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Published Date: Apr 3, 2015

Only merit can ensure country’s development

ISLAMABAD: Unless people of merit are selected or put in important positions, fate of the nation cannot be changed.

This was stated by MNA Asad Umar from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf at a seminar on: “Social Exclusion of Youth and its Impact on National Development”. The seminar was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday.

Mr Asad said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was relatively young when he was elected prime minister in 1970 elections, and he brought with him youth to the parliament.

“In 1985, Zia-ul-Haq too made his cabinet consisting mostly of youth but they failed to deliver. Benazir Bhutto was not only young but she cornered all of her uncles and gave chance to young people but the result was the same because merit was not followed in their selection,” he said.

“Youth should be equipped with education and knowledge. Moreover, only merit can ensure country’s development,” he said.

Bushra Gohar from Awami National Party (ANP) said although the country had a youth policy but it was so confusing that no one could understand it, whereas in India it was very simple. “We need to make new youth policy,” she said.

“Our major problem is that we don’t allow youth to ask questions. Religion is another issue, which prevents youth from speaking out on matters of public interest because of fear of blasphemy,” she said.

Ms Gohar said since education was the state responsibility, parents should take state to courts if their children could not get admission in schools.

“Unfortunately, most of the research work being done by the non-governmental organizations and scholars is plagiarized. We need to revisit our policies,” she said.

Jamaat-i-Islami MNA Ayesha Syed said 65 per cent population consisted of youth and it had been doing well.

“It was youth which played its role in rehabilitation activities after 2005 earthquake and 2008 Swat Operation. If youth would not be engaged in positive activities problem will increase. At the moment youth has degrees but not jobs,” she said.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Mohammad Ali Rashid did not agree with the view that youth had been excluded from decision-making. “Youth can make the difference,” he said.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Maiza Hameed said the urban’s population had doubled during the last decade.

“Exclusion of the youth from decision-making has hampered economy. However, the PML-N has been giving attention to youth that is why it started laptop scheme,” she said.

Executive Director SDPI Abid Qayyum Sulehri said unemployment and underemployment were big issues of the country which would go up in next five to 10 years, increasing the problems for the youth.

“Public sector schools have failed to provide quality education. On the other hand middle class is not able to send children to private schools,” he said adding 69 per cent of the Public Sector Development Programme is being spent on infrastructure and very low amount on social sector.