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Usman Khan, CEO at GCC Legal Consultants
Usman Khan, CEO at GCC Legal Consultants

With top-of-the-line legal consultants at its disposal, Usman Khan at GCC LEGAL CONSULTANTS says the organisation aims to assist Pakistanis in need, longing to rejoin with their loved ones

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Published: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 9:00 AM

The greatness of humanity is not in being human but in being humane

Home to more than 200 nationalities, the UAE promises the millions who have made a home here, a chance at a better future. This is why, over the last five decades, hopeful individuals have come to the UAE, looking to start over and make their mark. Each year, vast numbers of people from Pakistan come to the UAE, joining the large diaspora. For most of them, adjusting to the rules and regulations of the country takes time. This is a situation that is rife with risks and dangers as every country has a resident status protocol which needs to be followed by everyone, and in failing to do so the repercussions can lead to challenging situations. It is for such reasons that people should be well-aware of rules and regulations while they look for greener pastures in progressive nations like the UAE which also offers a plethora of opportunities for people across all age groups and skill sets.

Ignorance of proper residency rules and regulations in a foreign land has been the main cause of many difficulties and to top it all, the facilitators take undue advantage of the lack of knowledge of these enthusiastic individuals including blue-collared workers who are willing to leave their family behind in search of better employment opportunities.

It is this gap that has identified a need to have a responsible body that could facilitate, provide guidance and complete information from start to finish thus enabling safe passage for those misinformed unfortunates serving any kind of a term in a foreign land.

NEED OF THE HOUR

This is where the services of GCC Legal Consultants could be extremely crucial. The newly-created entity has positioned itself to be the guiding light to address the plight of those who have unintentionally violated the prevailing code of conduct. With an experienced lineup of legal experts at its disposal, GCC Legal Consultants aims to provide the much-needed guidance and support for the less fortunate members of the Pakistan community who do not have the means or the access to raise their cases before the authorities. The wait for proper redressal may run into a long span of time with no immediate respite available and nobody to look forward for seeking guidance and help, to an extent that a thought of whether they would be able to meet their families and loved ones again.

The firm has expertise in handling these sorts of complex cases as well. In order to speed up the process and provide relief to less fortunate, GCC Legal Consultants offers the services of its panel of well-reputed, experienced and dynamic lawyers and consultants to pursue and resolve their cases and bring these sons of Pakistan back to their homeland safe and sound.

“The spectrum of Pakistani migrant workers in UAE includes low skilled, semi-skilled and others in several professions in UAE. The UAE in the recent decades has been a very lucrative market for Pakistani migrant workers,” said Usman Khan, CEO at GCC Legal Consultants. He added that living overseas as a migrant comes with its own set of challenges, these range from homesickness to serious issues like visa substitution, learning the norms of the country etc.

Speaking about the plight of the Pakistani community, Khan said: “It is very important to for the intending migrants and migrants to know their rights and responsibilities in the destination countries. They should also understand what avenue are available to them in the destination countries to redress their concerns and what help is available to them from the country of origin/ home country.”

Khan said that when it comes to the topic of support for the Pakistani community, there is much that can be done to provide relief to the less fortunate. Khan said that the need for creating GCC Legal Consultants arose because of a gap in the market. “There is a dire need to streamline the process and remove the bottlenecks so that Pakistanis are made aware of the laws and their issues are addressed,” he added.

RISE OF WORKERS IN THE UAE

Since the 1970s oil boom, the Gulf region has been one of the principal destinations for workers from South Asia with the result that today, Pakistanis constitute a large percentage of the non-nationals living in the region. The UAE is a country run by expatriates, making up almost 90 per cent of the population. Although there are almost 200 nationalities that call the UAE home, in terms of the top four, the countries the biggest expat communities include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Indeed, at more than 1.5 million, the Pakistani community forms the second-largest expatriate group in the UAE. A significantly large part of the expat community is composed of blue-collared workers who are employed in the many sectors such as logistics, construction, services and more. Indeed, if we go back to the beginning and even earlier, Pakistan figures prominently in helping the UAE develop into what it has become today. Pakistan has played a crucial role in transforming the nation’s economies by providing skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workers. The majority of Pakistani expatriates are engaged in blue-collar jobs as semi-skilled and unskilled labourers, while the rest are white-collar professionals such as engineers, doctors, and architects. Despite the best efforts of authorities from both sides to facilitate and safeguard the rights of those who need help.

LACK OF AWARENESS

Given the level of brotherly bonds between the two nations, there can be no denying that governments and agencies from both sides have tried to step in and offered solutions. However, due to the huge numbers, the desired result has taken more time than usual. Early on in the pandemic, the UAE’s government ordered companies employing blue-collar migrant workers to continue with the relief work of providing food and accommodation while they remain in the country, even if they lost their jobs. It is equally important for the people to also know the humanitarian relief work that the country offers.

However, due to the huge numbers and most of the workers not being aware of their rights, it becomes difficult for the authorities to assist in time. Launched for welfare of the Pakistani community in the UAE, GCC Legal Consultants aims to be the bridge between the individuals and the authorities, providing them access to pathways that ensure their safe and fast-tracked return.

TIME-TESTED TIES

Based on deep-rooted historical and cultural ties, the UAE and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan enjoy a unique friendship that has withstood the test of time. Over the years, this cooperation has expanded to encompass all key fields.

These ties go as far back as before the formation of the UAE. Both nations have enjoyed cordial and magnanimous bilateral relations, which has evolved multi-fold through the years. Pakistan was the first country in the world to formally recognise the UAE’s sovereignty. Pakistan’s contributions to this new country included the formation of key industries within the UAE, major deployment of the workforce in the economy and national infrastructure, as well as regional support. The UAE constantly reciprocates by being a major donor of financial aid to Pakistan, providing humanitarian support as and when needed, while many institutions, bridges (Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Swat), airports, hospitals (Sheikh Zayed Medical Complex), etc. in the country are named after its founding father. Acknowledging these long-lasting bonds, Khan said that there was genuine effort from both sides to resolve the issues. “We thank the leadership for stepping forward time and again and for always being a strong support for Pakistanis and for providing a tolerant and safe environment for millions to work and thrive. Pakistan, for its part, has repaid the bond, playing its role in structuring the UAE and raising it to the level of a leading destination. The UAE, while a safe place, it has its rules and procedures, which in most cases for the blue-collar working community, is hard to understand. The end result is that they end up overstaying their visa or missing some other deadline which they were not aware of,” he said.

Khan said that GCC Legal Consultants would provide the road for the less fortunate, leading them back to their loved ones.

— ali@khaleejtimes.com


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