Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09


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Youth’s perspective crucial to revisiting national policies including terrorism: Inaugural Session of third batch of Youth Parliament Pakistan

Islamabad, November 06, 2009: Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan, while addressing the inaugural session of the third batch of Youth Parliament Pakistan urged young members to play a lead role in review of national policies. Mr. Kundi, who is also the patron of Youth Parliament, congratulated previous two batches for their policy analysis and highlighted that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had invited two members of Youth Parliament to the federal cabinet meeting to give their input in the draft National Education Policy on September 09, 2009.

Mr. Kundi was addressing the inaugural session of the third batch of Youth Parliament. Other speakers at the inaugural ceremony included Senator S. M. Zafar, Chairman Youth Parliament Steering Committee, Dr. Donya Aziz, MNA and Advisor to the Blue party of Youth Parliament and Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA and advisor to the Green party of Youth Parliament Pakistan.

Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi congratulated the members of Youth Parliament emphasizing that the 48 members had been selected out of over 1600 applicants from across Pakistan following a rigorous selection process. He said that youth is the future of the country and congratulated political parties of the country for also bringing more youth in the National Assembly of Pakistan and over 90 members were 40 years or under in the National Assembly. He said Youth Parliament is an ideal training and grooming platform for political and democratic orientation of youth of Pakistan and congratulated PILDAT for its successful initiative now spanning over 3 years.

Senator S. M. Zafar, Chairman Steering Committee Youth Parliament Pakistan, stressed that the members must focus on background research and preparation in order to lead parliamentary debate and policy analysis in Youth Parliament. He believed that there are many burning issues that require focus of youth, the most important of which is Pakistan’s role in war against terrorism. He believed the issue requires a fresh perspective of youth and through the youth analysis, the policy on terrorism requires to be revisited.

Dr. Donya Aziz, MNA during her address to the inaugural session pointed out the weaknesses prevailing in the Pakistani political structure. She urged that youth’s involvement into politics and democracy is key to understanding the governance weaknesses in the country.

Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA stressed that youth must understand the mechanics and implications of politics. He advised youth to involve in practical rather than the drawing room politics. In an inspiring speech at the inauguration session, Mr. Dastgir Khan said that tree of democracy needs sacrifice.

Welcoming the chief guests and the members at the inaugural session on behalf of PILDAT, Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director of PILDAT highlighted that PILDAT instituted the project of Youth Parliament to inculcate in youth of Pakistan values and spirit for democracy, the importance of dialogue, tolerance for others views, an understanding of the concept of Parliament and its role in democratic decision-making and oversight. Introducing the 3rd batch, she explained that Youth Parliament seats have been divided on the basis of population criteria used by the National Assembly of Pakistan; however representation is also given to Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the Youth Parliament Pakistan. The average age of current members is about 23 years and the 48 members have been selected out of 1643 applicants from across Pakistan. Gender profile of the current batch is 79% Male and 21% Female on Open Merit. There are two mock parties: the Blue Party (Liberal) and the Green Party (Moderate). Incidentally, the Blue Party (Liberals) formed a majority for third consecutive batch bagging 32 seats (76%) as opposed to 16 members (24%) of the Green Party. She specifically mentioned and thanked the supporters of the Youth Parliament project that included UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Public Affairs section of the US Embassy, Islamabad and TCS, Pakistan.

Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09

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