Saturday, May 25, 2024

Poverty in Pakistan spurs visa misuse and criminal activities by Pakistani nationals

Immigration News

A recent study published in the Humanities and Social Sciences Communications by Wajiha Haq and colleagues has provided a deeper understanding of poverty in Pakistan. This study measures poverty using not just money, but also education, health, and living standards, and finds that 24% of the population is suffering from multiple deprivations. Education is the area where people are struggling the most, which has serious effects on the nation’s youth and their future employment prospects.

This widespread poverty has had some unfortunate side effects, including the misuse of pilgrim visas by Pakistani nationals. These visas are meant for religious pilgrimages to sacred places in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, but are increasingly being used for illegal activities such as begging and petty crimes. Reports indicate that many Pakistanis arrested in these countries were traveling on such visas, which strains Pakistan’s diplomatic relationships with these nations.

The misuse of these visas often involves begging and pickpocketing, especially around significant religious sites like the Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah. Saudi authorities have specifically pointed out that a large number of these minor criminals are from Pakistan. This connection between poverty and crime highlights the desperate situations people find themselves in, pushing them toward these illegal acts as a means of survival.

The Pakistani government has responded by tightening visa controls and working more closely with international law enforcement to prevent these activities. Measures include more thorough background checks and biometric verification processes. Pakistani embassies are also running programs to educate citizens on the severe consequences of visa misuse, emphasizing the importance of national dignity.

The study by Haq and colleagues calls for significant improvements in educational access and quality, which can help reduce poverty and its negative outcomes. By better equipping the youth with education and vocational skills, there is a potential to decrease the economic desperation that leads to visa misuse.

Policy makers are urged to focus on creating more job opportunities for young people, both locally and internationally, and to continue improving the legal processes around visa issuance. This will not only help reduce illegal activities abroad but also enhance Pakistan’s global standing.

In conclusion, the connection between multidimensional poverty in Pakistan and the misuse of visas highlights a critical socioeconomic issue. Addressing the root causes of poverty through education and employment initiatives could mitigate these problems and improve Pakistan’s image internationally. Effective policy implementation and international cooperation are essential in these efforts.

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