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Scholarships and brain drain

Updated September 07, 2013

THE news is that many Pakistanis who went abroad for higher education at government expense have absconded. … Those who obtained scholarships worth Rs136m from the Higher Education Commission did not serve the country in violation of the agreement they had signed. As per the agreement, they were bound to serve in Pakistan for a certain period of time after becoming experts in their subjects.

There are many factors behind this. … The HEC financially helps a select number of students to get higher education abroad. While doing so an agreement is signed by the recipients of such scholarships that after completing their higher education they would serve in Pakistan for a certain period of time. The idea behind this … is that the country could take advantage of the talent of foreign-qualified people.

The government and the HEC fail to achieve this goal when those who go abroad for higher education at their expense … never return. … Thus foreign countries use their talent and the public money spent on them is wasted.

The psychological aspect of this tendency among the students enjoying scholarships to go missing is that basically [only] 1pc or 2pc of people in Pakistan are mentally attached to the country. The Pakistani mentality is to condemn America and at the same time continue to struggle for getting its green card. The conditions in Pakistan do not ensure them a better future; that is why all claims of patriotism and all attempts to create it fail. …

Foreign countries offer endless earning opportunities, allowing all to progress as per their capabilities whereas no chance is missed in Pakistan to elbow out talented people or to humiliate them. Here, key posts are given to the not-so-deserving on the basis of religion or clan. ...

The exodus of the educated from Pakistan [has been continuing] … for the past many years. It is necessary to create favourable conditions here to stop this. Otherwise this brain drain will accelerate. … — (Sept 4)

Selected and translated by Intikhab Hanif.