Distinction of youth in Pakistan­ - Muhammad Naveed Anwar - There are two major distinctions in Pakistani youth; activists and passives. Both have different perspectives in terms of situation, available resources and opportunities, mental, physical and cognitive health and social economic and political background. The proposed board and research institute after extending their reach to exploration phase of youth would serve both sides equally but distinctively.

Under activist domain it would suggest recommendations that suit organizations student and youth organizations of all political parties and help them to align with the needs of the hour and changing cultural trends across. Democracy, election, volunteering, demonstrations, political movements are some areas where activism flourishes in the modern world. The ultimate goal of all these engagement is to prepare youth for better decisions for their nation. It is understood that the commitment is an acknowledgement of youth being part of solution to the problems they face; they have to solve it by their own. Their active participation in decision making would be beneficial for the country at large. The ban on students union has damaged the ability of decision making in youth. Lack of confidence, alienation to society’ historical roots, disintegration to developmental projects, desperation, frustration and low trust are few symptoms of disengagement from decision making process.  

Under passive domain it would serve people not active in political arena as well as in social circle due to reasons embedded in social structure, not provide them with sufficient care, counseling, training and environment to live freely. They are lacking confidence too but their extent of inferiority is quite different from activists. Majority of passive lot revolve around identity crises, they remain isolated, depressed, nervous, frustrated. Insufficient infrastructure cause fewer jobs for huge population. World development index shows Pakistan far behind the race in the world to be progressed. Acknowledging passives youth, requires in-depth study of their potential, situation they are live in and possibilities to engage them in process of uplifting nation at large. The major branches of youth are unemployed youth, employed youth and inactive youth. Unemployed youth are further divided into two types educated and uneducated. Employed youth are further divided into two branches educated and uneducated. But in active youth are remained cut off from the activity going on around because they never go to school and take part in any economic activity. All-embracing youth policy in Pakistan should be formulated by following micro level classes of youth mentioned above. Every segment of youth be given due status, jobs be searched out, national socio- political agenda be devised, scholars be invited to address the issues proactively. Establishing new training institutions should be encouraged by the national leaders, exclusive target bet set, all resources be accumulated, expatriates around the world be involved in process of encouraging youth by giving them chance to serve nation, last but not the least funds be generated to accommodate whole stuff in progress.   

Youth engagement strategy at grassroots level encourages political leaders, media anchors, NGOs managers, think tanks, university scholars and judiciary advocates to raise the voices of youth at their respective forums and force policy makers to prioritize issue.   

The outcomes are concrete manifestation of change; we want to bring around while evaluating the gape in the field. Knowing whether we are getting fruits of the investment incur, the Key Success Indicators are to be identified. While describing all outcomes and indicators isn’t possible, they can be in place as we go forward and identify priorities.  

The outcomes of the extensive youth policy include the following:

National socio-political agenda: A comprehensive national socio-political agenda be originated, keeping socio political situation in mind. Every segment of society should be given chance to add value in agenda setting. Priorities should be communicated through media to everyone, deviation from the agenda should be considered heresy and punishment be charged. The national socio-political agenda needs a grassroots support of political party’s activists. The purpose of chalking out national socio-political agenda is to go beyond the reach of all political or social parties to compete each other, an area (buffer zone) where 95 million youth (passive lot) resided and all parties can contribute herein uplifting nation, jointly. Passive youth lot would be engaged in related fields to embark mission of serving nation politically as well as socially. Like for example if a person working in an office, factory or agriculture field, don’t have nerves to take part in political activism or election campaign, how he can be involved in process of uplifting nation at large while staying in passive domain. National socio-political agenda may help him to involve in process of upgrading nation. If he were given task to do a thing a day or perform an activity in a spare time in support of national socio-political agenda, he would feel elevated, afresh and involved. If we get success in involving every youth in the process, how lucky we would be as nation.

Monitoring changing trends in society: Monitoring trends in society affects two ways; on one hand these help in finding ways for dealing youth favorably and on the other they provide guidelines for establishing network to reach grassroots level.

Guidance for established organizations: Formulating youth engagement strategy at grassroots level broadens thinking horizon. The array covers numbers of prominent organization separately. In students domain it deals with different student organizations and guide it with sufficient resources in terms of money as well as intellectual inputs. What a student organization should do, why and how? In youth it would help placing social youth organizations in front of society by guiding those regarding trends and need of the society. At last but not the least in religious circle it would help searching new venues for representing Islam through the use of manpower and media. This whole work would revolve around scholarly guidelines set by religious scholars.

Employment: As youth are recognized as national assets and capable citizen, Unemployment would be given top priority in the country. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged. Capacity building of youth be incorporated to make them ready to help themselves by their own, however further support be provided to ensure sustainability.

Education: Quality education with orientation to character building is necessary for responsible citizenship. Youth should be engaged in education by giving them room to research with elders, for education policy. A youth friendly monitoring criteria be evolved and highlight their initiatives through media to encourage them socially.

Training mechanism: As in active youth in Pakistan are more than 30.5% of the total population; so there is a need to encourage country wide training institutes to enable them to serve the country, according to their capabilities and potential.

Countering frequent disaster occurrence: Unfortunately, Pakistan has to bear unwanted flood attack every year. There is need to address the issue by moving a step forward. Every year it causes plenty of damages to the country, hundreds of deaths, injuries and losses. Youth are one of the vulnerable segments to disaster occurrence. They are being used worldwide to counter strategies, preparedness and response mechanism. Youth can be involved in rescuing operations with elders.

Youth engagement through media: Youth is recognized as social group, they like watching movies, news channels, the internet and having global contacts. Going through, globally influenced media content, day and night; they find it difficult to match normative local cultural norms with globalization. The task, Youth Engagement Strategy at Grassroots Level; would never be accomplished without incorporating a place for TV channel and FM Radio stations at different districts, in it. TV channel and FM Radio Stations would be used to connect youth all around; it would serve the purpose to uplift, involve youth especially the passive youth who have never been gotten access to be engaged before, optimistically.

Role of sports activities in society: Recognizing sports as a major factor in modern world life, gives breathing space to avoid war, develops youth without the discipline of sergeant major. Sports have capability to involve youth and give them sense of national unity, pride and ownership. It is the only area where aggression is encouraged; it can be used to channelize youth potential into constructive development. Sports are symbolic and ritualistic in nature. It covers physical to spiritual aspects together as people watch games with great absorption, attention and concentration. Religion has significant influence over creation of modern games. Sports help people to unite rather divide; it can be used to eradicate racism too. The growing fame of computer, video games and television build youth to be very inactive in their lifestyles. The time that they spent in these activities should be spent in physical activities. The active participation in organized sports provides the chance to youth to enhance their physical and social health because it’s a useful mean of entertainment too. Pakistanis are dye-hard lovers of cricket i.e. sports. There are fewer facilities in the country to coup up with the challenges to engage youth in sports activities.