Social decline in Pakistan : Social Development

Social decline in Pakistan

Pakistan-born immigrants are the new face of poverty in urban Canada. The Canadian census revealed that 44 per cent of Pakistan-born immigrants fell below the poverty line making them the second most poverty prone group of immigrants in Canada.

While they may project an aura of opulence during their visits back home, their life in Canada, however, is often full of struggle and frustration. Thousands of Pakistani trained engineers, doctors, and PhDs are driving taxis or are working as security guards in large cities. In fact, one in three taxi-drivers in Canada was born in either India or Pakistan. Several others are unemployed thus becoming a burden on Canadian taxpayers.

The latest Census data for income for 2005 revealed that Pakistan-born immigrants reported the second highest incidence for the low-income cut-off, a proxy for poverty line in Canada. In comparison, only 18 per cent of India-born immigrants in Canada reported being a low-income person or belonging to a low-income economic family. Immigrants born in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Italy and Germany reported the lowest incidence of poverty in Canada.

Source: 2006 Public Use Microdata File, Statistics Canada.

Unlike in the Middle East where the Arab governments do not allow assimilation of migrant workers, the Canadian government and the society to a large extent does not create systematic barriers that may limit the immigrants’ ability to succeed and assimilate in Canada. This is not to suggest that immigrants face no barriers at all in Canada. They in fact do. For instance, Pakistan-trained doctors cannot practice medicine without completing further training in Canada. The shorter duration of medical training in Pakistan necessitates the additional certification for doctors. Engineering graduates from Pakistan, however, face no such barrier because the engineering curriculum and the duration of training in Pakistan is similar to that in Canada.

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