The backbone of Pakistan’s Economy is Overseas Pakistanis, yet we make them suffer at Airports or handling of their assets or protection of their assets in Pakistan or pursuing Govt departments for basic information or official processes. What is the role of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation? Or relevant Govt authorities?Overseas Pakistanis is a better option than IMF or World Bank or US loans. If we improve the confidence of Overseas Pakistanis, we won’t need any foreign reliance. Ahmad Jawad
The Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf
I want to bring an important issue to your notice regarding overseas Pakistanis working in Italy. Every year thousands of Pakistanis working in Italy who have legal work permit called “Permesso di Soggiorno”, return to Pakistan, usually in the winter months. As per the law, those who have Permesso di soggiorno for two years can stay in Pakistan for one year, those with one year Permesso can stay for six months and the ones with indefinite Permesso can too stay for one year .
This year it has come to our notice that the people returning from Pakistan to Italy holding valid Permesso di soggiorno are being stopped at all the airports by FIA authorities and not allowed to travel. They are not been given any reason for it, nor are they informed as to which authority has ordered to stop them from travel.
This has created a huge problem and caused a great deal anxiety for thousands of people who have to return to Italy. It has also come to our knowledge that the people with Permesso di soggiorno who come to the airports are being asked for huge sums of money by immigration officials. Several people have reported to have paid money in order to travel back to Italy.
This issue is of great importance for us in the ‘Immigration and Rights Department, Italian General Confederation of Workers’ as we believe that there are around ten thousand people holding permiso de soggiorno at present who want to travel to Italy immediately but the number could actually be as high as thirty thousand. There are thousands of families dependent on these workers for their livelihood and it is of utmost importance that they are allowed to travel without delay.
In 2012 there was a similar incident when the people returning to Italy were stopped but we sent official letters to the Italian Foreign Office and the relevant embassies and they assured that there was no directive by the Italian authorities to stop the people from travelling if they have valid travel documents and permiso de soggiorno. The Italian embassy in Islamabad sent the clarification to the relevant Pakistani authorities and the issue was resolved and people were allowed to travel. After four years this issue has come up again.
I request you to please take up this matter immediately with the proper authorities in the Federal Interior Ministry of Pakistan, Federal Investigation Authority, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Italian Embassy in Islamabad.
The majority of the people working in Italy are not literate and do not have the capacity to solve this issue on their own. It is very important that they should be provided immediate support and their grievances addressed as soon as possible.
President PTI Italy