Brain Drain: The case of intellectual flight

Sarah Mughal

Pakistan at the present suffers with the phenomenon of Brain Drain due to the raging number of qualified lot exiting the country. Most of the students who go abroad for pursuing higher degrees and research do not return to Pakistan and gets absorbed in the lucrative foreign markets. The rest who return and work in industry do not get the kind of remuneration they could get in foreign markets which makes them explore the foreign industry resulting in the loss of human capital flight of skilled, foreign qualified human resource.

The second lot comprises of the indigenous qualified professionals and researchers which after attaining some reasonable experience, fly to foreign countries in pursuit of better opportunities. Once again the economic system faces the loss of highly skilled and educated lot who migrated to a developed country for better future for them were those, whose education and skill-building efforts were financed by taxing the meager earnings of common people.

Being a developing country, the intellectual human flight poses great economic repercussions to the economy and local industry, which needs serious consideration by the concerned authorities and entails that certain policies should be brought into play with a view to evening out the numbers of incoming and outgoing talent. Government and private sector needs to take serious measures and consider the retention policies to retain the intellectual human capital by boosting up the concerned sectors. A policy frame work needs to be designed and implemented if Pakistan wants to recover from the losses in this regard.

Setting aside the economic and financial incentives, security concerns and law and order situation is another major reason the educated qualified lot is leaving the country. According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, 2.5 million Pakistanis have exited the country over the last 5 years. And unless the situation improves, the trend will prevail in the years to come.