The country is calling (Daily Times (Pakistan))

I am Pakistan and this is when I need you the most. I am passing through hard times, both economically and politically, constantly hit and wounded by barbaric acts of terrorism. Come back and save me
Whenever I listen to John Denver’s song Country Roads, Take Me Home To the Place I Belong, my heart aches for a moment and I start reflecting upon the five million Pakistanis who left Pakistan from 1981 to 2014, out of which a shocking 41,498 professional and technical workers left in 2012 alone. On the other side, the Overseas Employment Cooperation (OEC) has been able to send more than 135,000 workers to 55 different countries around the world. This includes highly qualified professionals from the fields of medicine, engineering, education, science, agriculture and manufacturing, shipping as well as skilled and unskilled manpower. The top six destinations are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, US, UK, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries, with Saudi Arabia topping the list, as evidenced by the $ 4.105 billion in foreign remittances, which the Pakistanis sent back home from Saudi Arabia alone between July 2012 and June 2013. The emigration of Pakistani intellectuals and skilled manpower has caused serious damage to Pakistan, which is featured in the list of the less developed countries that actually needs them desperately. The emigration of highly qualified scientists, doctors, academicians and engineers is noticeable and a matter of great concern, since Pakistan lacks them indeed.
There could be many valid reasons behind this massive ‘brain drain’ like lack of good jobs, low incentives, poor job security and lack of stateoftheart educational facilities for children. In this time of moral, economic and social crisis, Pakistan is calling these people back. The saddest fact one must accept is that various governments in Pakistan have failed so far to provide our people with the best financial support, social security and protection for their families as per their needs, skills, knowledge and intellect. However, it is a fact that brave individuals and nations manifest their highest potentials in times of hardships and crisis. If Pakistan has many problems, they can be taken up as a challenge; there is a big margin to work with towards betterment and to build this country on the motto of selfsufficiency and global integrity coupled with respect and esteem.
Let me share with all of you, who have crossed the seas, that employment opportunities in the countries of your destination have practically drained out the technical skills and knowledge from Pakistan leaving this country at the mercy of unchangeable, bureaucratic, immobile and stubborn ‘craftsmanship’, family politics, feudalism and intolerant religious groups, who consider themselves eternal champions of this state, a state that unfortunately has been skinned by them and their unsung allies ever since Jinnah left us in 1948. It is unfortunate that, since then, most government institutions mainly give undue rewards to undeserving people and undue punishment to hardworking professionals, who hardly have time to flatter and are humble enough not to praise themselves. The time has come to change this culture, once and for all.
There is no doubt that foreign remittances are important but these are only temporary solutions or bailout packages that defer the main problems of the state of Pakistan. Instead, it would be far better if our expats came back to contribute towards building and changing the culture of the institutions of this country, taking it to a place where only hard and professional work will be rewarded. Let me echo the words of Pakistan to you all, hoping that you will heed the voice of your motherland: I am Pakistan and this is when I need you the most. I am passing through hard times, both economically and politically, constantly hit and wounded by barbaric acts of terrorism. Come back and save me.
I am Pakistan, and to me your input is valuable for the stabilisation of my economy and to regain my lost glory and paradise of peace, prestige and prosperity. My country people, if you have forgotten the words of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, listen to those of John F Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” This is the time when the devastated walls of the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar are calling for you to come back and help heal the wounds of millions of your country people. This is the time, when 25 million outofschool children are waiting for you to come and help them exercise their basic human right to receive an education.
I am Pakistan and you may not know that this year I have become the third largest country to still boast human slavery out of 167 countries in the world. Please come back to save me from this menace of slavery, mainly caused by feudalism, which has not left me since my birth. This is the time to forget about your collective egos and distances, and to be united and serve for my survival for you and your future generations.
I am Pakistan. I gave birth to you and provided you with enough to breathe freely and to grow. I have never demanded anything from you before. This is the time in which I need you all to repay your motherland. Come back and play your part in my revival.
I am Pakistan and there are so many who hit me where it hurts: my image. This is the time for you to come back and help to restore my positive image, which has been spoiled by the monsters of extremism that use religion to exploit and manipulate half of my innocent and uneducated population.
I am Pakistan and my highly qualified engineers, who are serving abroad and building foreign institutions, are my valuable assets. You may not know that load shedding is continuously spreading its shadows over the colours of my summers and springs. My once strong arms, like the railway, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel are getting weaker without you. This is the time to come back and strengthen my arms to help make the summers comfortable for my country people.
I am Pakistan and this is the time to come back, my dear doctors because every mother, dying during childbirth every 10 minutes, needs you to save her life and that of her child. This is the time when you need to come back and reunite your country people, divided into sects, groups, individual interests and socially unwanted segments.
I am Pakistan and this is the time for you, my sons and daughters, living abroad, to really understand that I am not in need of your dollars and pounds but your presence for the greater good of the 200 million Pakistanis, who have contributed to your development in one way or another.
I am Pakistan and I promise you that united we shall overcome someday. My government has already taken positive initiatives like the President’s Programme for Highly Qualified Overseas Pakistanis (PPQP) to facilitate high level Pakistani professionals abroad in their assimilation back in Pakistan, through short and long term technical assistance to avail the benefits of their expertise. I know that it is hard for you all to decide now, but can you not give me a chance and listen once more? Your country is calling.