ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, during first 10 months of the year 2019, has assisted over 258,215 Pakistanis to proceed with Saudi Arabia for prospective job opportunities in various sectors. According to the data compiled by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, the manpower export to Saudi Arabia had registered a marked increase of over 207 percent this year as compared to the corresponding year of the last year when 84,091 went there. However, some 176,947 Pakistanis went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for different jobs, exhibiting a nominal growth of only 1.7 percent. The number of Pakistani imigrants to Oman had also increased by 5.8 percent as 23,998 Pakistanis proceeded to the said country during the 10-month period compared to 22,668 in the corresponding period of 2018. An official source in the Ministry told APP that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari had held consultations with relevant authorities in multiple states to augment the number of Pakistani workforces abroad. He said Zulfi Bukhari had formally requested Saudi authorities to enhance the Pakistani manpower in multi-billion dollars’ project of the New Taif City of the Kingdom. He said Saudi Arabia had also extended an offer for Pakistani manpower’s export through ‘Musaned’- a digital platform launched by the Kingdom to facilitate the labour recruitment process and ensure the protection of their rights. The process would take some months and after that, the Pakistani workforce would be sent to Saudi Arabia through that platform, he added. The official said the ministry was also in process of linking up its digital portal with the UAE to set up a direct link between its intending emigrants and foreign employers. The initiative would eventually minimize the middleman’s role in the recruitment process and help the country to train its workforce as per the international markets’ demand. He said the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation had offered its labour market’s database access to Pakistan which would provide up-dated information on job opportunities in the Emirates. Sharing details of the recent visit of Zulfi Bukhari to Qatar, he said the SAPM had held a fruitful meeting with Qatar’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Yousaf Mohamed-Al-Othman Fakhroo and highlighted the potential of the Pakistani workforce. Zulfi Bukhari also urged the Qatari minister to expedite the public sector recruitment in the health and energy sectors. During the meeting, the SAPM also emphasized the need for digital connectivity between the two ministries, which would make the recruitment mechanism more efficient.