Pakistani manpower export to Saudi Arabia goes up by 207 percent

Foreign workers gather outside the Saudi immigration ministry in Riyadh on Nov. 4, 2013. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2019

Pakistani manpower export to Saudi Arabia goes up by 207 percent

  • A nominal growth of 1.7 percent was also recorded in the number of Pakistanis who found jobs in the UAE
  • Officials say Zulfi Bukhari held meetings in different countries to increase the number of Pakistani workers overseas

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development assisted over 258,000 Pakistanis to go to Saudi Arabia for prospective job opportunities in various sectors during the first 10 months of the year.
According to the data compiled by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, manpower export to Saudi Arabia registered a marked increase of 207 percent in 2019 as compared to last year when 84,091 Pakistanis went to the Kingdom.
Some 176,947 Pakistanis also found jobs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), exhibiting a nominal growth of 1.7 percent.
The number of Pakistani immigrants to Oman had also increased by 5.8 percent as 23,998 Pakistanis proceeded to the said country during the 10-month period as compared to 22,668 in the corresponding period of 2018.
An official source at the ministry told APP that the special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, had held consultations with the relevant authorities in different states to augment the number of Pakistani workers abroad.
He said that Zulfi Bukhari had formally requested the Saudi authorities to enhance the number of Pakistani workers in the multi-billion-dollar project, the New Taif City.
He said that Saudi Arabia had also extended an offer for Pakistan’s manpower export through “Musaned,” a digital platform launched by the Kingdom to facilitate labor recruitment process and ensure the protection of workers’ rights.
The process would take some months and after that the Pakistani workforce would be sent to Saudi Arabia through the online platform, he added.
The official said the ministry was also in the process of linking up its digital portal with the UAE to set up a direct link between its intending immigrants and foreign employers.
The initiative would eventually minimize the middle man’s role in the recruitment process, he added, and help the country train its workforce as per the international markets’ requirements.
He said the UAE ministry of human resources and Emiratization had offered to give access to its labor market’s database to Pakistan which would provide updated information of job opportunities in the UAE.
Sharing details of the recent visit of Zulfi Bukhari to Qatar, he said that the SAPM had held a fruitful meeting with Qatar’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Yousaf Mohamed-Al-Othman Fakhroo, and highlighted the potential of the Pakistani workforce.
Bukhari also urged the Qatari minister to expedite the public sector recruitment in the health and energy sectors.
During the meeting, the SAPM also emphasized the need for digital connectivity between the two ministries, which would make the recruitment mechanism more efficient.


Even the PM’s a fast bowler: Pakistan cricket’s need for speed 

Updated 13 min 8 sec ago

Even the PM’s a fast bowler: Pakistan cricket’s need for speed 

  • Pakistan have eight quicks in their 20-man squad for the three-Test series against England 
  • The production line is so consistent that when one player goes, another is ready to take over 

KARACHI: To understand the culture of fast bowling in Pakistan, look no further than Imran Khan — once a feared quick, and now the country’s prime minister.
Not all of Pakistan’s pacemen will fly so high, but Khan’s rise underlines a tradition where speed is king, and blistering pace is essential for any team.
As if to reinforce the point, Pakistan have eight quicks in their 20-man squad for the three-Test series against England, starting on Wednesday, ready to unleash their trademark pace and swing.
They carry the baton passed by predecessors such as Khan, left-arm great Wasim Akram and his destructive partner Waqar Younis, the unassuming Aaqib Javed, and Shoaib Akhtar, the feared “Rawalpindi Express” who is considered the fastest bowler in history.
The current generation includes the precocious Naseem Shah, still only 17, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz, and the accurate Mohammad Abbas.
The production line is so consistent that when one player goes, another is ready to take over — as seen in 2010 when Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, banned for spot-fixing, were replaced by Junaid Khan, Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil and Rahat Ali.
Even Amir’s decision to retire from Tests at just 27 did not slow Pakistan, as Shaheen became the spearhead and Naseem announced himself with a stunning Test hat-trick.
But the steady emergence of quicks — left-armers, right-armers, even one who is ambidextrous — raises an obvious question: how does Pakistan keep doing it?
Former fast bowler Sarfarz Nawaz, regarded as the pioneer of reverse swing in 1970s, said the factors included Muslim Pakistan’s meaty diet — unlike mainly vegetarian India, once known for its spinners.
“We are a nation obsessed with fast bowling,” Nawaz told AFP. “We eat meat which strengthens the body, we love wickets clattering and the batsman shivering so it’s natural that we produce fast bowlers.”


Nawaz passed on his reverse-swing skills to Khan under whose tutelage Wasim and Waqar became “The Two Ws,” a menacing partnership in the 1980s and 1990s.
Wasim said he followed Khan’s legacy, and that pace bowling matches the Pakistani mentality.
“I think it’s the culture (to become a fast bowler), especially this generation of Waqar and I and then Akhtar, we all had a role model in Khan,” he said.
“Generally, when we talk about cricket it’s mostly about the fast bowlers, they get batsmen caught napping. We are aggressive people in nature and that’s what helps.”
Wasim often holds camps to train emerging fast bowlers, swelling Pakistan’s ranks.
“When I came I always wanted to be a fast bowler and then a crop of fast bowlers came, and now we have Naseem, Shaheen, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa Khan who bowl at 140-150 kph (87-93 mph),” he said.
However, perhaps the most decisive factor is Pakistan’s legion of tape-ball players, who play in parking lots and disused patches of land using tennis balls wrapped in electrical tape to make them heavier, putting the onus on pace rather than spin.
Lahore Qalandars, a Pakistan Super League franchise which has been at the forefront of nurturing fast bowlers in recent years, received more than 350,000 applicants for their talent-hunt program — nearly half of them tape-ball players, including the ambidextrous pace marvel Yasir Jan.
“We give them platform in our development program and send them to Australia to hone their talent,” said head coach Aaqib Javed.
According to Wasim, fast bowling is so deeply ingrained that Pakistan’s stocks will never run out.
“Many natural resources will dry up, but not Pakistan bowling’s reservoirs,” he said. “Our fast bowling future is secure as they follow footsteps and run-ups.”