Intellectual Brain Drain in Pakistan: Causes and Repercussions

Intellectual Brain Drain in Pakistan: Causes and Repercussions

The following article is written by Muhammad Khalil Rehman, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.



  • ✓ Intellectual brain drain has threatened Pakistan’s socio-economic fabric very badly. It has caused the country to incur the loss of human capital, economic stability, and competitiveness in the global markets. Besides, the problems, such as political instability, monetary crisis, and absence of peace and harmony, are adding fuel to fire of the issue. However, the cure to the issues can indeed make the country control the obstacle of brain drain.

2-Debunking the term Brain drain

  • ✓The moving of highly skilled professionals from their homeland to abroad for the better standards of living and employment opportunities.

3- What factors contribute to the intellectual brain drain in Pakistan?

  • ✓ Prevailing the menace of political instability
  • ✓Rising economic turmoil
  • ✓Surging the hazard of terrorism
  • ✓Lacking to provide favourable professional opportunities
  • ✓Limiting research facilities
  • ✓Existing low quality of life

4- What are the repercussions of Brain drain, incurred by Pakistan?

  • ✓dearth of human capital
  • ✓loss of revenue
  • ✓decrease in foreign investment
  • ✓dependence on remittance
  • ✓reduction in innovation and research

5-How Pakistan can avoid the rising monster of Brain drain?

  • ✓By ensuring political stability in the country
  • ✓By offering more employment opportunities and better living standards
  • ✓By investing in sectors of healthcare, education, and technology
  • ✓By confirming peace and harmony throughout the state
  • ✓By providing incentives to foreign investors

6- Critical Analysis

7- Conclusion

Answer to the question


Human capital plays a crucial role in a country’s peace, prosperity, and stability. It not only attracts foreign direct investment but also helps a country to maintain its competitiveness in the global markets. However, the issue of brain drain has caused many countries, including Pakistan, to lose the precious asset of the skilled labour force and suffer for prosperity and stability. Moreover, the country, Pakistan, incurs acute implications of brain drain owing to the evils of political instability, economic turmoil, and lack of peace and harmony in the country. As a result, the country bears the wrath of the loss of professionals and monetary might. The report by the Overseas Pakistani Foundation well supports the fact that around seven million Pakistani citizens are living abroad with a majority of them being highly educated and skilled professionals. Besides, the issue of brain drain also makes Pakistan dependent on remittances, for the country’s financial expenditures, instead of its indigenous resources. Nonetheless, as every cloud always has a silver lining, Pakistan can still control the rising peril of brain drain with some sagacious steps, such as assurance of political stability, peace and harmony, more employment opportunities, and provision of incentives to native and foreign entrepreneurs. The measures can help the country to save its human capital and acquire its dreams. Finally, the answer below comprehensively discusses the causes and repercussions of intellectual brain drain and also throws light on a few significant suggestions, helping the country to avoid the dangers of brain drain.

“Brain drain is a serious problem for developing countries because they lose their best and brightest minds, who can contribute to their economic and social development.” 

____ Ban Ki-moon

Debunking the term Brain drain

Brain drain refers to the migration of highly educated and skilled professionals of a country, such as doctors, engineers, scientists, and developers to abroad. The people have fled from their homeland to elsewhere in search of a better standard of living, more job opportunities, unlimited access to technology, economic security, and better quality of life. On the other hand, a country like Pakistan, where brain drain occurs, suffers the loss of a core portion of the valuable skilled labour force.

What factors contribute to the intellectual brain drain in Pakistan?

As every problem has some root causes, there have been the following factors giving an impetus to the peril of brain drain in Pakistan. To begin with, political instability, sure, has devastating impacts on every sector of the country, including human capital. Owing to the political instability, uncertain and insecure environment arises that creates risk for the well-being of intellectuals. Consequently, they leave the country. Apart from this, the surging hazard of terrorism has also contributed a lot to the brain drain. The Native professionals find their future at stake when there is an absence of peace and harmony. Besides, As Pakistan has been suffering political instability, economic turmoil, and a surge in terrorism, the country fails to provide sufficient employment opportunities to its native professionals, which in turn leads them to go elsewhere for their bread and butter. A report by the Pakistan Institute of Economics beautifully supports the given argument that around twenty-three per cent of Pakistan’s highly skilled professionals have migrated abroad.  Likewise, the limitation of research facilities and the existence of low quality of life make the precious skilled people to get attracted to foreign. Consequently, their homeland bears various implications.

What are the repercussions of Brain drain, incurred by Pakistan?

Pakistan has incurred plenty of implications owing to the problem of brain train. First, the country suffers a dearth of human capital and a shortage of highly educated and skilled workforce. According to the Bureau of Emigration, “Around seven hundred sixty-five thousand people left Pakistan for abroad in the year 2022.” Without any shadow of a doubt, the shortage of human capital pushes the country far from making progress. Besides, it also causes a loss of revenue in the country, as the departure of highly skilled men takes with them the knowledge and expertise that could be utilized to contribute to the state’s economy. In fact, the absence of human capital has made Pakistan lose the foreign direct investment. Moreover, the rapid increase of brain drain has caused Pakistan to rely on remittances, sent by overseas Pakistanis, instead of burning the midnight oil to enhance the country’s export for a long-term solution.  Further, robbing and shattering, the hazard of brain drain results in a lack of progress and development in most significant sectors of the country, such as healthcare, education, and technology; thus, no significant innovation and research has been done in the state of sorrowful affairs.

“Brain drain represents a real threat to the future of developing countries, as it deprives them of their most valuable resource: their human capital.”

_____ William Easterly

How Pakistan can avoid the rising monster of Brain drain?

As every problem has a solution, there are specific ways to counter the calamitous threats of brain drain. The first and foremost option to root out the evil is to ensure political stability in the country.  With its assurance, Pakistan can, for sure, eventually get out of the phenomenon of uncertainty, which would lay positive effects on human capital. Likewise, the provision of sufficient job opportunities, the government’s investment in healthcare, education, and technology, and assurance of a peaceful atmosphere in the country can, without any shadow of a doubt, lessen the departure of a highly skilled workforce from the country. Also, it can help the country stand on its indigenous resources and touch the peak of glory.  Last but not least, getting attracted to foreign direct investment by offering incentives to foreign investors has the potential to attract back the immigrants who flew abroad.

Critical analysis

Critically, the rapid rise in the brain drain has become a daunting challenge for the socio-economic fabric of Pakistan.  The issue has caused the country to bear the wrath of the economic crisis and the loss of foreign direct investment; hence, Pakistan, ironically, dances to the tunes of foreign donors to run its very basic expenditure. Undoubtedly, there has been a failure on the part of governments to implement sagacious policies to avoid the malice of brain drain, which has led the country to bear the brunt of the issue.


In a nutshell, the brain drain has overpowered and, to some extent, overshadowed Pakistan’s social, economic, and educational progress. Ironically, the country, owing to the malice of political instability, terrorism, monetary crisis, and lack of sufficient job opportunities, has incurred the loss of its valuable asset of human capital. Nonetheless, if the government, together with media and other political parties, strive hard to bring political and economic stability as well as peace and harmony to the country, Pakistan would, without any shadow of a doubt, witness a considerable decline in the peril of brain drain.

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