Overseas Pakistanis and their role in growth of Pakistan has always been appreciated by present government of PTI under premiership of Mr. Imran Khan. Recently Overseas Pakistanis got a right to vote, which was largely opposed by Opposition parties of Pakistan including PPPP and PMLN. These two parties have ruled Pakistan for several years and never were able to address the concerns of millions Pakistanis living outside Pakistan few in inexplicably miserable conditions. However Prime Minister Imran Khan has made their issues his priority. One example is how he always mentioned Pakistanis in Saudi Jails to Saudi Prince.
I have lived in England for last 50 years. My city has small Pakistani community consist of Factory owner, Doctors, Professors and not forgetting Taxi drivers and manual workers. These people have different problems depending on the nature of jobs they do and generally Visa, ID Card, Approval of Power of Attorney to send it back home. Dealing with High Commission London and its branches in Birmingham, Manchester and in Scotland was very difficult: in past times PML-N and PPPP governments, as a policy matter they never paid attention to what the biggest contributing factor in Pakistan’s exchequer always had faced and needed. Staff attitude was rude and unhelpful. Telephonic conversations were out of question, delays in work was so common that one had to wait for hours and days to approve paper work from High Commission.
However the way present government’s interest has changed the way things used to be for overseas Pakistanis is paving mile stones towards gradual betterment. First time in the history of my stay; communication has not only been made easier but improving with every passing day. Recently I have started to receive Emails from High commission of Pakistan working in UK with news updates on monthly basis. First time ever, Pakistani Foreign Services have shaken up themselves to organize overseas operations, particularly in UK.
Staff at commission is more approachable with remarkably improved services & pleasantries. NICOP & ID Card department is astonishingly cooperative, helpful & efficient since August 2018. New overseas Pakistani ID Cards are usually delivered at home Address with in 2 weeks (earlier it used to take months). It took me one and half hours to drive to Birmingham on my own vehicle, for the approval of Power of Attorney. And Wah! to my surprise it took total 10 minutes to complete the paper work and enquiry about Identification. What a great improvement, all credit to present Government and their policies of treating Pakistanis as human. My heart happily agreed to vote for PTI government in next elections. In sha Allah!!
Representative offices of a country in other countries are meant to protect the rights of its nationals residing there and addressing their complaints urgently. In this regard consulate offices are taking special interest by listening to the complaints of UK based Pakistanis and a system is set up to rectify the causes of complaints. Interestingly upon contacting the consulate offices if the telephonic lines/staff are engaged; we are asked to drop the call back details; a pleasant surprise was when contacted promptly by officials.
Extending their cooperation: I have received an Email from Pakistan High Commission saying that Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be launching a pilot scheme where he himself will be available for overseas Pakistanis via Audio Visual link to listen live to overseas Pakistanis problems. The High Commissioner for Pakistan would preside ( Khuli Kachahri) to listen to the complaints. This service commenced on 16th of June 2021. This is the first time in history of Pakistan that we are not being left on mercy of God but being taken care of Government of Pakistan. A special Thanks to Imran Khan and his vision.
In end I must thank UK High commissioner H.E Mr. Moazzam Ahmad Khan, whos personal interest made things easy.