Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a roundtable on “Role of Pakistani Diaspora” on April 23, 2019. Mr. Irfan Murtaza, a prominent Pakistani community leader based in California was the guest speaker. The discussion was followed by a lively poetry session. Along with experts, a number of prominent poets based in Islamabad also participated at the roundtable including: Mr. Khalid Iqbal Yasir, Mr. Wafa Chisti, Mr. Nasir Aqeel, Mr. Naseem-e-Seher, Mr. Qayum Tahir, Mr. Majid Jahangir, Mr. Anwar Fitrat, Ms. Parveen Tahir, Ms. Farheen Chaudhry, Mr. Rahat Sarhadi, Ms. Gia Qureshi, Mr. Naveed Malik, Ms. Bushra Hazeen, and Ms. Kuaser Samreen.
Welcoming the guest, the Director General ISSI Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that migration has always been part of human history. Historically, people used to migrate due to economic reasons, seeking education and knowledge, or to escape torture, brutality or persecution. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself also migrated from Makah to Medina. In today’s world, the Diaspora serves as a bridge between their native and adopted country. Majority of Pakistani Diaspora has migrated to other countries in their search for better economic opportunities. Highlighting the importance of Diaspora, Ambassador Chaudhry underlined three major roles that a Diaspora plays or can play which include: remittances; investment; and building a soft image of their native country. He said that Diasporas can be divided into different groups. The first such group is the low income group which sends maximum remittances. This group mostly faces economic and legal problems in host countries. Second such group comprises doctors and engineers. Though this group is well-off, but does not invest in Pakistan. However, this group is very active in philanthropic activities. The third group comprises of students. This group is the most active group in expressing and projecting their love for the country, as well as building Pakistan’s softer image.