Back 2 Pakistan initiative draws huge interest

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Dr Mazhar Hussain

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ISLAMABAD: Having lived more than 30 years abroad and in Pakistan since 2002, I repeatedly get the same questions from Non-Resident Pakistanis: We want to move back to Pakistan, but have concerns about security, safety, education, source of income, legal system, health system and many more questions along the same lines.

Taking people out of Pakistan is easy, but taking Pakistan out of people’s mind is not easy. With all its problems and issues, many NRPs start considering moving back after some years. Even if they are otherwise very successful and have done well for themselves, they start playing with the idea of moving back. At which time the questions start popping up. Questions that are often fuelled more the biased coverage by international media than ground realities. Despite all the problems in coutnry, the land has still a lot to offer. Especially, feeling at home from a religious, cultural and linguistic point of view. At the same time, people may also feel that migrant minorities are not treated equally abroad.

So whether it’s a push or a pull factor, Pakistan starts popping up in the minds of NRPs: Can we move to Pakistan and what potential issue will we face If take the step.

This is where Back 2 Pakistan comes in. We want to bridge the gap between NRPs and people that have already taken a leap of faith and moved to Pakistan. There is no need to NRPs to start from scratch each time someone wants to try to settle in Pakistan.

B2P wants to close the gap and provide NRPs access to other people’s experiences going through exactly they themselves are planning for.  With B2P, NRPs can speak to people that can understand the questions much better than many locals would be able to, if they’ve not spent time abroad.

Will my children be able to adjust if they don’t speak English? Where to live?What are the expenses for a good standard of living? How is the service sector? What problems will we face? Is it safe for our children? Any leisure and sports facilities? How is the work place environment? Is it easy to do business? What about falling sick?Health and car insurance? Corruption? Mortgage? House rentals?And many more questions that Pakistanis returning from abroad are bound to face.

For people that are already considering taking the plunge, many questions revolve around practicalities, prices, availability of services and products.

It’s not secret, that Pakistan has a bad press, particularly in the West. Some that bad press is due to Indian undercover operations, uncovered by EU Disinfo Lab. In it’s report, Indian Chronichles, EU Disinfo Lab found a disinformation campaign running since 2005 which was aimed at giving Pakistan a bad name whereever possible.

Regardless of the source of bad press, it’s a fact, that Pakistan has had a bad press for quite a few years. This has led many NRPs to see Pakistan in a much more negative light than realities justify.

With B2P, people can ask about other peoples’ experiences directly from the source without having a filter with biased or vested interest in portraying Pakistan in a certain way.

As the B2P family grows, we hope to be able to have key-contacts addressing more specific questions and needs: Housing, health, legal matters, education, job, business, city-specific questions, social and professional networking and many more.