Are Non-Resident Pakistanis Loyal?
The dilemma of resident Pakistanis being more loyal to their country than non resident Pakistanis seems to be going on forever. It has become so authoritative that it has even breached our assemblies.
Already enough has been said and written on the issue, but we don't seem to come out of this rhetoric.
Are the non-resident Pakistanis patriotic? If they are so loyal why did they contribute to the brain drain of the country? Do they have any intention of giving back to their native country? It's just the matter of getting citizenship, and then they'll not even refer to themselves as Pakistanis. Well, these are some of the questions and comments I'm sure every overseas Pakistani would've come across at some point in their lives.
Do they really mean anything or are they just a squawk of frustration from the ones who couldn't immigrate? That is entirely a separate story and I definitely wouldn't get into this ho-hum controversial discussion.
My first argument to anybody who doubts my patriotism is whether being a non-resident makes me any less Pakistani than them? For me it's a pretty simple equation, it's not a requisite that you can only love someone or something when you're available in person. It can be a bonus but definitely not necessary. I acknowledge that people in Pakistan are facing all the abysmal circumstances first hand and they need a pat on the back for that, but does that give them the right to accuse the non-residents of treason?
I admit that people migrate to greener pastures for their personal motives and I don't see any harm in that. But in the process of migrating they take a piece of their native land with them. And as a result we have got robust, dedicated and patriotic Pakistani communities all over the globe, contributing to their newly adopted countries as well as being heavily involved in Pakistani affairs.
Pakistan always witnesses huge support from the Pakistani community in daunting times, be it the earthquake, floods or general aid. We like any other Pakistani celebrate the Independence Day.
We also feel proud on the Defence Day. We have the same Eid gatherings like any other household in Pakistan. We do social work for the community just for the sake of helping fellow Pakistanis. In short, we've kept everything about Pakistan alive while integrating with other cultures. The way I see it is that we represent Pakistan in the broader sense. The westerners would always see two faces of Pakistan, the one in the media and the other one, the more gentler and well-disposed of a Pakistani community.
Wouldn't that count as giving back to Pakistan?
According to a study by the World Bank, Pakistan lies at number seven in the list of top immigrating countries and lies at number eleven in the list of top remittance receiving countries. According to a different source Pakistan lies in at five in the list of top remittance receiving countries. According to a report by International Monetary Fund, the flow of workers' remittances to Pakistan has more than quadrupled in the last nine years.
The importance of incoming remittances was duly accredited by the government of Pakistan and for that matter they even set up a structure in Pakistan for remittance facilitation called Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) with the help of State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Oversees Pakistanis and Ministry of Finance.
The mere reason to quote all this data is to prove that the so called non-resident, non-patriotic Pakistanis are still one of the biggest contributors to the Pakistani GDP, which is in a tattered state and needs all the help it can muster. Wouldn't this count as giving back to Pakistan?
If all this is not patriotism, Allah may know best what is. We are proud Pakistanis and nobody can take that from us. We represent all that is good in Pakistan, and all that Pakistan stands for. For our entire remaining lives we'll always refer to ourselves as Pakistanis, there lies our roots and it will always stay that way. Neither can we separate ourselves from Pakistan nor can Pakistan distant itself from us. We were destined to be a Pakistani, a fact that we wear on our sleeves. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD. overseas pakistanis www.pakpositive.com