonable. However, continuous efforts are being made to further increase manpower export to the region.
Shafqat Hayat said that the Ministry has adopted multiple strategies to boost export of manpower. It includes signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), holding meetings of Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) in order to find ways and means to increase export of manpower.
He said that Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) posted in Pakistani Missions in all GCC countries are making efforts to increase the demand for Pakistani workers in the countries of their posting.
Parliamentary Secretary said that Ministry issues licenses to the Overseas Employment Promoters who make all possible efforts to obtain manpower demands, especially from private sector of manpower importing countries.
He said the Ministry also has been striving to get manpower demands from foreign countries (generally from public sector) through Overseas Employment Corporation.
To another question, he said that no proposal is under consideration of the government to establish employment exchange cells nor it is in the mandate of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
However, the Ministry generates employment opportunities abroad for un-employed persons and accordingly six to seven lacs people go abroad annually for employment, he added.
He said a total 7240 persons were sent abroad for employment by the Overseas Employment Corporation during the last five years.