Qatari officials have informed Pakistan that the Visa Facilitation Centres in Karachi and Islamabad will be fully operational by the end of December.
A Qatari delegation led by Director Management of Recruitment Support Services, Major Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhanadi met Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, Especial Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources, at his office.
During the meeting, the dignitaries discussed Qatar’s proposal of offering 100,000 jobs to Pakistanis.
The delegation informed Bukhari that establishment of Visa Facilitation Centres would accelerate the visa process adding that the employers will pay the fees incurred during the process. It said that Pakistani workers would be protected under the wages protection system of Qatar.
Major Abdullah said they had directed Qatari recruitment agencies to pursue 100,000 jobs drive and hire more and more Pakistani labor.
He said the agencies would organize workshops to hire the skilled labor from Pakistan.
Bukhari suggested forming a joint working team that could categorize Pakistani labor on the basis of skills. The team will also help to systemize the hiring process and make it smoother from both ends, he proposed.
PM Assistant requested to create more jobs besides the previous proposal of 100,000 jobs to adjust Pakistani labor returning from Saudi Arabia.
He also suggested the delegation to establish Visa Facilitation Centre in Peshawar and Lahore.
The delegation assured Bukhari that they will bring up the matter with their government and will revert back soon.
Major Abdullah also extended an invitation to the PM Assistant to visit Qatar.
FM Al-Thani had in a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month offered 100,000 jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers from Pakistan.
The prime minister recalled the growth in Pakistani exports to Qatar and hoped for further growth in bilateral trade. The trade between the two countries had increased by 104 per cent to about $1.6 billion in 2017 from $782 million in 2016.
Mr Khan invited Qatari investment in all sectors of Pakistan’s economy, especially in agriculture, livestock and energy.
Mr Al-Thani earlier met Foreign Minister Qureshi at the Foreign Office.
Meeting with business leaders
Prime Minister Khan also held a meeting with the office-bearers of different chambers of commerce and industry at the PM Office. He said the previous governments had played havoc with the country by putting it under heavy foreign debts and ruining institutions.
“Previous governments have not only plunged the country into quagmire but also ruined its institutions,” the prime minister said.
On the occasion, the business community presented cheques for Rs92m to the prime minister for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Mr Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had inherited several challenges and problems from the previous regimes that could be overcome only with the support of people and the business community.
He said that because of faulty policies of the previous government, many big institutions like the Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Railways were running in billions of rupees of losses. “Even the enemy does not do so what the previous government had done with the country. Our country does not lack resources, but the previous regimes have committed unprecedented robbery.”
The prime minister said that millions of rupees were found in the bank accounts of poor vendors and even those who died, adding that the nation was suffering from the wrongdoings of the former rulers. He was of the view that no doubt the country was passing through the worst economic crisis, but the nation had the ability to fight back and rid the country of the present situation. “We have many avenues which can generate billions of dollars.”
PM Khan said the government could tackle the problem of money laundering if all overseas Pakistanis sent their remittances through legal banking channels.
Meanwhile, the prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the performance of different ministries and his forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.
According to the Foreign Office, Mr Khan will leave for Riyadh next week on the special invitation of King Salman bin Abdel Aziz to participate in the “Future Investment Initiative” conference scheduled for Oct 23-25.