Ambassador-designate to Saudi, OPF chairman discuss overseas Pakistanis issues

BE2C2 Report — Pakistan’s Overseas Pakistanis Foundation Chairman Barrister Amjad Malik said on Friday he met with ambassador-designate to Saudi Arabia, Vice Admiral (retd) Khan Hasham Bin Sidddique in Islamabad and exchanged views on ongoing efforts by the mission and consulate to facilitate Pakistanis seeking assistance under the 90-day amnesty scheme announced by the Kingdom last week.

Matters pertaining to appointment of law-and-language-knowing Legal Counselor in the missions also came under discussion, Mr. Malik told BE2C2.

The OPF in concert with the mission are also gearing up to provide services to Pakistanis working in remote areas of Saudi Arabia such as NADRA registration fee, issuance of NICOP, starting of NADRA Mobile Surgeries, Mr. Malik added.

The Foundation plans to set up “OPF School” in the Kingdom and other locations, to accommodate children of Pakistani expatriates and provide them best educational services, he said.

“The foundation has also approved Rs. 100 million for scholarships for children of overseas Pakistanis besides granting approval of Rs. 30 million for internship program for children of Pakistani expatriates, Mr. Malik added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif considers overseas Pakistanis as an asset for the country and provision of maximum facilities to Pakistani expatriates is top priority of the present government, the statement said.

While talking to the Ambassador-designate who called on him at his office at OPF Head Office in the capital, Barrister Malik exchanged views on his recent visit of Saudi Arabia along with Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and shared recommendations approved by the OPF Board of Governors.

Both dignitaries vowed to coordinate their efforts to provide assistance and to resolve issues faced by Pakistani expatriates residing in Saudi Arabia, the statement added.

The OPF head assured the Ambassador-designate his full cooperation to provide assistance to detained Pakistani workers in the Kingdom and enhance Pakistan’s soft image besides seeking investment for Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia is the preferred destination for Pakistani workers due to heavy demand and religious affinity. Over 2.5 million Pakistanis work in the Kingdom and have been sending the highest amount of remittances home — a position held since more than two decades.

Last fiscal year (July 205-June 2016) total remittances from the Kingdom to Pakistan touched $6 billion mark.

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