Pakistan quite often surprises the world community with deep-rooted and amazing social dynamics. A recent survey by Gallup & Gilani Pakistan suggested that a large majority of 70% of Pakistanis feel connected to the country and prefer to stay in Pakistan even though they have good opportunities to leave Pakistan. However, there is a reasonable percentage of educated but unemployed young Pakistanis who have chosen to leave the country.

In April this year, respondents were asked the following question: “If someone gave you important papers, housing and a job in a developed country, would you consider going there/or would you reject you offer it and would you prefer to stay in Pakistan?” In response to this question, 26% said they were going abroad, 70% said they were staying in Pakistan and 4% did not know or gave no answer.

Despite several challenges, high inflation, restricted access to basic amenities, long hours of offloading, rising unemployment, encounters with extremism and a volatile political environment, Pakistanis still feel connected to the country and prefer to stay in Pakistan. Not only did they prefer to stay in the country, but they also feel safe in their home country, even with all the vulnerabilities. This disproves widespread allegations of disloyalty from one faction of society to another.

Now, I think we should all learn to respect every Pakistani’s loyalty to the motherland. Interestingly, nearly twice the global average of Pakistanis feel secure about their future, while 68% of Italians and 41% of Finns feel insecure.

It is indeed interesting to note that countries ranked at the top of the Global Prosperity Index have failed to instill a sense of security in their people, while a country ranked 140 in the Global Prosperity Index has demonstrates connectivity among the masses and confidence in their secure future. This certainly suggests the strength of the social structure of Pakistani society.

The brain drain from Pakistan is still causing outcry and the data also supports these concerns. A report suggests: “In 2018-2019, in two years alone, some 884,000 young Pakistanis left the country, according to official records from the emigration office. The record indicates that more than 300,000 Pakistanis left the country in 2018. The figure rose to 500,000 the following year.

Analyzes such as these usually mislead the masses, on the one hand painting a gloomy picture of society while on the other celebrating remittances from foreign destinations as a strong contribution to the country’s GDP.

Technically, brain drain is the emigration of highly educated or skilled people from a particular country. In the case of Pakistan, the same report indicates that only about 46,000 highly educated/trained Pakistanis decided to leave Pakistan during the same period, which is indeed a great loss for the nation, but our reports do not point out never those returning to Pakistan from abroad. destinations to serve their country.

These inflows and outflows of highly educated/trained human capital are indicative of a dynamic society, but we are generally looking at the weak side of the model. Recent survey results on the subject clearly dispel the perception that a majority of the population prefers to leave Pakistan. It also highlights the need for talent management in the country to strengthen the public and private sectors of society.

James Intagliata and his colleagues suggest, “When you don’t know what the future holds, how do you determine who has – or can acquire – the right strengths to meet those challenges? Past performance doesn’t tell you who can do things they haven’t done before. It also doesn’t help identify high potentials earlier in their careers. Leadership potential is not based on accomplishments, but on observable and measurable behaviors.

“Based on a database of more than 23,000 candidate assessments for positions in public and private companies, and in-depth analyzes of 1,500 people, from entry-level professionals to senior managers, three psychological markers have been isolated which can reliably predict individuals’ ability to grow and handle increased complexity in new roles, including Cognitive Quotient (CQ): how they use their intellect, Driving Quotient (DQ): what motivates them and how they apply their energy; and emotional quotient (EQ): how they interact with those around them.”

I think it’s equally important to review professional transcripts and credentials as well as field-specific tests to determine intellectual abilities for particular positions. However, considering drive and emotional quotients can definitely help organizations attract people who can put their heart and soul into the task and the goal. If we lose people despite such a connection to the homeland, it means that there is a flaw in the overall design of our labor market.

The drive quotient enables individuals not only to maximize their own performance, but also to develop and take advantage of the abilities of others. Drive is linked to the passion for progress, success, excellence and, above all, the triumph of oneself and the group. Once we are able to channel people’s DQ in the appropriate direction, they can convert every challenge into a thriving opportunity for their own success and that of those around them.

James Intagliata and his colleagues further suggest, “People with high DQ push beyond their comfort zones and tackle new challenges with relish. They are also resilient: when they suffer a setback, they reset, reframe, and try again. Most importantly, they continually strive to improve not only as individuals, but also to amplify results at the organizational level.

Our bond with the motherland, coupled with talent management beyond academic abilities, can enable our vibrant human capital to engage for impact, to use their intellect to solve the right problem, to get on with the people and overcome all obstacles to achieve what is necessary for prosperous national progress.

Dr Abdus Sattar Abbasi
The author is Associate Professor and Director of Center for Islamic Finance at COMSATS University, Lahore Campus. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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