Pakistan’s image and its youth

It is identified with rampant corruption and bad governance, over which global developmental and financial institutions have been showing their deep concern from time to time. Currently, Pakistan has a large population of young people, with some 25 million people between the ages of 15 and 24.
This constitutes a huge pool of productive workforce and can play a crucial role in the social , political and economic development of the country. But this requires a better political environment, just social order and equal economic and educational opportunities for everyone.

And for this, the country needs a liberal, democratic and plural political system. Unfortunately we are living in a suffocating and closed environment which breeds hopelessness and disenchantment in our youth. Because of such suffocation, political instability, growing insecurity and lack of job opportunities, most students are going abroad for a better future instead of contributing to their country’s development. To stop this brain drain, the country needs a stable socio-economic and political system.

Today poverty and violence are pervasive in our society, driving the youth to join the ranks of militants and take up arms instead of books. The creeping Talibanisation and the state of insurgency in the resource-rich Balochistan and the frustration of the youth in Sindh are the logical upshot of social and economic and educational injustices being committed by state institutions against the poorer sections of society.

Poverty and violence are unequivocally consuming our youth in different ways and forms. We need to address this issue on a war footing. In this regard, the state must act quickly to bring reforms in public-sector educational institutions, which at the moment are in bad shape.

This has candidly been admitted by Pir Mazharul Haq, provincial education minister, in his article, recently published in a local Sindhi daily.

In fact, any deterioration in education has not only internal consequences but external too. Our international allies and donors are apprehensive about the precarious nature of our education system and, according to them, this is one of the contributing factors in the proliferation of militancy.

With the introduction of a democratic regime, we were optimistic that governance would improve, education system would be streamlined and corruption would be checked, but we are witnessing the opposite — the ‘democratisation’ of corruption in every walk of life.

If we want to change the image of Pakistan, we need to pay attention to the ideas of youth and take practical steps to institutionalise them. This is a time when we should not only listen to our youth but also involve them in order to build a progressive Pakistan. This way, we can only brand Pakistan as a democratic, developing peaceful state in the global community.

Written By: Manzoor Ali Isran
Source: Dawn
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