Of protests and youth frustrations

Published: September 29, 2015

The excessively violent behaviour of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police towards protesting young doctors was a reprehensible act of mismanagement which upset all and sundry. The doctors’ fraternity is considered to be highly educated and an asset to any nation. Young doctors had been holding protests making certain demands related to their house jobs, and instead of having their demands met, they were beaten and dragged on the road.

The PTI was voted into power to bring about change, but somehow it has not lived up to public expectations. The doctors want to be included in an affirmative action programme. They have highlighted the major problem that they are facing, ie, the inability of the provincial government to create enough jobs for them even after promising that it would do so. This is a big challenge for the provincial government, which has built its politics on the promises to reform and modernise institutions in K-P, reforms that have remained stalled for far too long.

In a similar vein, a protest was recently organised by lady health workers on main GT Road, paralysing Peshawar for hours. These lady health workers are among the poorest of the country and form that portion of the population that lives literally hand to mouth.

Then we have the young educated youth of the province, especially those who are part of the middle class, who have become increasingly frustrated with their lot. Many have college degrees but still cannot land the kinds of professional jobs that they want.

It is time the K-P chief minister awakened to the public resentment and frustration that the youth and young professionals in the province are feeling. In addition, he needs to take the police to task for their unruly behaviour. Individual liberties, and civil and political rights cannot be trampled upon. If the K-P government does not improve its performance, the young electorate that swept it into provincial office could just as easily vote it out.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2015.

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