The younger generation is a precious asset for any nation as it is the future builder. Youth currently numbers 1.2 billion or approximately 18 percent of the world population out of which 62 percent of the youth is living in Asia alone. Youth, as defined by the Ministry of Youth Affairs Pakistan, is the population which falls under the age bracket of 15-29 years. The New Growth Framework of Pakistan points that the proportion of people under the age of 30 years is 68 percent out of which 32 percent is illiterate, 8.3 percent is self-employed, 9.5 percent is unemployed and only 2.5 percent has received On-Job training. These abysmal statistics not only depict the lack of concern by our government towards youth issues but also admonish about the possible extremism that may foment as a result of an illiterate and frustrated youth.
According to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, young people are making important contributions to eradicate poverty, contain the spread of diseases, combat the climate change and achieve the Millennium Development goals. The government needs to induct the positive potential of Pakistani youth and invest more in it as the progress of Pakistan is directly linked with engagement of youth in the nation-building process. It is our choice, either to utilize the latent energy of a talented youth for the welfare of the state or to face the adverse consequences which may erupt if youngsters don’t get their due share. Career counseling at school level, good education, vocational training and a decent standard of living is what the Pakistani youth requires. On the other hand, the minute faction of young population which possesses all the resources and enjoys the perks and privileges of life should play its part. They can engage themselves in social media platforms such as the Voice of Youth to raise a synchronized voice for a much coveted ‘better Pakistan’ along with the fulfillment of their social and moral obligations.
Originally published in Pakistan Observer newspaper–