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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis has decided to establish a subcommittee to examine whether or not expatriates have access to the facilities and welfare projects announced by the government for overseas Pakistanis.

The committee, chaired by Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, also recommended to the government to devise a comprehensive system to address the issues of overseas Pakistanis as they were the most precious assets as they send remittances.

The committee chairman stressed the need for protecting the rights of overseas Pakistanis and giving them awareness about their rights.

Earlier, a representative of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) informed the committee that the foundation has been providing a number of facilities to expatriates which include financial assistance, bringing the dead bodies to the country, establishment of special counters at airports and complaint cell.

He said that other steps taken by the foundation include establishment of courts to decide cases of expatriates without any delay.

The representative admitted that there were issues related to communication but because of advanced technology and social media it has become possible for the overseas Pakistanis to get access to the foundation.

Committee also discussed the issue related to Abdul Rehman, a Pakistani citizen who has been facing death penalty in Malaysia.

The committee was informed that Malaysian court had granted him death sentence in a murder case.

Now the only option is to file an appeal or submit a mercy petition. It was told that now family would decide whether it wants to go in appeal or file mercy petition.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019