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Brain Drain from Pakistan

23 February, 2006

By Syed A. Mateen


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Our leaders often deliver lengthy speeches in number of seminars, that are held from time to time in various parts of the country on the subject of brain drain, but no positive steps have been taken as yet by the government of Pakistan to stop the brain drain, or even our government have not asked Pakistani students to return back and serve their country by offering proper jobs according to their qualifications.

One of the reasons of brain drain is that when Pakistani students go abroad for under-graduate or post-graduate studies, they become so much involved in their studies, that it becomes more or less practically impossible for them to keep in touch with their parents, relatives and friends, except in rare cases, when they have an access to the internet and read some online national newspapers.

Our diplomatic missions abroad also have no knowledge about the exact number of students who are studying abroad. Moreover, our diplomatic mission does not take any pain to register these students in their official records.

Pakistan`s diplomatic missions are unaware of the fact that how many students are studying in which foreign country? In case of any emergency, our diplomatic missions will not be able to extend any help to these students.

Pakistan embassies and consulates should have full knowledge about these students and should update their records from time to time. They are supposed to send newsletters to these students studying in various foreign countries. Most of our students are presently unaware about the positive developments that are taking place in Pakistan in their absence.

I would like to emphasize on the point that while our diplomatic missions celebrate "Independence Day" abroad, they should make it a point that in addition to other guests, Pakistani students should also receive proper invitation card, so that they should remain in contact with our diplomatic missions abroad, and at the same time these students should also get the opportunity to meet with foreign dignitaries.

The money which Pakistani students earn by taking part-time jobs in foreign countries to pay their tuition fee, accommodation charges and other living expenses do not permit them to meet the expense of normal return airfare, whenever these students get a chance to visit Pakistan during the holidays.

With the passage of time, our students become more accustom to the traditions, customs and culture of the foreign countries, and at the end of the day, these students who go to foreign countries, in order to acquire better knowledge, skills and research based work, finally do not return back to Pakistan.

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) also do not offer travel concession on international routes to Pakistani students studying abroad and charge full fare to these students, whereas, our national carrier offer discount to such students who travel on domestic routes.

I would request the Chairman of PIA Mr.Tariq Kirmani, who has recently taken several dynamic steps by revising PIA`s tariff, to help out Pakistani students who are presently studying abroad in under-graduate and post-graduate programmes, by amending PIA`s existing policy on students airfare.

PIA should devise a "student`s friendly policy" and should allow a 50% discount for all students of Pakistani origin on international routes on the normal airfare, so that overseas Pakistani students should get an opportunity to regularly visit Pakistan during the holidays. This will enable the Pakistani students to meet with their parents, relative and friends and at the same time they will also be able to maintain close ties with their country of origin.

End.

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