Friday, March 06, 2009

Emigrant business of Pakistan

The business was organized. Like accountants studying tax laws, the manpower-export experts of Pakistan studied the world's immigration laws and competetitively gambled with their emigrant battalions: visitor's visas overstayable here (most European countries), dependants shippable there (England), student's visas convertible there (Canada and the United States), political asylum to be asked for there (Austria and West Berlin), still no visas needed here, just below the Arctic Circle (Finland). They wen by the planeload. Karachi airport was equipped for this emigrant traffic. Some got through; some were turned back. ---

Abroad, the emigrants threw themselves on the mercies of civil liberties organizations. They sought the protection of the laws of the countries where planes had brought them. They or their representatives spoke correct words about the difference between poor countries and rich, South and North. They spoke of crime of racial discrimination and the brotherhood of man. They appealed to the ideals of alien civilizations whose virtue they denied at home. 

And in the wyes of the faithful there was no contradiction.

-V.S. Naipaul in Among the Believers An Islamic Journey (1981)

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