Pakistan to export technical human resources to KSA

Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, officials say that the demand for technical Pakistani staff for Saudi Arabia has increased recently. (AFP photo)
Updated 13 June 2018
0

Pakistan to export technical human resources to KSA

  • Demand for cinema and museum staff, mechanical, electrical, civil engineers increases in the Kingdom
  • About 5 million Pakistanis served in Saudi Arabia and 3.52 million in the UAE between 1971 to April 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan is set to export technical manpower to Saudi Arabia as the demand for technical staff increases in the Kingdom and other Gulf countries in public and private sector organizations.

Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development officials say that the demand for technical staff has been communicated to the corporation through the embassy of Pakistan.
“Our leading client in Saudi Arabia requires the services of workers for Cinema and Museum in the fields of museum conservator, museum registrar, accessibility in education specialist, evaluation and research specialist, public services, program delivery support, back of house (technical services), library computer technical support, technical services cataloguing and logistics, cameraman, parking attendant, security specialist, graphic designer,” states an advert on the corporation’s website.
“We have also received demand for engineers required in many sectors such as mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical processing and many more,” Javed Zafar Khan, OEC director of operations, told Arab News. “The number of workers would depend on the requirement of the employers,” he said.
He said that after completion of due process, the interview of selected candidates would be lined up either by the delegation of employers who visited Pakistan or it could be done on Skype.
In the 1970s Pakistan exported human resources mainly to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This increased to 2.08 million and 0.88 million respectively between 1971 to 2005 respectively, Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment figures show.
Some 5 million Pakistanis served in the Kingdom between 1971 to April 2018 while 3.52 million people were employed during the same period in the UAE.
After the Gulf War in the 1990s, workers started coming home and Pakistani workforces declined in the Middle East and other countries. However, exports to the Kingdom regained momentum and reached a record 0.52 million in 2015. It still remains the top destination for the Pakistani workforce.
Recent measures taken by the Kingdom, including taxation, forced many expats to return to their home countries.
“Many Pakistanis coming from Kingdom were those who were working illegally or those who could not afford to pay fees. Human resource export has declined not ended,” Javed Zafar Khan said. “We are ready to provide them quality manpower whenever and wherever is required.”
As Pakistani expats are coming back to their home country, steps are being taken to accommodate skilled and unskilled workers in the mega China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects which are estimated to offer around 700,000 direct jobs by 2030.
Many Pakistani organization in public and private sector are gearing up to increase the share of the Pakistani workforce in CPEC along with their Chinese counterparts. “EFP has announced Skills 2020 Pakistan. The EFP plans to provide skill development and vocational training to 200,000 over the next five years through top institutes. Our aim is to train at least 20,000 for overseas jobs,” Mayjid Aziz, president of the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan, told Arab News.
“We are in negotiations with the International Training Institute of ILO in Turin, Italy, for technical support. We have signed an MoU with AmanTech, and since the Skills Development Council is under the umbrella of EFP, we will utilize its facilities too. Moreover, Hunar Foundation and Descon Institute will also be approached,” Aziz said.
Pakistan largely depends on workers’ remittances to meet its external payment obligation. Currently the country is facing a historic high current account deficit, mainly due to the huge trade deficit which has increased to $34 billion and insufficient remittances.
Pakistanis expats sent home $17.5 billion during the last fiscal year FY17, while the country received $18 billion in 11 months of the current fiscal year, FY18, which suggest that the remittance target of $20.7 billion would not be achieved.


Tension builds in row over women’s entry into Hindu temple in Kerala

In this file photo taken on October 18, 2018 Indian Hindu devotees are pictured at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in the southern state of Kerala. (AFP)
Updated 13 November 2018
0

Tension builds in row over women’s entry into Hindu temple in Kerala

  • Hindu women demand their right of religious freedom as 41-day festival approaches
  • Kerala polarized over female entry into the hilltop temple

NEW DELHI: Tension in the air as Sabarimala Hilltop temple in the South Indian state of Kerala is being prepared to open on Nov. 17 for a 41-day Hindu festival.
The tension pertains to the entry of females between the ages of 10 to 50 into the ancient temple of Ayyappa, a deity who devotees believe is celibate and abhors the entry into the temple of women of marriageable age.
The Indian Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment in the last week of September, laid down a rule that bars the entry of young women into the temple. This led to a severe protest across the state, with women being stopped forcefully from entering the temple.
Last month, when the temple opened for six days, at least 12 women tried to enter the hillside temple but a violent crowd blocked their passage, with police looking helpless. At least 560 women in the barred age group have enrolled for the annual pilgrimage that starts in less than a week.
“We are taking all kinds of steps to see that devotees can pay their obeisance to the deity in a peaceful manner,” S. Sreejith, the Kerala inspector general of police, told Arab News.

Political mileage
Before coming to the temple, devotees observe celibacy for 41 days and avoid all kinds of meat and alcohol. They also don black robes for the period.
“The soul of any temple is the deity inside. The deity Aayyappa is a bachelor and that’s why the entry of young women is regulated in the temple,” says Rahul Easwar, a Hindu right-wing activist with close links to the Sabarimala temple.
Talking to Arab News, Easwar said: “We will never say anything against the Supreme Court. We are fighting for our rights to believe and our rights to have our own faith.”
However, women rights activist Kavita Krishnan claimed that “the entire controversy is clearly politically manufactured by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”
The BJP is looking for political mileage in Kerala — the state where it is a small marginal player,” added Krishnan, secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association.
She pointed out that “the entire debate is concocted. It is well known that women’s entry was allowed until the 1990s, and it was stopped upon a court order. The Supreme Court order has only undone that order.”
The local government of Kerala, a coalition of communist parties, supports women’s entry into the temple.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a news conference on Saturday, said: “Opposition to changes in customs is quite natural. But there is no going back. Toilets, bathing facilities and accommodation facilities at Nilakkal will be set up for women devotees. The current crisis is temporary.”
K. Surendran of the BJP, however, said: “This is a matter of belief and the court should not interfere. Why does the court not interfere in the affairs of other minority religions?”
The BJP spokesperson in Kerala told Arab News: “The women who want to enter the temple are not devotees but activists. They are not believers.
“The local government is trying to polarize the issue by supporting women’s entry because it wants to gain the support of other religious minorities,” added Surendran.
Sandhya Acharya, a woman devotee who has registered to go to the Sabarimala temple, told Arab News that there is an “attempt to deny entry to women by calling them activists.
“Why should there be discrimination in the house of God in the name of gender?” she asked.
Rajesh Krishnan, a Kerala-based activist and intellectual, said: “The whole issue has polarized the society in Kerala. The issue has become all the more vicious after the BJP entered the debate and saw it as an opportunity to win over the people and make an entry into the southern Indian state.”
Around 42 review petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court and Tuesday the Apex court will decide whether it should revisit its judgment or not.