Pakistan has found itself exporting beggars to West Asian countries, primarily due to increasing poverty and soaring inflation within the country. This issue has become so significant that countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq have requested the Pakistani government to address the flow of beggars traveling abroad.
Reports suggest that 90 percent of beggars detained in West Asian nations are of Pakistani origin, and many of them end up in jails in countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Pakistani beggars are also reportedly involved in pickpocketing, with a significant number of pickpockets arrested in Mecca’s Grand Mosque being Pakistani nationals.
The situation has been a concern for Pakistan, particularly as its citizens suffering from high food and fuel prices are turning to begging as a means of survival. The Standing Committee of Overseas Pakistanis has raised alarm over this issue.
According to Zeeshan Khanzada, the Secretary of Overseas Pakistanis, ambassadors of Iraq and Saudi Arabia have informed Pakistan that many Pakistani beggars travel abroad under the pretext of pilgrimage (ziarat) on Umrah visas but engage in begging once they arrive.
During a meeting chaired by Senator Manzoor Kakar, it was revealed that nearly 10 million Pakistani citizens live abroad, and a significant number of them are involved in begging in other countries. Flights from Pakistan to the Middle East are often filled with beggars seeking better prospects abroad.
Iraqi and Saudi Arabian diplomats have expressed concerns about overcrowded jails filled with Pakistani beggars, which is tarnishing Pakistan’s image on the global stage.
This issue comes at a challenging time for Pakistan, as it grapples with a deteriorating economy and rising poverty rates. According to the World Bank, poverty in Pakistan rose to 39.4 percent in the last fiscal year, with 12.5 million more people falling below the poverty line due to economic difficulties.
To address its economic challenges, the World Bank has urged Pakistan to take steps such as taxing sectors like agriculture and real estate and reducing wasteful expenditures. These measures are seen as essential for achieving economic stability.
In a separate but related development, Pakistan has also seen an increase in its donkey population due to demand from China, which highlights the country’s diverse export trends in recent times.
For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!
Source: India Today