Pak community in Oman bringing equal dividends to two economies
MUSCAT: The skilled manpower export from Pakistan to Oman has increased significantly in last three years with total remittances almost doubling to US dollar 287 million.
According to data available with Pakistan embassy in Muscat, the remittances have risen from US dollar 130 millions in 2005-06 with a skilled workforce from Pakistan comprising doctors, engineers and lecturers. Besides a large number of businessmen and labourers are acting as a bridge not only in cementing trade relations between the two coun- tries, but also bringing equal dividends to their economies.
Dr Abrar Ahmed Yusuf, a doctor from Lahore working as Anaesthetist at Muscat's Khoula Hospital, told APP that medical community from Pakistan was playing a vital role in Oman by rendering their duties at local hospitals.
He said that the Omani government and people had soft corner for Pakistanis due to the contribution these professionals were making to their health system. He said Pakistani paramedics were working diligently in Muscat and in Oman's far flung areas.
Dr Tahira Kazmi from Rawalpindi, working as Junior Consultant at the same hospital, said that there were about 1500 Pakistani doctors working in Oman, 160 of them being lady doctors. She said earlier Pakistani medical degree needed recognition in Oman. However due to efforts by Pakistan's College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Omani government had started accepting Pakistani doctors to work at their hospitals.
A Pakistani neurosurgeon Syed Osama Mehboob said that Pakistani doctors could now be seen working even in the remotest areas of Oman.
Oman is home to over 175,000 Pakistanis, majority of them working as labourers.
An interaction with labourer community in Muscat showed that the Pakistani manpower was contributing greatly to Oman's economy as a large number of construction companies heavily relied on them, and there was a huge demand for Pakistani welders and oil industry workers.
A labourer Khalid Hussain from Narowal working with Oman's shipping company, said there existed a vast potential for Pakistani manpower to explore trading areas mainly textiles, garments, bed ware, surgical equipment, sports goods and vegetables.
Haji Shahbaz, a scaffolding worker with a construction company in Muscat, said a large number of people from Balochistan were involved in trading activities between the two countries.
He said that the Pakistani labourers needed a skilled platform for their launch by the Pakistani companies to facilitate their adjustment in Oman's highly competitive system. Pakistan's Counsellor Immigration in Muscat, Khalid Mehmood told APP that besides proper immigration, there was also a large influx of illegal immigrants from Pakistan to Oman through maritime borders.
He said that the Federal Investigation Agency had enhanced check on the borders with an average of 500 to 600 illegal Pakistanis arrested per month. He said Pakistan was the only country whose repatriation cost for the illegal immigrants was borne by the Sultanate of Oman itself, who were treated as "victims not criminals", and sent back on humanitarian grounds. -App
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