Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari Pakistan
PM’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, and the ambassador of Kuwait to Pakistan, Nasr Abdul Rehman J Al Mutairi, address healthcare professionals leaving for Kuwait on October 21, 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Image Credit: PID

Islamabad: The first batch of 221 Pakistani medical professionals is all set to leave for Kuwait on Thursday. This batch is part of around 600 Pakistani doctors, nurses and technicians who would begin work in Kuwait after more than a decade under the health agreement signed between the two countries in July to build closer ties.

Pakistani workforce returns to Kuwait after 13 years

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari on Wednesday said that the revival of work abroad programmes in Kuwait is “a historic moment for Pakistan as not a single worker had been sent to the Gulf country during the last 13 years”.

Addressing the outgoing healthcare professionals, he asked them to uphold the highest values of professionalism as they will be the ambassadors of Pakistan in Kuwait. “It will be you, who will pave the way for other Pakistanis, aspiring to seek jobs in Kuwait,” he commented. He also responded to their queries about their stay abroad and contract with the government of Kuwait.

Kuwaiti envoy thanked Pakistan

Ambassador of Kuwait to Pakistan, Nasr Abdul Rehman J Al Mutairi, thanked the Pakistan government for providing medical assistance to his country to help fight the coronavirus.

He also expressed gratitude for Pakistani medical professionals and assured full facilities during their stay. “You are leaving your country to go to your country…you are leaving your families to join your families in Kuwait and I am sure that you will prove to be a great help for your Kuwaiti brothers and sisters,” he remarked.

Pakistan committed to Kuwait’s development

“Pakistan is fully committed to the development of Kuwait and would provide skilled workforce in multiple sectors”, aligned with Kuwait Vision 2035, Bukhari said. The cooperation is a part of Kuwait’s Silk City (Madinat Al Hareer) project and “Pakistan will continue to strengthen it in future”. Zulfikar Bukhari said increasing Pakistani workforce in Kuwait would help build closer ties. “We want to expand our relations with Kuwait in every sector, especially those which are aligned with its Vision 2035.” The key focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government was to export skilled manpower to the member states Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with the European countries, he said.

Pakistanis in GCC and Kuwait

Pakistani migrants play an important role in the economic development of the Gulf States and also serve as a vital source of income for Pakistan through the transfer of remittances.

Foreigners account for nearly 70 per cent (3.3 million) of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population and Pakistanis constitute one of the largest section of the expat population. However, the number of Pakistani expats in Kuwait is lesser as compared to other GCC states. In 2019, over half a million Pakistani workers headed to the GCC countries, of which only 126 chose to work in Kuwait.