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Pakistan working to tackle illegal immigration, enhance bilateral ties: Senate chairman

Monday, 29 December 2014

Muscat - The Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate has said that his country is working to curb illegal immigration, especially with respect to the Gulf. In an interview with Muscat Daily, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, also talked about measures to protect and promote welfare of Pakistan’s blue collar workers in the region.

Bokhari said, “Illegal immigration is an issue that concerns people around the world. And it also affects people who are deported as they pay a high fees. There are agents who give lucrative offers.”

He added, “This is an issue that needs more efforts from our side as well. We have serious punishments for people who engage in this. Pakistan is working towards this matter and slowly, its benefit will show.”

Bokhari met high-ranking Omani officials during his official visit to the sultanate and held talks focusing on strengthening bilateral ties and trade.

Bokhari also stated that better regulations could be discussed and initiated to protect and promote the welfare of blue collar workers in Gulf states.

He said, “Issues related to the welfare of our labour population that resides and works in the Gulf can be enhanced and decided bilaterally. Every country has its laws, and the issue of minimum wage for our blue collar workers can be dealt through a diplomatic channel as it has scope. I believe discussions are a way of initiating change, but it is important to reach a consensus.”

On the security situation in Pakistan, he said. “The biggest threat or challenge to Pakistan is terrorism. The Peshawar attack has haunted the nation. The government has taken a strong stance and the armed forces are fighting. I believe this is a challenge that is hampering the country’s development as it is difficult to attract foreign direct investment.

“It is also affecting Pakistan’s progress as a state. Gulf countries should realise that this issue, which started three decades ago, is still affecting us. Terrorism is not confined to a region, but to the whole world. All countries should play a collective role, if they can, in this regard.”

He said Pakistan was keen to enhance trade links with neighbouring and Gulf countries. “We look forward to opportunities from these countries. We have discussed the various possibilities. For instance, there is  a lot of potential in the energy sector. We have a shortage, but the government has taken steps. Solid projects have been initiated in Pakistan and these will have a positive impact on the economy,” Bokhari said.

 

Muscat Daily

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