The Dubai Chalo Aftermath (Video)

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IRSHAD SALIM: I penned the poem below in summer of 1973 or 1974 –on reading in the newspaper that several dozen Pakistanis drowned in the Arabian Sea as their boat(s) capsized on way to Dubai. Many of their fellow countrymen were already in UAE and Saudi gainfully employed and remitting back home. Remittances over the decades have become a yearly billions+ revenue stream for Pakistan’s kitty. On micro level remittances have been putting food on the expatriates’ household tables. Making living out of these remittances continue. This is the good part. The bad part is these expats are patted when their households receive the remittance with a Thank You for carrying the burden.

Page 78 of Sometime Somewhere collection of poems

Urdu translation by Jamil Usman, NJ, USA

The ugly part is when it’s time for the household to carry the burden (video below), some dump their moral responsibilities. I call this the downstream/downside of the remittance galore.

We need a social safety net for such expat returnees. They are the wisdom class willing to die empty –they have been giving not taking being expats.

We should not let the old man get into them. Our age-old time tested family value system is priceless and several notches above many other assets we have. THIS value system has been, is, and will remain our non-negotiable ‘sovereign guarantee’.

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