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Country is Calling

Whenever I listen to John Denver’s  ever new song “Country Roads, Take Me Home, To the Place, I Belong”, my heart just aches for a moment, and starts reflecting about 5 million Pakistanis, who have left Pakistan from 1981 to 2014, out of which a shocking 41,498 professional and technical workers left in 2012 alone. On the other side, Overseas Employment Cooperation (OEC) has been able to send more than 135,000 workers to 55 different countries across the world. This includes highly qualified professionals from the fields of Medicine, Engineering, Education, Science, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Services, Shipping etc., as well as skilled and unskilled manpower.

The top six destinations are Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries, with Saudi Arabia topping the list as evidenced by the $4.105 billion foreign remittances, which the Pakistanis sent back home from Saudi Arabia alone between July 2012-June 2013. Anyhow, the migration of Pakistani intellectuals & skilled manpower also has caused serious damages to Pakistan, which is featured in the list of the less developed countries that actually needs them desperately. The migration of highly qualified scientists, doctors, academicians and engineers is noticeable and a matter of great concern, since Pakistan lacks them indeed.

There could be many valid reasons of this massive “Brain Drain” like lack of good jobs, low incentives, poor job security, and lack of state of the art educational facilities for children etc.  I may not be able to convince, however, I am keen to roll up my sleeves to say it to my dear countrymen, who have permanently moved abroad: “Come Back, this country shall overcome one day”. In this time of moral, economic and social crisis, Pakistan is calling you.

This is the saddest fact to accept that the various Governments in Pakistan have failed so far to provide you the best of financial support, social security along with family protection as per your needs, level of skills, knowledge and intellect. However, it is a fact that the brave individuals and nations manifest their highest potentials in the times of hardships and crisis, experienced by their countries. If Pakistan has got many problems, it can be taken as a challenge that there is still a big margin to work for betterment, and to build this country on the motto of self-sufficient standing and global integrity coupled with respect and esteem.

Let  me share with you all, who have crossed the seas, that the employment opportunities in the countries of your destinations have almost drained out the maximum of technical skills and knowledge from Pakistan, and this country is left  mainly on mercy of unchangeable, bureaucratic, immobile & stubborn “craftsmanship” , family politics, feudalism and in-tolerable religious groups, who consider themselves as eternal champions of running this state; a state which unfortunately have continuously been skinned off  by them & their unsung allies ever since Mr. M. A. Jinnah left us in journey in 1948.

It is unfortunate that since then, in most government institutions, mainly flattering of the chief works for undue rewards of undeserving people and undue punishment of hard working professionals, who hardly have time to flatter and are humble enough not to praise themselves. Time has come to change this culture, once and forever.

There is no doubt that the foreign remittances are important, but these are temporary solutions only and bail out packages for deferring the main problems of the state of Pakistan. Instead, it would be far better if all of you would come back to contribute in building and changing the culture of the institutions of this country to places, where only hard and professional work would be rewarded.

Let me echo the words of Pakistan to you all, hoping that you could give a little heed to the voice of your mother land.

I am Pakistan, and this is very crucial time that I need you most. I am passing through hard times, both economically and politically, being constantly hit and wounded by the barbaric acts of terrorism. Come back to save me.

I am Pakistan, and to me your input is valuable for the stabilization of economy, and to regain my lost glory & paradise of peace, prestige and prosperity. My countrymen, if you have forgotten the words of Mr. M.A. Jinnah, listen to those of J.F Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country.” This is the time, when devastated and burning walls of AP School Peshawar are calling you to come back and help healing the wounds of millions of your countrymen.  This is the time, when my 25 million out of school children are waiting for you to come and help them exercise their basic human right for getting education.

I am Pakistan, and you may not know that recently, this year, I have become 3rd largest country of “Human Slavery” out of 167 countries in the world. Please come back to save me of this menace of slavery caused mainly by feudalism, which does not leave me since my birth. This is the time to forget about your mutual egos and distances, and to be united and serve for my survival for you and your generations. I am Pakistan, I gave you birth and provided you enough to breathe freely and to grow up, and I have never demanded you anything before. This is the time; I need you all to pay back your motherland. Come back and play your part in my revival.

I am Pakistan, and there are so many to hit me where it hurts, my image. This is the time for you to come back and help in restoring my positive image, which has been spoiled by monsters of extremism that use religion only to exploit and manipulate half of my innocent and uneducated population.

I am Pakistan, and my highly qualified engineers, who are serving abroad and building foreign institutions, are my valuable assets. You may not know that the load shedding is continuously spreading its shadows on the colors of my summers and springs. My once strong arms like Railway, P.I.A. and Pakistan Steel are getting weaker without you. This is the time to come back and strengthen my arms and help my summers be comfortable for the countrymen.

I am Pakistan, and this is the time to come back, my dear doctors, because every dying mother during child birth, after every 10 minutes, needs you back to save her life and that of her child. This is the time, when you need to come back and reunite your countrymen, divided in sects, groups, individual interests and socially unwanted segments.

I am Pakistan, and this the time for you, my sons and daughters, living abroad, to really understand that I am not in need of your dollars and pounds, but I need your presence for the larger benefits of the 200 million Pakistanis, who have contributed to your development, in one, or the other way.

I am Pakistan, and I promise you that, we together shall overcome someday. My government has already taken good initiatives like “President’s Programme for Care of Highly Qualified Overseas Pakistanis” (PPQP) to facilitate high level Pakistani professionals abroad for their placement in Pakistan, through short to long term technical assistance to avail benefits of their expertise.

I know that it is hard for you all to decide now, but can’t you give me a chance and listen once more: “The Country is Calling”.

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