Abolish NICOP for overseas Pakistanis in GCC countries

Recommends NA Standing Committee

National Assembly Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Rights Developments (OP&HRD) has recommended that the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) should be abolished for the overseas workers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development met here at Parliament House on Thursday. The meeting was presided over by Aisha whereas MNAs Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Syed Sajid Mehdi, Mian Najeebuddin Awaisi, Sabiha Nazir, Musarat Rafique Mahesar, Suraiya Jatoi, Sheikh Salahuddin, Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai, Nasir Khan and Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashdi Minister for Overseas Pakistanis & HRD attended the meeting, besides officials of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
The Committee also expressed the concern over the poor performance and arrangement by NADRA for Overseas Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia, as was observed recently during the visit of an official delegation from Ministry of HRD and Foreign Affairs.
The NA Committee pointed out the card was useless for Overseas Workers and NADRA is earning huge amount without any facilitation to them. Representative of Foreign Affairs Dr Irfan Yusuf Shami told the committee that sometimes NADRA officials charged for little errors in the NICOP.
He said that overseas workers were facing problems due to the NICOP and demanded to replace NICOP with the smart card, which they already had.
He said that Saudi Government last year deported over 52,000 Pakistanis who were working illegally in different cities. The NA body also criticized poor quality of language courses of Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) and National Training Bureau (NTB) as compared to NUML language courses and asked the concerned department to take step for improvement of language courses.
The committee said that government should take steps for the early release of 78 Pakistani prisoners detained in Saudi jails for minor crimes. The Qatari Government will recruit additional 100,000 skilled and unskilled Pakistani workers as was decided during the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Qatar in February, 2016.
The NA committee also urged that ministry to take steps for finalizing the arrangement to send workers to Qatar. The minister informed that the ministry have the data of over 0.7 million skilled and unskilled workers.
Pir Sadruddin said that only Punjab Government was taking interest in sending workers to Qatar but other provincial governments were apparently not giving the response to the federal government. He informed the Committee that newly appointed commercial welfare attaches were working effectively.
The Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) had sent 6189 Pakistani workers to Republic of Korea and 5742 to other countries during the last 10 years, he told. APP

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