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Brain drain is bound to hurt Pakistani society in the long run

There is no denying the fact that nations cannot reach to the epitome and glory of success unless its citizens and individuals are facilitated with social, political and economic needs.
It is glaring to witness that China as well as Singapore is providing myriad of opportunities to it’s youth in terms of science, technology and quality education. Resultantly, their youth is critical, rational, policy makers and real life problem solvers. This has made these two countries politically stable, socially cohesive, economically sound and culturally integrated.
Unlike these nations, Pakistan lags far behind in providing such facilities to its youth, which eventually has led to the unprecedented trend of brain drain in the country. The term “brain drain” designates the international transfer of resources in the form of human capital i.e. the migration of relatively highly educated individuals from the developing to developed countries.
Looking through the Pakistani lens, the burgeoning culture of brain drain is not exception in this regard. It is creating a vacuum of intellectual and highly skilled persons in the country. Talented IT professionals are being lured by West-based companies who offer lucrative terms. In other words, it has definitely led to the deterioration of human capital in the country.
Elsewhere, Young professionals represent the nation’s strength as they are the ones who would build and define the social structure of tomorrow’s society.
However in countries like Pakistan, the youth do not get adequate opportunities and face political instability and unfair treatment in the motherland, this is why they leave the country to find a stable and prosperous life elsewhere.
In recent years, Pakistan has lost a large number of qualified and bright individuals due to the lack of opportunities at home.
The last decade has seen an increase in the international mobility of highly skilled, talented individuals in response to the expansion of the knowledge economy accompanying globalization.
The youth exodus from Pakistan to the seemingly greener pastures of North America, Europe, Australia and the Gulf is creating an impetus for the Pakistani youth to leave their country in order to persue better livelihoods in other countries. The emigration of highly skilled individuals not only can pose challenges for Pakistan’s development, but it also can impact sectors such as healthcare, technology, and education, hindering progress and innovation.
Apart from that, the proponents argue that there are host of factors accentuating and promoting the culture of brain drain in Pakistan in the form of lack of job opportunities coupled with limited freedom of expression, mounting terrorism, unbridled economic meltdown, rampant corruption and deep-rooted norm of low wages for skilled labours.
As Robert McNamara has rightly said, “Brains are like heart – they go where they are appreciated”. Broadly speaking, the above mentioned quote seems quite appropriate by taking the bird’s eye view of the current situation of Pakistan. Many individuals wish to leave the country due to meagre opportunities and lack of appreciations.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of statistics, 92,000 graduates including Doctors, Engineers, Computer scientists , business executives and STEM holders ,35,00,000 trained workers, 6650 highly skilled accountants and 2000 computer scientist left Pakistan in 2022. Moreover, a recent survey of PIDE, shows that close to 65% of Pakistani are urging to leave the country by 2023. Furthermore, PIDE economist Faheem Jahangir Khan says that “67 per cent of Pakistani youngsters want to leave the country”. So, this paints a dismal picture of Pakistani youth.
Adding insult to the injury, Pakistanis going abroad is not a new phenomenon. Since 1971, the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment estimates that over 10 million Pakistanis have gone abroad for employment. Secondly, figures vary from year to year, with no particular trend of a steep rise. In 2022, 800,000 left Pakistan for employment overseas, which is less than the pre-pandemic figure of 946,571 in 2015. Thirdly, accurate numbers of those going abroad are hard to estimate because many avail student visas or permanent residency visas or go abroad through illegal means.
In order to turn down the nefarious culture of brain drain, some affirmative and pragmatic measures are direly needed , which will not only stop the growing vacuum of highly skilled persons, but it also provide lucrative amount of money to Pakistani youth to stay in their own country. Hence, it’s essential for Pakistan to invest in opportunities and create an environment that encourages skilled individuals to stay and contribute to the country’s growth. Our leadership and intelligentsia, therefore, have a responsibility to identify the reasons for the youth leaving Pakistan, and then make policies that incentivise the youth to work for the country.
To sum up the debate, “Brain drain is a serious problem for developing countries because they lose their best and brightest minds, who contribute to their economic and social development ” – Ban Ki Moon.
Similarly, if Pakistan fails to facilitate its youth; it will face the music of brain drain, which eventually will haunt the growth of the country. By creating avenues, platforms and inculcating vocational trainings and institutions can only open the window of progress and prosperity for the Pakistan.