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Daily Times

Published Date: Feb 24, 2015

Speakers call for increasing youths’ role in politics

ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a policy seminar on Monday said participation of youth should be increased in politics and they should be involved in decision making for sustainable development in the country.

The seminar on “Youth and democratic development in Pakistan” was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute here in collaboration with Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
Political leaders from Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) participated in the seminar.

In his introductory remarks, Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Senior Research Associate of SDPI said lack of confidence in youth was a hurdle in the way of sustainable development.

He also raised a few questions on the political system of Pakistan whether it was exclusive or inclusive.
Bushra Gohar, Vice-President of ANP Women Wing, dispelled the impression that youth are not engaged in politics.

She said though the meaningful role of youth was missing, they were active in politics since partition.
She said, “Youth are only engaged in casting vote but we have to take them beyond this.”
She maintained that one reason of violence in the country was the lack of forums where youth could express their views.

“Difference of opinion should be there, as it provides base for development,” he added.
Senator Osman Saifullah of the PPPP said, “The People’s Party is the only party, which practices what it preaches regarding youth.”

“We are criticized on many forums regarding our chairman Bilawal Bhutto, who is youth.”
He said Pakistan was different from other countries as “our leadership and government is run by those who are in their 60s and 70s.” He emphasized that youth should be involved in decision-making, as they would have to face the consequences. Stressing the need for crafting development agenda by the youth, he said the communication mechanism had changed from one way to two-way.

He said technology should be used by the governments to engage public and especially youth, who need instantaneous reaction and response.

He said youth should be given access to public data but currently obtaining public data was cumbersome.

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