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Date Posted: 21:50:27 08/31/07 Fri
Author: Javed
Subject: NON RESIDENT OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS

By Javed – 01 January 2007

Since two decades every government claimed more care and welfare for Overseas Pakistanis but practically in fact did nothing except always increasing the length of personal baggage allowance. At present eg there is Gold and Silver Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (OPs). Reading of relevant pamphlets shows an unending list of privileges and incentives but in one sitting with his cool mind it will dawn on him that except for a free passport once in 5 years (Rs. 300 per year incentive) practically there is nothing. It is just like the much sloganed free Zoo and Gardens entry for senior citizens. Though there can be written hundreds of pages on this subject but only one quotation I think would be suffix. The powerless Public Accounts Committee which in my personal view is doing much better work than the mighty National Accountability Bureau four years back remarked that our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Manpower & Overseas Pakistanis and Overseas Pakistanis Foundation has no interest with Overseas Pakistanis whereas India has created a lot of facilities for its non residents.

In the name of Overseas Pakistanis just to fool them lot of complaint cells, special cells this and that are opened which in fact do nothing but to provide jobs to some dear ones. Overseas Pakistanis Foundation established on purely the expense of Overseas Pakistanis fees just works as a post office and in a spiritless manner merely forward the OPs problems and complaints to concerned department just saying attached herewith is a complaint for your necessary action. Then OPF forgets it. Though in documents Pakistani Missions abroad too care for Ops problems back in home but with but what attention and care can be judged from one example. When I was abroad I saw a letter having been written by the Pakistan Embassy there to an authority in Pakistan saying herewith is a complaint received by us from late Mohammad so and so. Dead Pakistanis started sending complaints? Overseas Pakistanis have been taken as if they are pulling money from trees. Nawaz Sharif as PM raised the slogans that those Pakistanis who have got foreign nationality are our family. They can come any time. Pakistan is their home. They can buy property, they can invest. But same Nawaz Sharif within 2/3 months levied a new heavy fee to such Pakistanis under the label of Pakistan Origin Cards renewable on heavy fee every two years. If those having obtained foreign nationality are still our “family brothers”, then why a family member should pay a heavy fee for entering into his own home Nawaz Sharif could not answer.

Punjab Government created many years back an Overseas Pakistanis Complaint Cell http://punjab.gov.pk/occ/Overseas_Complaints_Cell.html http://punjab.gov.pk/Overseas_complaints_Cell.html. According to this web site a Dy. Secretary from General Administration (G&D) was assigned to attend to complaints from Overseas Pakistanis on immediate priority basis. As far as I know an On Line Web Complaint Form was provided (disappointed since many years I have not visited this site again). Or alternatively Overseas Pakistanis could address their complaints against any Punjab Government Department through email at overseascomplaints@yahoo.com and overseacomplaints@hotmail.com I addressed this complaint cell for two years on a matter never ever to get any response whatsoever. Frustrated one day I destroyed all my complaint record to this Cell.

Three days back I was watching an international channel where a documentary was being shown. The topic was the Complaint Cell the Indian Punjab Government has established for its non residents. I could not believe when the European lady compare was telling complaints to this Cell situated at Indian Punjab Capital can be addressed merely on phone or fax whereas our Banking Ombudsman says complaints through email will not be entertained. Then why costly email system has been obtained for his secretariat no body can give answer. The Documentary showed the Indian Complaint Cell handles cases even concerning property and murder without calling the complainants to India and have got their occupied properties vacated from illegal occupation. Out ombudsman system today created for cheap justice today asks an overseas Pakistanis complainant to come for a Hearing which costs him Rs 50,000 from middle east and Rs. 100,000 minimum from Europe even though the matter involved could be just of Rs. 2000 excessive bills. A friend of mine who worked with me abroad whenever sends me Eid card writes on it thank you for saving my Rs. 39,500/- He sent Rs. 500 draft to a department but the department did not do the work. When I introduced him with lot of praises the ombudsman system he made a complaint. The ombudsman office asked him to come for a hearing. He threw the hearing notice on my face, got a new Bank Draft of Rs. 500 and sent it again to the concerned department and got the job done. He always laughed on me that using my wisdom he could had lost Rs. 40,000 on travel with no surety of justice but using his own wisdom he saved Rs. 39,500

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