ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis Tuesday formed a sub-committee to devise a strategy for sensitizing the Pakistani Diaspora about the modus operandi being opted for their welfare initiatives.
The sub-committee will not only review the measures being taken for the expatriates by the departments working under the auspices of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development but also give recommendations to make them familiar about their welfare initiatives.
The body was met here with Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, who convened the meeting in place of chairman committee Hilal-ur-Rehman, in the chair to evaluate the performance of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF).
Describing the Pakistani Diaspora as the country’s precious asset Shaheen Khalid said the protection of their rights and better provision of facilities to them was the responsibility of the state.
He said the efficiency of OPF could be improved by informing this community about their rights and facilities offering by their motherland.
OPF Managing Director (MD) Dr. Amir Sheikh apprised the committee that the foundation was taking numerous steps for the expatriates including financial assistance in the welfare sector, facilitation counter at national airports, repatriation of expired overseas Pakistanis, the establishment of fast-track courts for swift grievance redressal and others.
He said the OPF was embracing modern technologies and using social media to ensure connectivity between the government and the Pakistani Diaspora, admitting that a communication gap still exists between them.
The Secretary Overseas division briefed about the punishment status of Abdur Rehman, a Pakistani national, who was facing a death sentence on the order of Malaysian Supreme Court. He said the government could either apply for Royal apology or file a review petition in Malaysia for his acquittal, adding it was the choice of convict’s family to go for any available option. Abdur Rehman’s father was also invited to the committee to present his son’s case before the committee.