As the country edges ever closer to the brink of a very dangerous precipice, and those who should know better simply stick their collective head in the sands of selfish futility, it is heartening to hear the voices of the young beginning to sound out, tentatively right now but certainly growing in volume and in their rightful demand to be heard.

These young voices, many belonging to the go-getting set of below 30-year-old educated middle-class with a future to secure, have not yet pumped up enough volume to tackle the disintegrating established order. But they are certainly heading in this direction as, make no bones about it, is their right.

Thanks to the easy availability of all manner of information via the internet and, it must also be said, to the currently free exchange of information via social networking sites, these young guns are quickly realising that much of what they have been taught - or brainwashed into believing by a variety of sources - is neither accurate nor applicable to the existing state of current affairs, which they have to battle with on a daily basis and, with revolutionary examples around the world to bear witness too and pick over for relevant information, along with encouragement from international online friends and acquaintances, these leading citizens of tomorrow are banding together to form a cohesive force for change be this peaceful, one hopes it is, or otherwise.

Moves to censor the internet are being taken by governments and other ‘concerned’ parties around the world who have woken up to the fact that freedom of uncensored information, along with on the spot reportage of all manner of events by public witnesses whose personal accounts often differ from those presented by ‘controlled’ media, is not only endangering their, until recently, manipulation of knowledge for their own nefarious ends, but is also bringing into serious question the way in which multi-nationals and other global corporations actively control supposedly democratically-elected governments that are, on the whole, nothing more than paid for puppets on the payrolls of unscrupulous profiteers.

These young guns are seeing, and struggling to accept, the erosion of a freedom they grew up believing was theirs for the taking and experiencing, at the very same time, a steady decline in their ability to financially survive in the manner to which they have, as a result of parental diligence, become accustomed and they do not relish the experience one bit and, honestly speaking, who can blame them?

It is true to say that a certain percentage of these young guns operate in consumerism mode and have unrealistic expectations of what they believe life owes them, but an as-yet unknown percentage measure their lives and futures with a completely different yardstick: a yardstick based on the long-term sustainability of all they consider to be essential.

Unlike previous generations and their own materialistic ‘classmates’, they do not take, for example, the environment for granted: they want a halt to environmental degradation, a halt to pollution in all its many toxic forms, they want chemical-free food from a natural, not genetically modified, source. They see no need for crippling loadshedding when viable alternatives such as solar, wind and biogas generated power are increasingly viable options and they want, feel entitled too, live as individuals and not as force-fed members of the unthinking human herd.

They also want decent jobs with liveable incomes and comfortable homes in which to care for and raise the generation to come. And let’s face it, this is their ineffable human right and denial of this rock on which to build their future is not going to force them to disappear. But will, inevitably and on the contrary, result in the exact opposite when, that is and this promises to be relatively soon, they combine forces and act.

It has been said and will, no doubt, be said again that each generation dreams of putting their world to rights. But, here in Pakistan and in many other countries around the world right now, putting things right is now an imperative, rather than a fashionable option.

If, for instance, big business concerns, be they hedge fund investors, warmongers, oil ‘barons’ or chemically-orientated criminals trying to, quite literally, force genetically modified organisms down our throats come what may, are not stopped - this should already have happened - in their murderously destructive tracks and this on an emergency basis, any well intentioned shot at reversing climate change and attempting to at least balance this human created menace on a survivable scale, will not be allowed to take place: ensuring that this planet remains reasonably habitable is not on the agenda of such monstrous profiteers and they are, when the time comes, going to go all-out, in any which way they can, to silence each and every single voice of opposition and the young guns right here in Pakistan, along with their global ‘family’, need to pull out all the stops if they are to be fully prepared for the onslaught to come.

The writer is author of The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War (Oxford University Press, 2001) and lives in Bhurban.   Email: zahrahnasir@hotmail.com