November 28; What is the future of the Youth of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa amidst the growing extremism in educational institutions, lack of employment opportunities and an upsetting state of education across the province? With the objective of prioritising the future of the young people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PILDAT and UNDP Pakistan jointly organised and conducted a Youth Dialogue on Democratic, Peaceful Governance and Sustainable Development in Peshawar.
Representatives of the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as members of opposition political parties in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly sat down together to engage with youth representatives. These included Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Speaker, Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Mahmood Jan, Deputy Speaker, Mr. Atif Khan, MPA, Senior Minister and Minister for Youth Affairs, Mr. Taimoor Jhaghra, Provincial Finance Minister, Mr. Kamran Bangash, MPA & Adviser to CM on IT, Ms. Asia Khattak, MPA & Advisor to CM, Dr. Sumera Shams, MPA (PTI), Ms. Ayesha Bano, MPA (PTI), Ms. Samar Haroon Bilour, MPA (ANP) Ms. Humaira Bibi, MPA (MMA) and Mr. Jamshed Khan, MPA (PML-N). Youth speakers included Mr. Ayaz Haider Bangash, Ms. Elum Gul, Ms. Yusra Hussain, Mr. Furqan Yousafzai, Mr. Roeel Azmat Khan, Mr. Luqman Hakeem, Mr. Muhammad Ilyas, Mr. Abdul Wahid Qureshi and Mr. Siraj Muhammad.
Acting as Speaker at the Dialogue, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, MPA, Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, led a healthy debate on important questions by the Youth. Later, Ms. Asia Khattak, MPA, ran the dialogue.
In their questions to representatives of the Provincial Government and Opposition, Youth Speakers highlighted issues on unemployment and under-employment, allocation of resources for construction of schools, general lack of focus on various aspects of quality education, on-merit selection and appointment of eligible teachers in educational institutions, provision of counseling facilities in schools to spread awareness against gender-based violence and harassment, provision of more effective aid in betterment of co-curricular activities for students, need for building a consensus to tackle radicalisation of youth, drug abuse in the province, provision of rights to transgenders and religious minorities, uniformity in the school curriculums, tackling the challenge of terrorism in KP and speedy integration of the youth of FATA.
Members of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both from the Government or Opposition, agreed with the issues highlighted by the youth and reiterated that both sides will work together with youth in the province to resolve youth issues.
In his welcome address, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT highlighted the 3Es summarized by the UNDP Youth Report that will mark the difference between a youth boom or bust: quality Education, gainful Employment and meaningful Engagement. To address the third E, that is Engagement, PILDAT and UNDP have joined hands to organise this platform.