KARACHI: Former provincial minister for youth affairs Faisal Sabzwari said on Thursday that the Sindh government should public the provincial youth policy passed in 2018.
Speaking at a roundtable session on ‘Youth Police to Empower Next Generation: Preferences, Perception and Policy Responses’, hosted by the Media Baithak, Sabzwari said that the provincial government should designate a special assistant if not a minister to look into the youth affairs.
“Lack of economic opportunities to the youth lead to low employability which eventually drive them towards violent extremism hence an important consideration should be given on the economic aspect while drafting national or provincial youth policies,” he said.
“There exists a dire need to create an open and safe environment to the young people where they can positively express themselves and engage with the society.”
“We need to create spaces like Hyde Park, where people vent out their feelings and observations through mediums like music and poetry,” he added.
Sabzwari said that the provincial and federal government should take into consideration the recommendations of youth representatives from the deprived areas before drafting youth policies.
“We have a huge young strata, I call it youth dividend. It could become our asset or on the other hand can also turn into liability. We have to put extra care to look into it,” he observed.
The former minister said that respective governments don’t put resources in the youth affairs perhaps because they consider it ‘a luxurious labour’. “The attention is more centered towards infrastructure than youth affairs,” he said.
He said that the revival of student unions is the need of the hour as it is the only way through which people from lower middle class can enter into the avenues of power. “Without it our politics will remain confined to the industrialists.”
Sabzwari said that provision of quality education to the high school students and vocational training to the unemployed section of the society will bring desired positive results to the society, adding that there should be discussion not only about the numbers of literate but also the quality of education being provided.
The Media Baithak serves as a community space for cultural engagement of media and civil society representative. It gives platform to distinguished voices from the fields of journalism, politics, academia and other fields to discuss contemporary issues of the society.
The organization has previously conducted sessions on the role of poetry in combating violent extremism, women empowerment, the role of qawwali in promoting positive values, journalists’ training on social media and the role of media in spreading peace and harmony in the society.
Dr Mir Shabbir Ali, Samir Mir Shaikh, Bilal Khawaja, Anum Janjua Professor Dr Akhtar Baloch, Waleed Shaikh, Sheema Siddiqui, Ufaq Mujahid Baloch, Dr Romana Azaz, Engineer Prakash Lohana and Nasir R Zaidi also spoke on the occasion.