Dubai, which is one of the states within United Arab Emirates, is known worldwide. This tiny state has become popular, or more correctly, over popular amongst Pakistanis which is really surprising as this is leading to more harm done than good. Much to my surprise Dubai, over time has become so popular with Pakistanis that we find all types of people there for more than one reason which includes both matters of pride and shame alike. I very vividly remember that many years back, 1970s perhaps, a stage and TV play called ‘Chalo Dubai Chalo’ was staged and aired which became very popular. It was when not only Dubai, but many other places in the Middle East had become a haven for Pakistanis; simply because there were many job opportunities there as they were developing and they needed foreign labour workforce to help them.

Pakistanis have been recruited because they were educated, experienced, hardworking, cheap and nearer etc and therefore we noticed that thousands went and made their life and wealth from these countries. This expatriation continued at till recently, our demand has died down because countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other countries have supplied cheaper manpower than us. What happy coincidence that the same Dubai which has brought monetary affluence in many working families of Pakistanis has become equally popular amongst our rulers, both present and past and now even the criminals are heading there.

It is really very sad or more correctly it is very shameful on part of some of those Pakistanis who have been certified as criminals so far as Pakistan is concerned whether in terms of looting national exchequer or human killing etc have flown to Dubai and took refuge. Why Dubai, which is a peaceful place with so many tourists’ attractions where people come for shopping and spending holidays with families from as far away as US, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia and other countries has become a safe haven for none but our proclaimed offenders? What prompted our two criminals in particular to run to Dubai? Tauqir Sadiq, former chairman, OGRA who has been accused of bungling billions and is sought by Supreme Court of Pakistan to face the corruption charges fled from Pakistan to Nepal and then to UAE where he was caught by the local police whereas Pakistan police officers are already there to arrest Tauqir to bring him back to Pakistan. Shahzeb Khan was gunned down in Karachi on December 25, 2012 and one of the main killers, Shahrukh Jatoi, succeeded in running away to Dubai. Pakistan police officers have already been sent to Dubai to arrest Shahrukh to repatriate to Pakistan to face murder charges.

I am afraid that if criminals like Tauqir and Shahrukh keep on flying to Dubai, it is quite possible that UAE government will at least put some restrictions on Pakistanis entering in their country or it may even ban Pakistanis into their country.

We are restricted from so many developed countries and our youth has to struggle to get jobs there because of our bad reputation in the international market. It is high time that our immigration officials become strict and not let our criminals go to Dubai, unless we are our own worst enemies and want to lose the sympathies of UAE rulers who are very much pro Pakistan. If we are blacklisted in UAE many Pakistanis will lose their jobs and doors will close for the next generations on getting better job opportunities.

IQBAL HADI ZAIDI,

Kuwait, January 10.