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Irregular migrants – an impact on remittances

Every year billion of dollar or payment sent by overseas to their home countries. Over the last twenty years these remittances are being utilized for developmental activities and to sustain Pakistan economy. Remittance plays integral part in easing the current account deficit, providing balance of payment increase of export, labor force and market situation as well. Therefore remittances are referred as engine of economic growth.

In the month of July the Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted and shared good news for Pakistan economy that the remittances from overseas Pakistani reached $2,768 million in July 2020 that is much higher amount in the history of Pakistan economy. In July, Muslim countries Saudi Arabia showed highest amount of remittances $821.55 million and $538.19 million from UAE. State Bank of Pakistan recorded remittances of $443.13 million from Dubai, $393.91 from Abu Dubai and Sharjah. While other Gulf nations’ contributions were $296.95 million in which Bahrain contributed $42.62 million, $69.83 million from Kuwait, $82.49 million from Qatar and $102 million from Oman. Moreover, the remittances recorded from UK was $25.06 million and from US $88.29 million. While the remittances received from European countries included, Germany $35.34 million, France $32.99 million, Netherlands $45 million Spain $9.8 million, Italy $49.46 million, Greece $20.21 million, Sweden $4.85 million, Denmark $6 million, Ireland $12.25 million and Belgium $23.27 and from rest of the world Pakistan received $22.25 million from Malaysia, $10.91 from Norway, $2.83 million from Switzerland, $51.2 million from Australia, $43.13 million from Canada and $9.31 million from Japan.

These remittances are like a drop in ocean following Pakistan’s population. Many reasons are responsible which are eating our remittances. One of the major causes is illegal and undocumented migrant or Afghan refugees. Currently, international organization of migration IOM reported under the management of Boarder Monitoring team of the Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation (DORR) since 23-29 August 2020, total 18,615 undocumented Afghan refugee’s return from Iran through Nimroz (Milak) and Herat (Islam Qala) borders. In which 9,393 individuals returned voluntarily and 4,222 were deported. Out of 18,615 undocumented Afghan refugees only 7% (1,260) returnees were assisted that is much alarming. Before seven months ago Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed at World Economic Forum that “Pakistan is hosting world largest refugees’ population” and said “you can’t make your economy grow unless and until there is no peace and stability”.

 

Its time of change, as Pakistan receives annually IMF loan then passes next year budget. Our country has limited resources. It can’t generate much revenue due to rupees depreciation, lack of industry, political instability, corruption, terrorism and other economic challenges. Government should cut dresses according to own clothes. We should not further harbor Afghan refugees. Native people or citizens are dying due to competition, hunger, poverty and unemployment. Government should take strict measures against Afghan refugees. Government has providing CNIC or show proud of hosting Afghan refugees at front of international area. State did mistake. “Money doesn’t grow on trees”. “If Pakistan gave a finger to hold Afghan refugees want to hold the whole hand”. It’s a clear threat that destroying regional instability, national security food, insecurity, expands inflation, accumulation of ethnic and cultural discrimination and erasing secular type of democratic system. Refugees would not have legal identify and documentation due to this county is facing smuggling, over population, threat for regional integration or several boarder issues such as army conflict and guard death.

Our county should put up exclusive strategies, formulates effective mechanism, formation of state institutions that bound the remittance flow and that must be utilized only for native people through official channel. Moreover Emigration Ordinance 1979 should be implemented properly.

Government should stop hosting refugees, and need to perform strict checking of irregular migrants, ensure pathway for irregular migrants. Moreover, government should ensure migration procedure and established strict screening and assessments tools. Another way government authority should be accurate in time management during migration tenure.

Following these strategies will facilities to boost remittances and international investment that could reduce social issues, increase development, enhance qualification, reduce poverty, unemployment, eliminate all form of discrimination, economy trade deficit, increase job and also ensure social mobility, while strengthening of international cooperation will safe global partnership. There is need to strengthen the coordination between countries and region. Furthermore the most important is to built institutions that control transportation and accuracy in driver recruitment at boarders.

The author is a M.Phil research student, University of Karachi

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