This monitor is intended to highlight significant changes in Pakistan’s youth-related issues and policies. This Monitor will aid in the identification of major trends and issues of interest among Pakistan’s young, as well as in the removal of some impediments to the implementation of pro-youth policies.
Key Youth Issues and Challenges identified during the month:
Youth infusion in Pakistan’s Corporate Culture
Companies all over the world, including many of Pakistan’s largest and most prosperous ones, are frantically trying to change their corporate cultures in order to attract their newest interns or associates, some of whom are demanding shorter hours, four-day work weeks, and steadfast commitments to paperless and sustainable environments. They want to share assets and own less rather than strive to the conventional aim of owning a house and luxuries, and they prefer frequent work changes over job stability. To attract Gen Z, many large Pakistani corporations are establishing entrepreneurial incubators within their corporate headquarters. Pakistan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) was the first to introduce the idea of business incubators (BIs) to the country. Some institutions are also looking at the idea of university-based incubation centres, which is currently in its early phases. The Faisalabad Incubation Center (TFIC) at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and the Business Incubation Center (BIC) at the Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF), for example, are both active in their respective fields of endeavour. Many other entrepreneurship-focused business schools are also intending to construct centres like this to assist startups and nascent businesses in accelerating their successful development by offering them with a variety of specialised tools and services. Other corporations include 10XC Seed Fund, Arazi Ventures (Pvt) Ltd., Arpatech, Central Depository Company of Pakistan, Conrad Labs, CresVentures, IGI Investment Bank Ltd, IJARA CAPITAL PARTNERS LIMITED, Jazz xlr8, Karachi, Sindh Civic Innovation Lab (KCIL), Lakson Investments Limited, Saiban Associates, Seed Ventures, Shopistan, TMT Ventures and other.
Impact of Terrorism on Youth’s Mental Health
Conflict or acts of terrorism can generate psychosocial trauma that has a lasting effect on a person’s psychology. Compared to tangible losses, which are plainly quantified, it has been largely disregarded. Particularly on the youth from Pakistan’s tribal belt and Swat, which are terror-affected areas, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has a considerable negative influence. Terrorism is a deliberate component of a psychological warfare plan. Youth suffer from mental weakness, disorganization, intolerance, and frustration as a result. Policymakers must be aware of these negative PTSD impacts since a depressed adolescent population would hinder long-term stability and growth in the nation. To succeed, it is essential to combat PTSD’s psychological effects.
As per a study conducted by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Youth in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Swat have experienced severe-to-moderate PTSD symptoms during the conflict and post-conflict phases. Individuals that exhibit anxiety, distrust, despair, hopelessness, anxiousness, and a lack of attention when thinking and learning exhibit a wide range of PTSD symptoms in their behavior. If PTSD is not treated quickly, it may result in a long-lasting mental condition, turning the most productive young people into a burden on the state. The severity of PTSD may persist for a long period or may return after a break. The negative effects of the traumatic events can also be seen in how unwilling the afflicted youngsters are to engage in daily activities and to fulfil their socio-civic responsibilities. As a result, they experience toxic stress, social isolation, and a propensity for drug abuse, criminal behavior, and psychological instability. Teenagers who are vulnerable to it may be persuaded to hold radical beliefs through psychosocial trauma. The militant elements can readily take advantage of susceptible youth’s feelings of social injustice, discontent, marginalization, and deprivation by treating their psychosocial problems. In this scheme of things, insecurity dominates instability, which aggravates the tribal youth.
Youth & Climate Change
Given that at least 27% of Pakistan’s population is between the ages of 15 and 29 and that figure is projected to increase by 2050, the issue of climate change and its effects on young people is crucial to the country’s future. Due to the intergenerational nature of climate concerns, youth are the largest stakeholder in climate action and should be at the forefront of all planned policies and actions. The government needs to develop faith in the youth. Youth are not given enough information to participate in the transformation since they are not included in the policies and are not the main factors behind their execution. Flood-affected youth’s well-being is severely impacted, but they also want to play a part in flood risk management, according to research. Loss of valued personal and family possessions, friendship networks, familiar spaces, education; fear, anxiety, poverty, isolation, unfairness, destruction, stress, uncertainty, being ignored/misunderstood; lack of sleep and recreation; deterioration in diet, space, and housing conditions; lack of flood education provision in schools for children and young adults. Climate change has already begun. The transgender population, in particular, has a very hard time coping with everyday problems, let alone dealing with climate change, which may have the greatest impact on them. Climate change is intrinsically a justice problem; sadly, Pakistan that has contributed the least to its causes are bearing the brunt of the effects. Similarly, each individual is affected differently by the climate catastrophe, based on criteria such as socioeconomic position, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, and so on. Climate change disproportionately affects women, girls, gender-diverse persons, and trans people. Young people can bring a paradigm change to the whole climate debates and remind us of the urgency we confront and what we are all striving towards.
Recovery in Youth Employment
Unemployment is a significant problem that nations worldwide are dealing with, especially among young people. It has been a significant issue for many nations, including Pakistan. As per Statista, which has emerged as a significant source of market and consumer data, in 2021, the young unemployment rate in Pakistan grew by 0.2 percentage points. As a result, the young unemployment rate in Pakistan hit a record of 9.41 percent in 2021. This report was published on October 19, 2022. There are various factors that contribute to it, including political unrest, a lack of financial support, agricultural sector sluggishness, and population growth. Current recession is having a particularly negative impact on young people (15 to 24 years old). This is due to the size of the existing youth population, the severity of youth unemployment in the longer term, and the compelling need for policymakers to address the difficulties the current youth population is currently experiencing in accessing the labor market. There is a necessity for an adequate employment environment, policy analysis, and an evaluation of the justifications for helping to provide young people with more sophisticated jobs.
High risk substance uses in Youth
A critical social issue facing modern Pakistani society, which has one of the largest percentages of young people in the world, is the rapid rise in drug addiction among students of academic institutions. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, has stated that Pakistan is more prone and sensitive to drug usage due to its proximity to major drug manufacturing areas, which has resulted in a rise in the number of addicts across the country. The Prime Minister said so in his message on the inauguration of the National Drug Use Survey Pakistan 2022-24, which was delivered by Ms Sabino Sikandar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics Control (MNC), during a high-profile ceremony held today in Islamabad. The survey is a partnership between the UNODC Country Office in Pakistan, the Ministry of Narcotics Control, the Government of Pakistan, and the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). There is a need to investigate the factors that contribute to drug addiction in college students and how it impacts their daily lives. Students use drugs freely and riskily in universities since these institutions have not made serious efforts to address the problem on their property. Pakistan must immediately create a comprehensive strategy to handle the worrisome issue of drug addiction in educational institutions that involves all parties in order to disrupt the supply chain and punish those responsible for the horrible crime of illicit drug trafficking.
Key Media Highlights for the month:
Documentary Film on the Lives of Two Young Pakistanis secures Second Position out of 65,000 documentaries in China; October 4, 2022
A documentary on the lives of two young Pakistani scholars residing in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, secured second place out of around 65,000 documentaries. Hangzhou Culture, Radio and Television (HCRT) created a documentary about two young and outstanding Pakistani researchers from Hangzhou Science and Technology Innovation Center, Zhejiang University.
The documentary is focused on Dr. Yousaf and Dr. Ali, who are headquartered in Hangzhou and are dedicated to creative research on green energy technology and their industrial application. They want to use their scientific skills in solar cells and batteries to help Pakistan tackle its energy crisis.
Both young researchers just transferred from Peking University to Zhejiang University. Previously, they studied and worked together at Pakistan’s top universities, including the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, the University of the Punjab, and the University of Management and Technology Lahore..
UNDP Pakistan and Pakistan Customs launch Digital Dashboard and Online Complaint Portal to Promote Women and Youth Led Cross-border Commerce through Innovation; October 14, 2022
UNDP and Pakistan Customs in Karachi, Pakistan created an Online Complaint Portal and Digital Dashboard to increase engagement between merchants and regulators by streamlining procedures, as well as to support women and youth-led cross-border commerce through innovation.
Mr. Wajid Ali, Director General of Pakistan Customs, commended UNDP’s involvement in collaborating with Pakistan Customs to ensure the project’s success in his keynote presentation. He emphasised the benefits that the site will provide to the trading community as well as Pakistan Customs employees. This system will increase trader-regulator interaction by streamlining procedures and increasing predictability, as well as offering an electronic grievance redressal option for customs-related complaints.
Mr. Kaiser Ishaque, UNDP Pakistan Assistant Resident Representative and Chief Democratic Governance Unit; Ms. Ammara Durrani, UNDP Pakistan Assistant Resident Representative and Chief Development Policy Unit; and Mr. Francisco Santos-Jara Padron, Regional Advisor Livelihoods, Economic Recovery, and Displacement at UNDP Asia-Pacific, led the UNDP delegation. Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, important officials from Pakistan Customs, and Ms. Yasmin Haider of New World Concepts also spoke at the launch..
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Workshop on Young Voters Awareness; October 17, 2022
Mr. Sohail Hussain Memon, Election Officer, Jacobabad, lectured the students and instructors on votes and their value during an Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Student Voters Awareness & Education session held in Jacobabad. This is part of ECP’s ongoing Youth Inclusion in the Electoral Process Campaign 2022.
Election Commission of Pakistan Organised a two day painting competition to highlight the importance of Vote amongst the youth; October 26, 2022
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) hosted a two-day painting competition at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) for students from various colleges and institutions around the nation in order to promote the significance of voting among the country’s young. The competition, entitled “Your vote to a hopeful future,” aimed to encourage young people to fully engage in the electoral process. Secretary ECP Mr. Omer Hamid Khan opened the exhibition. There were up to 280 paintings on exhibit, each depicting a distinct theme to encourage young people to vote.
The ECP has revealed rewards for the top three competition winners as well as appreciation awards for potential competitors. The winners would be decided by a team of judges that comprised Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, Ms. Nagin Hayat of Nomad Art Gallery, and Ms. Maryam Ahmed, Director of Visual Art at PNCA. The first award is Rs. 100,000, the second is Rs 50,000, and the third is Rs 25,000. The award ceremony will take place on December 07, 2022 which is the National Voters Day..
“Youth Development Initiatives” Launched by the Prime Minister in Islamabad; October 20, 2022
The prime minister stated on October 20, 2022 that as part of the “Youth Development Initiatives,” the government will grant 20,000 internships to young engineers and 75 scholarships to students attending elite colleges. He stated that the Ministry of Planning and Development will carry out young initiatives such as spending Rs 40 billion in 20 of the poorest areas and constructing 250 micro sports centres. He stated that the programme will be expanded and that new youth activities would be implemented..
Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP) held a Youth Leadership Convention in Lahore; October 30, 2022
Mr. Sirajul Haq, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir, stated at the Young Leadership Convention in Lahore that youth are an asset to the country and that the road towards an Islamic welfare state cannot be accomplished without their full involvement.
JI Amir stated that we must fix the challenges of our young so that they can properly play their responsibilities in establishing a great nation. The Leadership Convention is unusual in that it brought together the biggest number of young educated individuals from throughout the country to explore solutions to the country’s challenges. JI Amir stated that a significant number of young people had arrived in Lahore to participate in the leadership convention. He also stated that the convention was unique and unprecedented in terms of incorporating the country’s future leaders in brainstorming, vision of growth, and message for the future. He stated that a 120-foot-long, 30-foot-wide, and 40-foot-high stage had been built for the event. Thousands of seats, lighting, a music system, and enormous screens were made available.
The convention featured famous figures such as Mr. Zikrullah Mujahid, Mr. Liaqat Baloch, Mr. Ahmad Salman, Dr. Farid Paracha, Mr. Shahid Naveed Malik, Mr. Javed Kasuri, Mr. Ziauddin, Mr. Mahmood Al-Ahed, Mr. Gibran Butt, Mr. Khaliq Ahmad Butt, Mr. Hasan Butt, Mr. Farhan Shaukat, Sheikh Ayaz, and Mr. Abdul Aziz Abid..
Voice of Youth Survey – Edition III
The Voice of Youth is a report series produced by PILDAT’s Youth Parliament Pakistan that aims to highlight the input obtained from the largest and most representative group of Pakistani youth (aged 18-29 years) spread across all provinces and territories of Pakistan on a variety of socio-political and economic issues and challenges. The topic of this edition is ‘Level of awareness & Impact of Federal and Provincial/Territorial Youth Programmes.’ The Voice of Youth poll is intended to serve as a resource for the government and officials working to improve youth issues. The following are the important findings of an opinion poll done among 326 members of PILDAT’s Youth Parliament Pakistan, who were dispersed over 232 (85.3%) of the entire 272 National Assembly Constituencies, including Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, and Overseas Pakistanis. The survey took place between October 26, 2022 and November 02, 2022.
Questions and Results
- How much do you know about the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme?
- Know about the programme very well
- Somewhat know about the programme
- Just heard about the program
- Don’t know anything
- How much do you know about the functions and performance of the Youth Ministry or Youth Department of your province (Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh) / territory (Islamabad, AJK, GB)?
- Know the functions and performance very well
- Somewhat know the functions and performance
- Don’t know much about the functions and performance
- No knowledge about the functions and performance
- Have you ever communicated (Verbally or in writing) with the Prime Minister’s Office of Youth Affairs?
- Have you ever communicated (Verbally or in-writing) with the Youth Department of your province / territory?
- Have you ever participated in any event organized by the Prime Minister’s Office of Youth Affairs?
- Have you ever participated in any event organized by the youth department of your province/territory?
- Have you ever applied for any job opportunity advertised by the Prime Minister’s Office of Youth Affairs?
- Have you ever applied for any job opportunity advertised by your province/territory’s youth department?
- What would you suggest for Prime Minister’s Youth Programme to focus on? (Choose top 3)
- Drug Abuse
- Violence on campuses
- Stress Management/Mental health
- Political Issues
- Social Issues
- Education Inequality
- What would you suggest for your province/territory’s youth ministry/department to focus on? (Choose top 3)
- Drug Abuse
- Violence on campuses
- Stress Management/Mental health
- Political Issues
- Social Issues
- Education Inequality
Amelioration of Psychological Issues As A Consequence of Psychosocial Trauma in Youth of Ex-FATA/Swat (Protracted Conflict Area); IPRI; as accessed on November 03, 2022 at https://ipripak.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Amelioration-of-Psychological-Nawaz.pdf ↑
Young Dreams’ Vulnerability in the Face of Climate Change, as accessed on https://www.thefridaytimes.com/2022/10/07/the-vulnerability-of-young-dreams-in-the-face-of-climate-change/ ↑
Get the Connection – Gender Inequality and Climate Change as accessed on November 03, 2022 at https://www.wecf.org/get-the-link-gender-inequality-climate-change/ ↑
Pakistan’s youth unemployment rate in 2021, as accessed on November 03, 2022 at https://www.statista.com/statistics/812897/youth-unemployment-rate-in-pakistan/ ↑
The ‘National Drug Use Survey Pakistan 2022-24’ has been launched. A significant step in developing effective preventative, treatment, and rehabilitation programme, as accessed on November 03, 2022 at https://www.unodc.org/pakistan/en/stories/national-drug-use-survey-pakistan-2022-24–launched.html ↑
APP website https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/10/04/documentary-on-life-of-young-pakistani-scholars-wins-second-prize-in-china/ accessed on November 02, 2022 ↑
UNDP Website https://www.undp.org/pakistan/press-releases/undp-pakistan-and-pakistan-customs-launch-digital-dashboard-and-online-complaint-portal-promote-women-and-youth-led-cross accessed on November 2, 2022 ↑
ECP Twitter https://twitter.com/HaroonS2021/status/1582014165153349632 accessed on November 2, 2022 ↑
24 News Website https://www.24newshd.tv/30-Oct-2022/ji-holds-youth-leadership-convention accessed on November 2, 2022 ↑