Youth from across Pakistan assembled for a dialogue targeting inflation and unemployment at the Youth Parliament Leadership Conference (YPLC) at the Aiwan-e-Quaid Auditorium on Saturday.
YPLC Chairperson Rizwan Jaffar ignited the youth saying they had two choices: complacency or action. He started off the first of three sessions with the assertion that Pakistan had everything but the intention to bring change.
Daniyal Aziz, ex-chairperson of the National Reconstruction Bureau, ranked inflation and unemployment the highest concerns of the ordinary person, blaming inflation on government policy.
Journalist Talat Hussain added that change will come when Pakistanis, especially the youth, stop banking on the government and channel their own energy and passion towards a better nation for themselves. He addressed the members of the youth parliament as the “critical mass of Pakistan: the creative, educated, energetic and privileged 6% who are responsible for collective change.”
“Give us a chance,” said Anam Abbasi, a recent MBA graduate from the International Islamic University Islamabad during the second session. “It is our responsibility to change Pakistan and we will,” she finished to a forceful applause from the audience.
Though the focus of the conference was the role of the youth in seeking solutions for the economic prosperity of the country, the second session with speakers Akram Zaki, Bushra Gohar, Ghulam Mujtaba and Kanwar Dilshad turned into what Anam Abbasi condemned as a “blame game”. Federal Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira was also among the guest speakers.
Bushra Gohar, Central Vice President of the Awami National Party, stressed that a secure economy is fundamental to a secure Pakistan and that defence budgets need to be cut down in order to fund the basic necessities of the citizens of this nation.
The auditorium was bustling with energy and optimism but while the youth questioned the guest speakers and challenged their opinions about the topic at hand among other issues, their own ideas for change remained elusive.
The session was an indicator, however, that the young people of Pakistan are at the cusp of bringing about change.
“Seventy per cent of Pakistan is represented by the youth who have the energy and passion to rebel and take over,” Akram Zaki, ex-chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs reaffirmed to the audience.
The YPLC is a platform for this 70% to challenge their circumstances, to bring forth new ideas and to instigate the much-needed winds of change.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2012.
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