Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) is celebrating Human Rights Week by holding a series of events to celebrate 70 Years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Under this initiative, the Institute held an international Conference on Youth and Parliament with 140 Students from different universities of Pakistan including international students’ delegates from Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia and Yemen on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. The event started with the national anthem and recitation of Holy Quran. The worthy Executive Director PIPS Mr Zafarullah Khan welcomed the participants and the panelists in his opening remarks of the event.
The first session of the Conference was based on panel discussion on Youth and Parliament where five Parliamentarians from four different parties participated and shared their thoughts and their parties’ initiatives on the subject matter.
Hon’able MNA Mr. Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha represented PMLN and deliberated that no democracy can be strengthened until youth from all backgrounds is not given opportunities of representation. He motivated youth to come forward and play their positive role for strengthening democracy and he advised that it requires hard work and motivation to make ways to active politics. He shared his own experiences that how he started his political career a decade back when he was a mere university graduate with no political experience but passion to serve the democracy that helped him to get elected for two times as MNA. He said today politicians are blamed for every misfortune of this country but bear in mind that these were the politicians who made this country not any judge or military general did that. He applauded PIPS role in bridging the gap between Youth and the Parliament and encouraged students to engage with the Parliament through PIPS.
Hon’able MNA Syed Mustafa Mahmud represented Pakistan People’s Party. He said that youth’s role and power cannot be underestimated. Youth makes over 60 percent of our country’s population that can help to uplift the economy and society if provided proper opportunities and resources. He said we as a society facing intolerance at many ends. We should learn to accommodate disagreements. Youth is an asset that should be properly utilized to change the fate of the nation.
Hon’able MNA Ms Shahida represented Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam (F), she said Pakistani youth is very vibrant, skilled and educated though we are spending only 2.2 percent on education that need to be increased as Sri Lanka like countries are spending far higher budget on education and health than of us. Pakistan is rich in resources and potential but the only thing we need is good policies and their implementation. She said that JUIF has forum to groom young minds politically and they are involved in policy making of the party and considered as important asset of the party. Similarly, at country level youth should be provided skills, trainings and employment opportunities so that youth potential may be materialized for the betterment of the country.
Hon’able MNA Mr. Ameer Sultan represented Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, he thanked PIPS for organizing such a vibrant Parliamentarians-Youth Interaction. He highlighted that unfortunately democracy is undermined in the minds of youth. Democracy is the only process through which youth can learn the leadership qualities to take the charge of this country for tomorrow. He said the participants that their enthusiasm and commitment can help making them the future leaders of Pakistan. He said his party provided lot opportunities to the youth that helped many youthful members to join parliament. He termed the youth as actual source of power of the parliamentarians who can force them to bring more positive changes in the country.
Hon’able MNA Mr. Farrukh Habib from PTI deliberated that youth has played very pivotal role in making Pakistan; they are the real builders of Pakistan who played very active role in Pakistan Movement. But it was unfortunate that the youth of Pakistan misaligned from politics later that created a big leadership gap in Pakistan and we suffered its aftermaths. However it is welcoming that today we can see the youth of Pakistan as passionate and as enthusiastic as it was at the time of independence. It shows that the future of our country is very bright. He emphasized that youth should come forward and take part in active politics. He quoted his own example that how he emerged from gross root level and reached Parliament with his diligence and hard work as student leader. He said his party granted 35 percent of the tickets to young candidates where many young minds have come to the assemblies of Pakistan.
At the end of the first session, the floor was opened for questions that were answered by the distinguished panelists. Later on, the Executive Director PIPS Mr. Zafarullah Khan presented PIPS souvenirs to the hon’able panelists.
In the second session of the conference, mock session of Youth Parliament was organized where the young participants participated in the proceedings of mock session as cabinet members and opposition members. The session was chaired by Director General Research & Legislation PIPS, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka. The key young speakers of the session were awarded the Certificate of Participation where Mr. Zaka invited the international delegates to present Certificates to the young speakers. In the third session of the conference, the participants were taken to the Parliament House where they visited Senate of Pakistan Museum, Gali-e-Dastoor and chambers of Senate of Pakistan and National Assembly.