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10 facts about Indian immigrants you are probably unaware of

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Indian diaspora
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Figures from the United Nations show India being the world’s largest diaspora, standing at 15.6 million people while revealing a change in the Indian immigrant’s shift in the past two decades from the US towards countries in the Middle East mostly to work as manual laborers and domestic staff.

We feature ten such interesting facts about the geographical aspects of our people living abroad:

  • Over two million Indians have moved overseas in the past five years, the UN data on migrant movements published every five years, show. The increase in Indian expats across the world represented a rise of 17% from 2010, when 13.2 million were living abroad, making it the largest diaspora for the first time.
  • In 2005, India was in third place after Russia and Mexico, countries that both had 10.5 million people living overseas. India’s vast diaspora sends back billions of dollars in remittances every year. With estimated remittance flows of around $72 billion in 2015, the South Asian nation receives more expat cash than any other country, World Bank figures show.
  • Pakistan, which is India’s neighbor and political rival, records the second-highest number of Indian-born people there, at 2 million, according to the UN data. However, the figure is largely due to the partition in 1947. Migration between India and Pakistan is vanishingly rare.
  • While the US is still the second-most popular destination for Indians with nearly 2 million people who were born in India living there, data shows a decline in recent years from 26 percent between 2005 and 2010 to 16 percent between 2010 and 2015.
  • Interestingly, the biggest proportions of Indians are in the United Arab Emirates, where 3.5 million Indians make up 30% of the population being the largest expatriate group. However, numbers of Indian immigrants in the UAE have also slowed dramatically- only 20% from 2010 to 2015 compared with an increase of 126% between 2005 and 2010. The UAE had the most male Indian migrants–2.7 million.
  • Saudi Arabia came next with 1.9 million, then Kuwait with 1 million and Oman where 777,632 India-born are based. Around 1.2 million Indians live in Europe. Most Indians who moved abroad chose to live in what the UN defined as developing regions with 3 million relocating to developed regions.
  • The majority of Indian migrants were men, standing at 10 million. Worldwide, women make up 48.2% of migrants. The number of Indian men choosing to live abroad rose 18% from 8.5 million in 2010 whereas the number of women doing the same thing rose 15% from 4.8 million in 2010 to 5.5 million in 2015. Also, Indian males were more likely to travel to developing regions than their female counterparts– more than twice as many men migrating to such places as women.
  • Also, compared to 2.3 million Indian men living in developed regions, 2 million Indian women are residing there with the US being the host to the most female Indian migrants at 933,216.
  • Many countries logged no Indian migrants at all, including Micronesia, Greenland and Paraguay. Of the places that do have Indians living in them, the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba had the fewest, with just 9 people from the South Asian nation resident there.
  • Overall, migration from Syria rose the most. At 5 million, it was five times its level in 2010, as a certain conflict in the country caused people to flee. Pakistan’s migration rose 18% from 5 million to 5.9 million people living abroad between 2010 and 2015.

Interestingly, The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division revealed that worldwide, 244 million people were living in a country other than where they were born in 2015. That was an increase of 41% compared with the year 2000. Also, of the 20 countries with the largest diaspora, 11 were located in Asia. (The Wall Street Journal) (picture courtesy: visual.ly)

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American Friends of Balochistan welcomes Trump’s Tough stand on Pak

The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) issued a statement Monday welcoming Donald Trump's stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

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American Friends of Balochistan welcomes Trump's Tough stand on Pak
American Friends of Balochistan welcomes Trump's Tough stand on Pak. wikimedia commons

Washington, D.C.– The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) Executive Committee issued a statement Monday welcoming the President’s stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

The AFB said President Donald J. Trump has called out Pakistan’s constant bluffs with the US and pointed out a big chunk of American assistance was used against people of Balochistan in a secret, dirty war instead of the Taliban.

Khwaja Wali Kirani in Balochistan. Wikimedia Commons

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” President Trump first tweet of 2018 reads.

The tweet was loved by nearly quarter-million Americans and retweeted 83,000 times in less than 24 hours.

The AFB executive committee said the US remains Pakistan’s top foreign aid donor, in addition to the money paid in expectation of cooperation in the Global War on Terror. Yet, for many years now, serving officers in the US Armed Forces have repeatedly spoken out about Pakistan’s perfidy in Afghanistan, which has cost the US lives, money and strategic credibility in the world’s eyes. Pakistan also remains a training ground for terrorism and a prime proliferator of nuclear weapons technology.

No country’s development and democracy have suffered more from Pakistan’s interference via state-sponsored terrorism than Afghanistan. US efforts to help the Afghans rebuild their nation are constantly sabotaged by reeling instability. India is another well-known target.

The AFB said Balochistan is a region rich in natural gas. It that has seen several bloody cycles of insurgency ever since Pakistan forcibly annexed the autonomous Baloch state of Kalat in 1948 in violation of a Standstill Agreement. A portion of historical Balochistan also sits on the other side of Pakistan’s border with Iran. Further, it borders Afghanistan to the north-west. Pakistan’s brutal record in this strategically located province that forms the northern lip of the key Straits of Hormuz has spiked in recent years.

“People of Balochistan tried their very best to work with Pakistan’s false promises of integration after forceful accession, but instead gave genocide to Balochs,” said the statement.

The AFB monitors the situation in Balochistan closely and is in touch with freedom and democracy activists on the ground. The AFB reiterated their call to the Pakistani government to cease violating the physical security of Baloch people, their freedom of expression, and end the policy of economic exploitation and genocidal violence.

A slow-motion genocide in Balochistan has claimed the lives of 35,000 Baloch people, 6,000 of whom were buried in mass graves while 21,000 are Victims of Enforced Disappearances, according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. “The enforced disappearances situation in Balochistan is no different than what it used to be in Chile and Argentine in the 1970s and 1980s,” the AFB executive committee noted.

The AFB executive committee chimed in with similar sentiments expressed by policy experts in academe, veteran politicians, diplomats, intelligence chiefs, and human rights activists. Among them were former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, leading South Asia expert and former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, several Baloch freedom and human rights activists cutting across party lines, former head of Afghanistan’s Directorate of Security Amrullah Saleh, and even normally fierce critics of President Trump’s administration such as Prof. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

The AFB executive committee consists of Jane Eastwood Weisner, Najeeb Khan, Krishna Gudipati, Soumya Chowdhury and Habiba Ashna. The organization was founded by veteran Baloch journalist Ahmar Mustikhan, who is the president.

Hope and doubt have been expressed on whether the US president’s tweet and words will translate into actionable legislation. Mustikhan published a survey of some of these thoughts in an article titled “Wave of joy sweeps across Afghanistan, Balochistan & India over Trump’s first tweet of 2018”.