Youth Monitor: May 2022

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This monitor is meant to identify major developments in the context of youth-related issues and policies in Pakistan. This study will help in identifying key trends and topics of interest among the youth of Pakistan and may also contribute towards removing certain hurdles that exist in the way of bringing forth pro-youth reforms.

Ms. Shaza Fatima Khawaja, MNA appointed Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs

On May 13, 2022, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appointed Ms. Shaza Fatima Khawaja,MNA as Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs[1].

Future (Freelance) Fest 2022

President Dr. Arif Alvi addressing the Freelance Fest 2022 in Islamabad

On May 14, 2022, Future (Freelance) Fest 2022 was held in Islamabad at Fatima Jinnah Park which was sponsored by JS Bank, Bank Islami, in collaboration with the Pakistan Freelancers Association and others. Dr. Arif Alvi, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan in his key note address underlined the importance of the Information Technology (IT) and said that this sector can provide a jump start to Pakistan which had lagged behind in the IT industry. Referring to the youth bulge the President stressed the need for proper education and training of youth as a large number of the country’s manpower had been illiterate[2].

National Youth Convention 2022

President Dr. Arif Alvi addressing the National Youth Convention 2022 in Islamabad

The National Youth Convention 2022 was held at the Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad on May 18, 2022. The Convention was organized by Pakistan Institute for Conflict Studies (PICS) and attended by former chief of the air staff Air Chief Marshal (r) Sohail Aman, Director General of PICS Major General (r) Saad Khattak and a large number of students and youth leaders. Dr. Arif Alvi, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan was the chief guest. President Alvi emphasised the importance of character-building and called upon the youth to adopt high morals in their lives by standing firm against dishonesty and corruption in his key note address. He also stressed that the intellectual and financial corruption had immensely damaged Pakistan and called upon the youth to stay clear from it. The president said to transform Pakistan in line with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the contribution of youth through intellectual development was important[3].

National Youth Dialogue on Right to a Healthy Environment by Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan, UNDP, WWF Pakistan; May 17, 2022

A youth dialogue on the right to a clean and healthy environment was organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan on May 17, 2022 in Islamabad. UNDP, WWF Pakistan, and Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force today. The dialogue engaged youth, multilateral organizations, civil society, and policymakers to have a focused conversation on what this right means in the local context. Senator Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change attended the event as Chief guest[4].

Pakistani climber Shehroze Kashif became the youngest person in the world to reach the summit of Kanchenjunga

Shehroze Kashif. — File photo

Pakistani climber Shehroze Kashif at the age of 26, made history by becoming the youngest person in the world and first in his country to reach the summit of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak (8586m) in Nepal. The achieved this feat on May 05, 2022. He already has the distinction of being the first youngest person in the world to scale two highest peaks, including Everest (8849m) and K2 (8611m)[5].

Members of the 17th Youth Parliament Pakistan engage in an interactive virtual session on Evolution of Federalism in Pakistan and Australia

Members of the 17th Youth Parliament Pakistan engaged in an interactive virtual session on evolution of federalism in Pakistan and Australia on May 27, 2022. The virtual session was organized by PILDAT with the support of the Australian High commission’s Direct Aid Programme. Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, presented key takeaways from the background paper written by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, public intellectual, former National Security Advisor and Former Federal Minister for Finance, Foreign Affairs and a Development Economist. Mr. Sartaj Aziz could not attend the session. In is recommendations, Mr. Sartaj Aziz believes that the call for revisiting 18th Amendment should be discouraged. Instead, capacity of the Provincial governments needs to be enhanced to deal with the devolved subjects of Education and Health. Duplication of efforts should be avoided between Federal and Provincial Governments in areas such as Health, Agriculture and Population Planning. Role of Federal Government should be increased in social protection, poverty reduction, higher education and health insurance by better utilisation of the CCI. In Water and Higher Education, mechanism of matching grants can be used by Federal Government to achieve accelerated progress. Federal Government must show leadership by evolving through consensus & approval of CCI a model Local Government law which should also set time limit of holding LG elections and efforts should be made to increase the federal tax revenues to 15% of the GDP. Speaking on the Evolution of Fiscal Federalism in Australia Dr. Moeen Cheema, Associate Professor at the College of Law, Australian National University (ANU), briefly shared the history of federalism and constitutional formation in Australia. He said fiscal federalism is key to robust federalism. However, Australia is somewhat anomalous amongst developed democracies as its constitutional system has deeply entrenched federalism but has at the same time evolved a vertical fiscal imbalance that leads to comparatively much greater centralization of power and policymaking in the federal government or Commonwealth of Australia. As a developed economy, however, and the over-sized revenue generating capacity of the federal government, the fiscal imbalance is cushioned through Commonwealth’s generous unconditional and conditional grants to Australian States. Evolution of mechanisms of coordination between the Commonwealth and States through policymaking is also entrenched in practice that takes care of the centralization of power[6].

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 regarding Youth seats quota was introduced in NA on May 24, 2022 by Rana Iradat Sharif, MNA, PML-N) (NA-146 Pakpattan-II, Punjab)

Around 64% population of Pakistan consists of the people under the age of 30 years. This is a historic and very unique demogaphic oppofimity for the country but unless young people are most directly involved in making legislation which impacts them and their constituencies, Pakistan cannot benefit fiom the enormous potential and innovative ability of its youth bulge. This amendment seeks to increase youth electoral and political representation in Pakistan by mandating the allocation of at least 30% election tickets and at least 30% political leadenhip positions to young people in Pakistan. It will democratize and ensure youth representation in the decision-m;rking of the country by also mandating preferential rcpresentation of working-cla,ss and under-lepresented Eroups of society in the elected and political leadership[7].

Voters Education and Awareness campaign by ECP continues

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The Young Voters Education and Awareness campaign launched by Election Commission of Pakistan continued and three awareness session were conducted. First session was organized on May 13, 2022 at the Government Associate College for Women in Chakwal[8]. Second in Government Associate College for Women in Chowa Saidan Shah on May 14, 2022[9] and with University of Turbat in Balochistan on May 15, 2022[10].

Pakistani youth team participates in HR Committee session

Pakistani youth delegation participated in 15th Session of Human Rights (HR) Committee in Geneva; Switzerland held on May 03, 2022. The aim of the session was to bring together the full diversity of the Human Rights community, policy makers, practitioners and researchers from all geographical regions at local, national, regional and international levels. Global Youth Advocate of United Nations, Chairman Youth Revolution Clan and Head of Pakistan Youth Delegation Rizwan Anwar represented Pakistan in 15th Session of Human Rights Committee. In his speech, he discussed about the “Protecting Human Rights in an increasingly automatised word: Artificial Intelligence, Opportunities for Human Rights Activists”. He said the Pakistan youth has great potential for the social and positive society transformation but mostly they are neglected at all levels. International organisations need to provide opportunities to the young people of Pakistan, as youth involvement is essential for the achievement of SDGs at all levels. The UN Secretary General has referred to young people as the “torchbearers” of the development framework and we should all continue to work towards strong and effective participation of young people and youth organisations in the development agenda, especially to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for the Sustainable Future. Maha Jamil, Co-Chair of YRC and Director at KCLCD, Kinnaird College for Women in her speech said that gender balanced youth groups can be trained for Social Activism on Artificial Intelligence for Social Transformation and Sustainable Development[11].

National Literary Festival held at NUST- Islamabad (May 13-15, 2022)

The third edition of National Literary Festival organised by the NUST Literary Circle (NLC) concluded after discovering the outstanding talents of the students in different literary activities. The fiesta comprised an assortment of literary activities in genres of prose and poetry, and intriguing interactive sessions on topics such as mental health, journalism, inspiring women, etc. Apart from that, students exuberantly took part in competitions: qiraat, essay writing, bait baazi, calligraphy and standup comedy to name a few. The inaugural session titled “Urdu Hai Jiss Ka Naam” was graced by the presence of Justice (Retd) Nasira Iqbal as chief guest[12].


References

  1. The News https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/957629-shiza-fatima-appointed-sapm-on-youth-affairs accessed on June 07, 2022

  2. Business Recorder https://www.brecorder.com/news/40173084/future-freelance-fest-2022-held-worlds-capital-venture-is-eagerly-waiting-for-new-trained-well-educated-entrants-president Accessed on June 07, 2022

  3. The NEWS https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/958959-rapid-development-in-it-science-vital-for-pakistan-s-progress-alvi Accessed on June 07, 2022

  4. UNDP joint press release. https://pakistan.un.org/en/182494-media-update-united-nations-pakistan-18-may-2022 accessed on June 07, 2022

  5. Jamil Nagri, DAWN https://www.dawn.com/news/1688115/pakistani-youngster-scales-worlds-third-highest-peak accessed on June 07, 2022

  6. PILDAT website https://pildat.org/political-parties1/myps-engage-in-an-interactive-virtual-session-on-evolution-of-federalism-in-pakistan-and-australia accessed on June 07, 2022

  7. Website of National Assembly of Pakistan https://na.gov.pk/uploads/documents/628e278ce722d_926.pdf accessed on June 07, 2022

  8. https://twitter.com/ECP_Pakistan/status/1525494931053215745/photo/2 accessed on June 07, 2022

  9. https://twitter.com/ECP_Pakistan/status/1525494446053371908/photo/1 accessed on June 07, 2022

  10. https://twitter.com/ECP_Pakistan/status/1525769173858754560 accessed on June 07, 2022

  11. The News https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/955147-n-a accessed on June 07, 2022

  12. The Nation https://nation.com.pk/2022/05/19/national-literary-festival-concludes-at-nust/ accessed on June o7, 2022


 

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