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The Dawn

Published Date: Nov 24, 2013

Youth’s role vital in peace building

Though the youth can play a very important role in peace building,
they have not been provided a proper platform by political parties in
the country.

This was stated by speakers at the "National peace summit" organised
by the Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in partnership with the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Saturday.

Former information minister and PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said his party was established by the youth.

He said a common ground should be searched for the youth to ensure peace in the country.

"Unfortunately, continuity of democracy could not be maintained in
the country due to which policies regarding the youth were not
implemented. The government should invest in the youth and create
opportunities for them," he said.

Senator Haji Adeel of the ANP said his party gave importance to the
youth and also started training workshops for them when it was in power
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Although the government claims that there is 50 per cent literacy
rate, in reality only three per cent women and 17 per cent men are
literate in KP. Only the educated youth can restore peace in the country
and that is why ANP had also increased the education budget of the
province,” he said.

Ahmad Jawad, member of the central executive committee of the PTI,
said his party’s focus was the youth and it had allocated 25 per cent of
the tickets to the youth in the general elections.

“Youth can be used for peace and also for destruction. We are doing legislation for a uniform education system,” he said.

Dr Shama Ishaque of the National Party said in the past youth of
Balochistan were used for negative activities. Now the government has
allocated additional funds for education and healthcare facilities.

“In Balochistan, the unemployed youth can get stipend of Rs10,000
every month.
During Musharraf’s tenure, the Saindak project was abolished over a
dispute of Rs1.5 billion due to which 1,200 people became unemployed,”
she said.

Jan Achakzai of JUI-F said his party valued the youth who can be used for the betterment of the country.

Ajmal Wazir of the PML-Q said political parties did not take interest
in the implementation of their manifestoes regarding the youth.

“There are seminaries, government schools and private schools which
have different syllabus. In the past, the successive governments used
the seminary students for their own vested interests.”

SFCG Pakistan executive director Ammara Durrani said the objective of
the summit was to raise local stories of personal initiatives for peace
and connect them with the mainstream actors.

Ambassador of Denmark, Jesper M. Sorensen said peace was more than
the absence of war. “Peace can only thrive if you have an environment,
where there is coexistence, social justice, hope, imagination and
creativity,” he said.

A poster-drawing competition "Defining peace" was also held in which students from different schools in Islamabad took part.