More than 2.1 million Pakistanis have proceeded to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar for employment during the last five years, according to an official of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.
According to the breakdown, about 1.243 million went to Saudi Arabia, 866,418 to UAE and 27,660 to Qatar.
The workers were sent through the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment and the procedure and criteria were set by employers of the host country, which vary from job to job.
The selection of workers was a prerogative of the foreign employers, which was based on the criterion of “right person for the right job”, the official said.
Pakistanis working in these Gulf countries are contributing a lot to the national exchequer as the remittances sent home have grown significantly in recent years.
The overseas Pakistanis sent a record $13.92 billion in the previous fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013), according to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan. The figure shows a growth of 5.56% or $733.64 million compared with $13.187 billion a year earlier.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2014.