The Unseen Contributions Of The Pakistani Diaspora – OpEd


The Pakistani diaspora, scattered across the globe, often finds itself at the intersection of two worlds—holding onto their roots while adapting to new cultures and environments. While they might physically reside outside Pakistan, their hearts and minds frequently remain connected to their homeland.

Beyond remittances and occasional visits, the contributions of the Pakistani diaspora to both their host countries and Pakistan itself are vast and multifaceted. This article aims to shed light on the often-unseen contributions of the Pakistani diaspora, highlighting their role as global ambassadors, economic contributors, and agents of change.

Global Ambassadors of Pakistani Culture and Values

One of the most significant contributions of the Pakistani diaspora is as ambassadors of Pakistani culture, values, and traditions. Through their interactions with colleagues, neighbors, and communities in their host countries, they help dispel stereotypes, build bridges of understanding, and foster cultural exchange.

Whether it’s celebrating Eid with friends and colleagues, sharing traditional Pakistani cuisine, or participating in cultural festivals, the Pakistani diaspora plays a pivotal role in promoting a positive image of Pakistan and showcasing its rich cultural heritage to the world. These cultural exchanges not only enrich the cultural fabric of their host countries but also strengthen the bonds between Pakistan and the global community.

Economic Contributors through Remittances and Investments

Remittances are often highlighted as one of the most tangible contributions of the Pakistani diaspora to Pakistan’s economy. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, remittances from overseas Pakistanis reached a record high of over $29 billion in the fiscal year 2020-21, making it a significant source of foreign exchange and a lifeline for many families back home.

However, the economic contributions of the Pakistani diaspora extend beyond remittances. Many members of the diaspora are successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and skilled workers who contribute to the economies of their host countries through their expertise, innovation, and hard work. Moreover, some members of the diaspora have also invested in Pakistan, establishing businesses, creating jobs, and contributing to economic development.

Agents of Change through Philanthropy and Social Initiatives

The Pakistani diaspora is also actively involved in philanthropic activities and social initiatives aimed at uplifting communities and addressing social challenges in Pakistan. From supporting educational projects and healthcare initiatives to promoting environmental conservation and empowering marginalized groups, the diaspora’s contributions go beyond financial support.

Many members of the diaspora volunteer their time, skills, and expertise to contribute to social change and development in Pakistan. Through their involvement in various charitable organizations, NGOs, and community initiatives, they play a pivotal role in driving positive change and making a difference in the lives of countless Pakistanis.

Building Bridges through Diplomacy and Advocacy

The Pakistani diaspora is increasingly playing a role in diplomacy and advocacy, representing Pakistan’s interests and building bridges between Pakistan and their host countries. Many members of the diaspora are involved in political activism, lobbying, and advocacy work to promote Pakistan’s interests, address issues affecting overseas Pakistanis, and strengthen bilateral relations.

Moreover, the Pakistani diaspora serves as a valuable network of connections and resources that can be leveraged to foster collaboration, facilitate trade and investment, and promote cultural and educational exchanges between Pakistan and the global community.

In conclusion, the contributions of the Pakistani diaspora are diverse, far-reaching, and often unseen. As global ambassadors of Pakistani culture and values, economic contributors through remittances and investments, agents of change through philanthropy and social initiatives, and builders of bridges through diplomacy and advocacy, the Pakistani diaspora plays a pivotal role in shaping Pakistan’s image, supporting its economy, driving social change, and strengthening its ties with the global community.

While their contributions may sometimes go unnoticed or underappreciated, the impact of the Pakistani diaspora on Pakistan’s development and its standing in the world is undeniable. As Pakistan continues to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, harnessing the potential of its diaspora and fostering closer ties with overseas Pakistanis will be crucial for building a brighter and more prosperous future for all Pakistanis. It is responsibility of government of the hour to facilitate overseas Pakistani and take special care of them in so that they continues to send maximum foreign exchange back into their home country. 

Muhammad Haroon

Muhammad Haroon is an Islamabad based commentator.

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