Embassy of Pakistan Athens Press Release
Barrister Amjad Malik, Chairman Board of Governors of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), Islamabad visited Athens from 28-29 July 2017. He was warmly receive by Ambassador Khalid Usman Qaiser and a sizeable number of Pakistani Community members at the airport.
The Chairman visited Pakistan Embassy and was pleased to notice that Consular Services system and facilities put in place for the convenience of Pakistanis seeking consular services were of highest standard. He was particularly delighted to know that Ambassador was personally handling the helpline of the Mission and that he was approachable by anyone.
The Chairman held an “Open Kachari” with the leaders of Pakistani Community Organizations, Pakistani Journalists Community and other members of civil society and made a comprehensive presentation on OPF present outlook and the steps taken by the Foundation for the welfare of Pakistani expatriates. The audience was delighted to note that:
- OPF now spend 50% of its budget on the welfare of Pakistani expatriates.
- OPF has established around the clock 24/7 helpline at its Headquarters in Islamabad.
- OPF established its desks on eight Pakistani airports to assist Pakistanis travelling to and from Pakistan.
- OPF enhanced the ceiling of expatriates’ death compensation up to Rs, 400,000 and in case of disability Rs. 300,000 and those compensations were now paid within a period of one month after the receipt of application by the affectees.
- OPF provides round the clock ambulance service for the transportation of dead bodies from airport to the home place of the deceased in Pakistan.
In the Q&A session, the community leaders and others highlighted following issues:
- Difficulties faced by Pakistanis for the attestation of their documents by Greece Embassy in Islamabad.
- Difficulties faced by legal Pakistanis on account of their family reunion visas.
- Need to establish a branch of Pakistani Bank in Athens
- Need revive national carrier flight from Pakistan to Greece
- Need to open Pakistani school in Greece and to arrange classes of Urdu for the Pakistani children
- Problems faced by expatriates travelling to Pakistan at the hands of Immigration authorities at Pakistani airports.
- All detained including minor children trafficked and now in detention centre are to be repatriated quickly.
The Chairman gave a patient hearing and took note of all the complaints and assured the gathering that OPF and he personally would do all what was possible to help resolve these issues. The Chairman flagged that in the 21st century illegal migration was not possible. The community must play role in educating their kith and kin back home. He particularly emphasized on the need of unity among all Pakistanis abroad and encouraged them to join main stream politics of the host country.
The community leaders and journalists highly appreciated the personality of the Chairman and his forward looking approach in resolving issues of Pakistani expatriates around the globe.
Barrister Amjad Malik accompanied Ambassador Khalid Usman Qaiser also held a structured meeting with the Chief of International Migration Organization (IMO) Mr. Daniel Esdras and his deputy at the Embassy premises. The two sides exchanged views on the issues related to migration and expressed satisfaction on the voluntary repatriation operation under the IOM arrangement. They agreed that there was a need to take a holistic view of the global and regional issues to overcome illegal migration. They emphasized that it was the collective responsibility of all nations to promote peace and harmony around the globe to arrest further destabilizations in the world that was the main cause of massive exodus. There was also a need to promote bilateral cooperation among countries, create jobs locally and cooperate to stump organized crimes like human smuggling to overcome the problem of illegal migration.
Barrister Amjad Malik presented an OPF shield to the IOM delegation at the Mission and thanked his Excellency Khalid Usman Qaiser for excellent facilitation and arrangements throughout the visit.
29 July 2017