Over 832,339 people emigrated from Pakistan last year due to economic instability and insecurity.

Shaheen Afridi

Over 800,000 youths emigrated from Pakistan in search of better opportunities last year.

Pakistan economic situation has been in downward spiral for past some years, which is fueling the exodus from the country. Immigration Bureau’s figure show that last year, more than 832,339 people, majority of them youth, left Pakistan in search of better employment. Dwindling economic opportunities, uncertain economic and political situation the main drivers which are forcing people to seek employment abroad.

Khushal Khan, a resident of Khyber told TNN that the country’s economic situation and growing insecurity forced him to leave his country in search of greener pastures. “I took this decision for my children better future and family financial prospects,” he said. Khushal recently visited a local travel agent in Peshawar for journey arrangements and his headed one of Gulf countries.

“I first tried to find a job without any luck and then tried business which failed to take off,” he said. He said that it was running a good business in KP and Pakistan was a dream. “I am going to Gulf, where my brother and other relatives are currently employed,” he said.

Stories of exodus

Khushal is not alone in saying good bye to his mother land, rather, thousands others like him are trying to leave their homes. Hamidullah, an agriculture graduate from Mardan while Muneeb Shah, a political science graduate from Dir, are also preparing to depart for Gulf to work as laborers.

“I thought that Pakistan is an agricultural country and chose this field to serve my country in the field of agriculture, but everything turned out to be the opposite,” Hamidullah said. He said that finding a job related to his education was not next to impossible.

On the other hand, Muneeb said that Pakistan spend money on education of its youth, but foreign countries from benefiting due to youth emigration. “I have kids and family and it is difficult to migrate in such situation but I have no other options,” he said.

In 2022 exodus was highest in seven years

Bureau of Immigration report states that in 2022, a total of 832,339 people migrated from Pakistan, which was highest in seven years.

Among those left Pakistan last year were 5534 engineers, 18,000 electrical engineers, 2500 doctors, 2000 computer operators, 6500 accountants, 2600 agriculturalists, 900 teachers, 12,000 computer science graduates and 621 technologists. Besides, 213,000 unskilled workers also choose to leave their home.

Syed Wazir, a Peshawar based travel agent, told TNN that those immigrating from KP, mostly belonged to tribal areas and other backward areas.

“Most of youths who go abroad work as laborers; however, only lucky few find jobs related to their field,” he said. Besides, he said that many of those leaving Pakistan have also relatives abroad; therefore, they easily choose to go.

However, economic instability was driving youth to seek emigration abroad, which was alarming.

Pakistan is fifth most populous country and about 64pc of its population comprised of youth. Labor Force Survey stated that the educated youths were facing difficulties in finding jobs. Besides about 40pc of the population was unemployed.

Poor economic situation of the country together with dwindling foreign exchange reserves of only US $ 3.7 billion and insecurity are forcing people to seek employment aboard even at low wages.

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