In the absence of conclusive youth-related policies, youth leaders are not optimistic about the future of their generation in Pakistan, which constitutes 63% of the country’s total population.
A number of youth activists and youth leaders opined that the government should have a national youth commission with substantial resources to chalk out future policies so that the youth’s potential may be tapped constructively.
The youth leaders also expressed dismay over the devolution of the federal youth ministry to the provinces, due to which there is no centralised youth forum to interact with international agencies and non-governmental organisations, which are interested in promoting youth’s interests.
Hanan Ali Abbasi, who is currently the president of the National Youth Assembly (NYA), said, “All the avenues for youth to enter the corridors of power have been closed in one way or the other. Except the sons and daughters of rich politicians, young people cannot enter politics.”
“Politicians are using young people as tools in their political meetings and rallies for erecting chairs and holding flags without giving them any leadership positions,” he added.
NYA Youth Governor Saeeda Mirbaz Khan said that the government does not have any economic policies to absorb young people who are unemployed, many of whom carry good degrees. She added that the government should establish career counseling and vocational trainings centres to benefit them. She also urged provincial governments to establish youth offices in their respective provinces to promote youth activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.