Overseas Pakistanis and inclusion.

On Tuesday, June 25th, 2024, Ghulam Baig, the CEO of Gilgit Baltistan’s Goodwill Movement, celebrated a remarkable achievement by graduating with a BA Honours in Politics and International Relations from The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. This milestone is particularly significant as Baig becomes the first disabled person from Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan to graduate from this prestigious institution.

Baig expressed immense pride and gratitude for this achievement, noting that being the first disabled person to graduate from The University of Strathclyde is a great honor. In his conversation with Goodwill Movement, he highlighted the personal and collective significance of this accomplishment. Baig’s journey, however, underscores a broader issue that requires attention: the support and recognition of disabled individuals within Pakistan.

Why must such assets prove themselves at an international level before being appreciated locally?” Baig questioned.

His experiences reflect the challenges and triumphs of the disabled community, emphasizing the need for greater inclusion and support within Pakistan. Baig’s success story serves as both an inspiration and a call to action, urging society to come together and create a more inclusive environment that recognizes and nurtures the potential of all its members, regardless of physical abilities.

This poignant inquiry sheds light on the broader systemic issues faced by the disabled community in Pakistan. Despite their immense potential and talent, individuals with disabilities often find themselves overlooked and underappreciated within their local contexts. This lack of recognition not only undermines their abilities but also perpetuates a cycle of marginalization and limited opportunities.

Several factors contribute to this issue. Cultural perceptions and stigmas associated with disability play a significant role in limiting opportunities for disabled individuals. Many communities in Pakistan still view disability through a lens of pity and charity rather than empowerment and capability, which is not been reduced by the overseas community. This outdated perspective often leads to disabled individuals being underestimated and their potential overlooked.

Furthermore, the lack of accessible infrastructure and inclusive education systems exacerbates the problem. Educational institutions in Pakistan frequently lack the necessary resources and support systems to accommodate disabled students, thereby limiting their educational and professional prospects.

In addressing these challenges, the role of overseas Pakistanis becomes crucial. The Pakistani diaspora, particularly those who have achieved success and recognition abroad, have a responsibility to contribute to the betterment of their homeland. They possess the resources, influence, and global perspective needed to drive meaningful change.

Instead of being overly political with supporting a certain individual, Overseas Pakistanis can also leverage their experiences and networks to advocate for better policies and practices that support disabled individuals. That is the true meaning of Pakistan.

Scroll to Top