akistan has become a “unique country” in the comity of nations, as after exporting terrorism to India and donkeys to China, now it is exporting beggars to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
With the problem of beggars’ export has reached to such a level that Saudi Arabia and Iraq have now asked the Pakistani government to stem the flow of such people entering their country.
Incidentally, most of the pickpockets arrested from within Mecca’s Grand Mosque have been found to be Pakistanis. People of Pakistan have been reeling under the impact of severe inflation and skyrocketing food and fuel prices. Beggars from Pakistan are flocking to West Asian countries in large numbers. The Standing Committee of Overseas Pakistanis recently raised this concern.
Ninety percent of all beggars detained in West Asian nations are from Pakistan and these beggars are locked up in jails in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Secretary of Overseas Pakistanis, Zeeshan Khanzada, said.
Pakistan’s Geo News Urdu quoted Khanzada as saying: “Ambassadors of Iraq and Saudi Arabia have told us that Pakistani beggars travel abroad under the guise of ziarat (pilgrimage) on Umrah visas and later engage in begging on the streets.”
He is also reported by The News International saying that the majority of the pickpockets arrested from within Mecca’s Grand Mosque are Pakistani nationals. During a meeting chaired by Senator Manzoor Kakar, Zeeshan Khanzada informed the Standing Committee that there are nearly 10 million Pakistani citizens living abroad, a substantial number of whom are involved in begging.
These individuals obtain visas and then resort to begging in other countries, he said, adding that flights to the Middle East from Pakistan are often completely filled with beggars.
The committee was informed about the presence of 1,600,000 Pakistanis in the UAE and 200,000 in Qatar, reported Pakistan’s The Express Tribune.
Besides, Iraqi and Saudi Arabian diplomats have claimed that their jails are overcrowded with Pakistani beggars, he said, highlighting that the matter is bringing shame to Pakistan on the global stage.
Poverty in Pakistan shot up to 39.4 percent as of last fiscal year, with 12.5 million more people falling into the trap due to poor economic conditions, the World Bank had earlier said.
According to the Pakistan Economic Survey (PES) for 2022-23, the population of donkeys in the country went up to 5.8 million from 5.7 million in 2022. It was because of the demand from China.