Aspirations of youth in Pakistan have been trashed as Pakistan has stopped the printing of passports. This extraordinary rush to leave Pakistan is a result of rising inflation, the alarming increase in unemployment, and above all the country’s perpetual state of chaos.
As per some estimates in media, 15 to 18 lakh youth have left the country in the last six months. Where 40 percent of the population is living below the poverty line, banning the choice to go abroad is equivalent to jailing the Pakistani youth in the squalor of politics and corruption! Instead of owing up to the havoc the caretaker Prime Minister is making irresponsible statements criticizing the youth for the brain drain.
Pakistan’s Overseas Ministry Secretary disclosed that ‘90 percent of beggars arrested abroad belong to Pakistan’. It has been specially brought to the world’s notice by Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. In fact, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq have officially requested the Pak government to “stem the flow of beggars”. There was a time when these countries were happy to employ dirt cheap labor from Pakistan, but today they are willing to pay more to anyone but a Pakistani for labor work.
To counter this problem, Pakistanis have devised a clever strategy. They obtain visas for religious tourism (Umrah and Hajj), go to Saudi Arabia, and then to Iran and Iraq, and become beggars. When caught and jailed, they rejoice that at least they are served two meals of the day.
Forced to flee because of their circumstances, much like animals, Pakistanis leave their country in boats illegally risking their lives. Shown the dream of greener pastures abroad, an average Pakistani readily agrees to pay amounts as high as $10,000 per person, to live as an illegal refugee in European nations.
They are taken to foreign shores on overloaded fishing trawlers, squashed together below the deck, the most dangerous part of the boat, and mistreated by fellow migrants from other Islamic nations. Some of these boats don’t survive the tough expedition, as we witnessed in the Italian and Greek boat tragedies earlier in 2023.
While the sinking boats should have been a caution enough for youth, the illegal migration has surprisingly increased! With nothing to eat and nothing to
do, they unanimously agree they would rather die as a mountain of human carcass overseas than stay an additional day in their own country.
Of course, leaving the country also does not secure the poor a job or a living. Even abroad Pakistan is creating a special title as the “Biggest Offenders”. In September Dubai Police specifically addressed the Pakistanis in Dubai, saying that for 3 consecutive years, Pakistanis have been leading in the cases of accidents and fines for criminal activities. The police also advised Pakistanis to stay in line and follow the UAE’s rules and regulations unless they wanted to be kicked out. At this, the ignorant Pakistani crowd celebrated and cheered, perhaps because the concept of discipline and hard-earned bread was alien to them.
The problem of poverty and starvation is so severe that in Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad, 82 percent of the recorded felonies are street crimes, such as pickpocketing, stealing from grocery shops, extortion, vandalizing of government properties, etc. Islamabad is home to the cream of Pakistan who has stopped stepping out of their houses at night in fear of being robbed. Despite the high security and vigilance of the Safe City Authority, since September criminals have looted cash and valuables worth PKR 213 million!
Data from Islamabad’s Police’s public relations branch reveals that the police have registered 1,186 criminal activities – 2 dacoities, 259 robberies, 197
snatchings, 92 burglaries, 199 thefts, 53 vehicle thefts, and 384 motorcycle thefts during September alone! The miseries of poor Pakistanis get compounded by the apathetic approach by the government of the country. The lack of official actions and care indicate that the government is fighting against the poor instead of poverty in the country. First, they do not feed their citizenry. Second, they promote human trafficking. Third, they do not impose laws on illegal migration to foreign lands on the pretext of tourism. The responsible leaders and institutions which should focus of welfare of the public seem bent upon promoting terrorism and sectarian violence in the country. Busy in its own propaganda on terrorism, the state does not seem to have time to care for the image of international beggar.