LARGE numbers of the Pakistani populace have already migrated to distant lands due to various reasons, among which poverty and unemployment are the most fundamental.
European countries and the Middle East have reached their saturation points in terms of employment. Further, a high cost of living and other associated expenditures make things rather difficult for migrants which force them to remain in their native countries.
Six decades ago immigrants, despite belonging to different areas of the subcontinent, were largely labourers and workers that migrated for satisfying the labour needs of developed nations as their own populations could no longer satisfy this need.
Migration continues, but the trends have changed. There is a massive shift as the immigrant - receiving nations have altered their needs according to their national interests. Over the past 30 years, immigration has emerged as a major force throughout the world.
In traditional immigrant - receiving societies, such as Australia, Canada and the United States, the volume of immigration has grown and changed its composition to include skilled workers in all categories.
Pakistan is fast losing its educated people due to fancy packages and dreams of a prosperous life offered by immigrant - receiving countries. But perhaps our authorities do not really mind. The statement by the former prime minister that he doesn’t care is perhaps the voice of all those at higher echelons.
Perhaps it’s not just the money that is important for our educated youth. It’s perhaps the sense of hopelessness that we see a brain-drain in the country. There is surely no place like home, a fact that one realises after one is dislocated. Displacement and exile are most traumatic. Although people are more connected today through mobile phones and the internet, the trauma is considerably less.
This ought to be an eye-opener for us. The Pakistani authorities ought to devise a policy to curb this brain-drain so that the country may benefit from educated and highly-skilled people.
DR NIDA SHAMI Canada