ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis has been merged with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, a Senate panel learned on Monday.
A meeting of the Senate’s standing committee on overseas Pakistanis, presided over by Mohammad Ali Rind, was informed that the two ministries had been merged as part of the PML-N government’s austerity measures.
The committee was informed that most of the people affected by the Iraq-Kuwait war had been paid their dues with bank profit, but some cases were still pending.
It was also told that the right to vote for expatriate Pakistanis had been accepted and after approval of the decision by the federal cabinet they would be able to cast their vote in next elections.
Last year, overseas Pakistanis sent foreign exchange worth $14 million. Offices have been opened in 26 countries and community welfare attaches have been appointed in 18 countries to facilitate expatriates, the committee was informed. Several housing schemes are being executed in 12 big cities of the country for them.
The committee was informed that 23 schools and two colleges had been functioning for children of overseas Pakistanis, and a school and a vocational institute were being set up in Peshawar for the children of expatriates belonging to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
The meeting took notice of robberies and extortion of overseas Pakistanis on their visit to Pakistan and accepted a proposal for establishing speedy trial courts to dispose of such cases.
Maulvi Abdul Sattar, a member of the committee, emphasised the need for providing more jobs to the people of Balochistan.