President’s Message for Highly Qualified Overseas Pakistanis (15th July, 2009)
My Dear Pakistanis, This year in May, I spoke about launching a programme for highly qualified Pakistanis in New York City. I announced that I want to see a modern Pakistan, where the benefits of knowledge flow to all sections of the society. I am very happy to announce today the launch of President’s programme for care of highly qualified Pakistanis (PPQP). PPQP will provide all relevant information and assistance to potential overseas Pakistani workers, and also operate an interactive website through which online registration facility will be provided to highly qualified Pakistanis throughout the world. Through this programme we aim to address the ill-effects of brain drain and prevalent world wide recession.

This is a pioneering effort and I hope this programme will in the long run help to develop skilled human capital for Pakistan. Over the last few decades thousands of Pakistanis have left their country in pursuit of higher education or better employment opportunities abroad. For various economic, social and historical reasons, however, many chose to settle abroad resulting in creating “brain drain” depriving the country of much needed talents and skills. Many of these expatriates possess a strong sense of belongingness and respect for the country and desire to contribute in the development of their homeland. I deeply appreciate our Pakistani brothers and sisters working abroad.

They have been a source of great strength to the country and they play an important role in Pakistan’s economy. It is our sincere desire to create a framework which will provide profitable opportunities for overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan’s progress. It is also our sincere desire to benefit from the vast reservoir of business, technological, managerial and entrepreneurial skills represented by overseas Pakistanis. We seek to encourage in every possible way our links and our relations with overseas communities of Pakistan origin.
The state of the economy calls for difficult decisions and bold actions, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for economic stabilization and growth. We will build new dams, roads and bridges and the electric grids that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will invest in technology's wonders to improve health care and lower its cost. And we will transform our education system to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. But we need the support of entire nation to achieve our goals. Our government is committed to transforming Pakistan.

I would like Overseas Pakistani to reach out and invest in Pakistan. Invest not just financially, but intellectually, socially, culturally and, above all, emotionally. Your roots are what bring you here. Your branches are what will keep you engaged year after year. I wish this interaction between overseas Pakistanis and the people of Pakistan to inspire Pakistanis at home to take a broader view of the world.
I am confident that a new and prosperous Pakistan will be built due to our efforts. Today, I welcome all of you to join us and to be active partners in this exciting journey of Pakistan’s progress and prosperity. As Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in her famous words said: “We did not come this far, we did not sacrifice this much, to fail. Together, we will find a tomorrow better than any of the yesterdays we have ever known!” Let us all work together for a better Pakistan and let us utilize Pakistan’s brains for Pakistan’s gains.
  


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