Brain Drain: A dreadful challenge for Pakistan

Maha Khaliq

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Pakistan is a blessed country interms of natural, physical, and especially in human resources. Allah Almighty has bestowed it with the treasury of fresh and burgeoning minds in the form of massive youth population. Pakistan has fifth largest youth population in the world. Approximately, 64% of Pakistan population is under the age of 30.Although,youth bulge is blessing for Pakistan but it has failed to get adequate benefit from it. One of the major reason is its ailing economy .Pakistan’s economic growth rate has been fluctuating over 10 years and it is not enough to accommodate rapidly increasing workforce. Youngsters are facing numerous challenges in getting employment and building bright future in Pakistan .Most of the youth in Pakistan is either unemployed or under employed .Unavailability of employment opportunities ,limited career advancement chances,physical,mentalandfinancialinsecuritiesalongwitheconomicandpoliticalturmoilhave compelled youngsters to leave Pakistan and serve other countries .The situation of brain drain is worsening in Pakistan with every passing year. In 2022, approximately 8 lac people left Pakistan and chief among them were young doctors, engineers, graduates and educationists .While in the10 monthsof2023,about6to7lacPakistani’shaveleftPakistan.The rapid expansion of brain drain has led to the loss of demographic dividend. It has created shortage of skilled and specialized professionals in the country. For instance, the doctor-to-patientratioinPakistanis1:1300, significantly less than WHO’s recommended ratio of 1:1000. To get rid of this problem, Pakistan has to adopt a viable and far sighted youth development policy. There is a need for a consistent annual economic growth rate of at least 5 percent for about 10 years to accommodate rapidly growing youth bulge. Government should launch free information technology related courses for converting youth from burden into an asset. Furthermore, government should introduce and support start up business strategies for engaging youth with innovative ideas in business sectors in Pakistan. It will have ripple effect on economy. Government is investing huge amount on medical colleges, engineering universities and many other educational institutes but after enjoying these incentives, professionals prefer to serve other nations instead of their own native country for financial benefits .So, and government should also charge high income taxes on the families of those doctors

, engineers and other skilled people that are leaving Pakistan. Government should also review its visa policy to discourage brain drain. There is adire need to invest in education sector for turning Pakistan galloping population into human capital .It is hoped that Pakistan will see that day soon when its youth will become a power for it.

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