ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development on Friday failed to provide complete report of National Assembly members’ views about the Emigration (Amendment) Bill, 2020 at the Senate standing committee meeting.

The bill was approved by the National Assembly and later moved in the Senate.

The Senate Standing Committee on Oversees Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, which met here with Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar in the chair, showed their displeasure on the incomplete working papers provided by the ministry.

Senator Sherry Rehman said a bill could not be approved without taking into consideration the approved report of the National Assembly Standing Committee and views of the members of the National Assembly.

In the meeting, the bill titled the ‘Emigration (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ was referred to the committee by the House on June 3, 2021.

Senator Shahadat Awan also raised objections to the legal points of the bill. He raised objection in the amendment of Section 2, ordinance XVIII of 1979, on the substituting the words “Federal Government”, with the words “Prime Minister or a person authorised by him”.

The committee chairman directed the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to ensure provision of all relevant documents in the next meeting.

Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar deferred the bill for further consideration and deliberation until the committee meets again.

The committee members also reviewed a public petition regarding a Pakistani national, Junaid Aslam, being held without proper pay by his employer in Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Secretary Ishrat Ali informed the committee that Junaid Aslam could not be traced in Saudi Arabia. The official also informed the committee that Junaid Aslam had been issued a new passport on June 15, 2021.

Senator Shahadat Awan inquired about the procedure of repatriating the expatriate from Saudi Arabia.

The committee members were of the opinion that according to the report on the public petition, Junaid Aslam, was still missing. The committee disposed of the petition with the recommendations that periodic update on the case may be provided to its members.

Senator Fawzia Arshad raised the issue of blacklisting of oversees Pakistanis by the United Arab Emirates.

She said several Pakistanis even those born in Dubai were not being issued visas and had been blacklisted for life.

Senator Fawzia urged the ministry to address this issue. The officials of the ministry said that no such information had been conveyed through official channels, but committed to looking into the cases pointed out by the senator, with periodic reports to the committee.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2021

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