Utilization Of Young Population In Pakistan

By Ibn Azhar

youth bulge

Background

As per UNICEF’s 2013 Statistics, Pakistan is a country with one of the largest youth bulge in the world where almost 35 % of the population is under the age of 15 . This staggering amount of young people on one hand is a huge human resource full of potential waiting to be tapped and on the other hand, amidst rampant corruption, unemployment and terrorism, it can be a ticking bomb waiting to explode any time.

China and India –Two case of Population Utilization

By mid 20th century most of the developed countries have realized well in advance that rapid and uncontrolled growth of human population can add huge strain on the national resources. As time would elapse, this would directly translate into increased unemployment rate, poor health care facilities, declined literacy rate and lack of quality life for the citizens. Therefore, population control was the only solution to avoid such huge set of problems.

The steps taken and policies adopted to regulate population growth varied across different countries depending upon local intricacies. However for Pakistan, two examples, one successful and the other mildly successful can be found in its neighboring China and India respectively.

China is a case in point where communist government’s strictly implemented “one child policy” which paid huge dividends. It not only enabled China to control its population but with supportive economic, education and health policies it was able to utilize the population for the betterment of the country. As a result China today, despite being one of the most populated countries in the world, had made huge progress at an astonishing pace.

On the contrary, India with second largest population in the world is an example where, despite of various efforts to control population and harness the potential of masses, no significant gains had been made. As a result not only the population swelled in the absence of appropriate foresight and planning but also corruption, low literacy rate and fragile economy further increased the problems. Today, beyond the glitzy world of Indian media and Bollywood more than half of its population lives below the poverty line. In retrospect, Pakistan is neither a success story like China to benefit from its huge potential nor a failure like India. It lies somewhere in between.

Pakistan’s Election 2013 and the “Young” Factor

In Pakistan’s perspective, Election 2013 offers an interesting insight regarding the role of young population. An age-wise breakup of the 2012 electoral rolls shows there were about 16.2 million registered voters between the age of 18 and 25 years while 1.5 million were to turn 18 between January and June 2013.The percentage, however, is more significant when one considers that the total turnout in previous elections varied between 32 and 36 per cent.  As a result political parties mainly targeted the youth using the social media. Public rallies were a reflection of this mindset of political parties. Millions of youngsters who were able to vote for the first time played a significant role in the overall results of the elections.

election commision

From the above analysis it is obvious that that Pakistan huge population bulge is ready to play its role in all spheres of life. However a comprehensive response to tap this potential demands a holistic response. Few key areas in this regard for effectively utilizing the young population are discussed here.

Education

The first and the foremost area that needs attention is education. Empowering the young minds with well rounded, contemporary and balanced education along with the instruction of moral values and religious tolerance is the best investment possible in this era. Education of women also needs to be given equal focus and priority. Educated youth can be utilized in spreading knowledge at primary and secondary educational level by introducing a compulsory teaching tenure for university students in far flung areas of the country with poor literacy rate.

Sports and Athletics

Young people are more interested in games, sports, athletics and similar activities because they are spirited and full of energy. As there is a large chunk of young men and women in Pakistan’s population there is a  need to develop infrastructure, organizations, communities, training facilities, grounds and courts to promote healthy competition and utilize their energies in constructive activities. A multi-pronged strategy should be adopted where at schools, colleges, universities sports facilities are provided and competitions are organized. In United Sates, colleges and universities provide youngsters sports facilities that enable them to indulge in positive competition; as a result individuals are healthy, tolerant, disciplined and productive citizens of the society. The focus should be on team sports like soccer, cricket, hockey and basketball rather than individual sports which require greater infrastructure and cost overheads. A culture of sporting events on weekends should be introduced; college and university should enforce participation in at least one sport as a degree pre requisite.

Humanities and Arts

These days interest in movies, games, television is common globally. Keeping in view the size of youth population in Pakistan there is a dire need to engage in humanities, arts and other similar creative activities. The opening of evening musical schools, acting schools, dance classes, theatrical performance trainees will provide young minds to spend their leisure time in more productively. An institutionalized approach should be adopted at community level; it is imperative in creating healthy environment for better development of youth.

Volunteer Work

Pakistan is engulfed countless problems in almost all the spheres of life. Motivated and enthusiastic workforce is needed that can help the state and its institutions in confronting these problems. Weekend based volunteer programs or extended duration volunteer work of up to three months in various field can help Pakistan and resolve various issues facing the country. Young Population can be directed to do volunteer work in public health organizations, old age homes, restoration of parks, maintenance of public places, teaching in rural areas and similar tasks can be identified to channelize this huge work force.

Empowerment and  greater representation                

In order to train and develop capable leadership it is necessary to prepare the youth who can uphold future responsibilities. This can be done through introducing model united nation in schools, colleges and universities. Youth parliaments at divisional and provincial level are also beneficial for creating young leaders.

Business Opportunities / Entrepreneurship

Young minds are full of new ideas. Keeping in view greater exposure of today’s generation due to electronic media and internet these young fertile minds are more capable of coming up with innovative ideas. However, proper guidance is required to channelize these ideas in the right direction. The development of organizations like small and medium enterprise development forums, involvement of various chamber of commerce as well as forming consortiums with the help of established businesses can prove helpful in this regard.

Conclusion

Young population needs to be utilized keeping in mind the national goals and policies of Pakistan. Human Resource Management needs be applied prudently. Misguided, direction less young population can worsen the situation and further deteriorate the problematic situation of the country. These young minds of Pakistan are a reservoir of energy, talent and capabilities; if regulated properly they can assist development of the country.

  • Mustafa Shaban

    Excellent article. For Pakistan defenitly Education is key and important. But at the same.time.i would also put security, health and welfare also as to priorities since the population wil nt be motivated to be educated if they constantly feel thier lives are in danger and that they are constantly financially insecure and they are consratnyl dealing with health issues. These stressors in the environment prevent pursuit of higher goals and this goes for all other countries

    So we must. also look at Maslows Heirarchy of needs and prioritize which areas are.most.important to begin working on.

  • romain

    I dont understand why Pakis would waste money on educating its young folks, rather the money should be spent on camels and sucide vests as the candidates for both jockeys and bombers are increasing.

  • tajender
  • mohanrr

    भारत की शर्मनाक हार, बांग्लादेश ने 79 रनों से रौंदा

    aur khao vegetables karo atma saaf.

  • Rex Minor

    Young population needs to be utilized keeping in mind the national goals and policies of Pakistan.

    The incorrect use of english language is a standard among the people of the Indo-pak subcontinent. The author shouldknow that the trees do not grow in the skies. The month of Ramazan for muslims of the world is to ponder on the purpose of life and to enlighten ones self.

    The chinese were drilled within the communist system to work harder than the animals and robatic machines as well. They are now getting the pay of, whereas both the Indians and Pakis have been living in a chaotic and turblant conditions and will continue this life style which reflects their traditional cultures.

    Rex Minor

  • timely

    If one reads the opinions of rex, PMA etc. and other “brilliant young” muslims then one realizes that islam’s long-term goal is to exterminate non-muslims by various means.
    This demographic aggression by islam has its evil reasons and goals.

    God made a big mistake is letting islam survive so long and drive on with its fascism and expansionism and misuse young people for death squads.

    Muslim ideas of shame are about losing some silly game somewhere and then cry over it or throw bombs. And some non-muslims too have started imitating this nonsense.

  • Thanks all for the feedback.
    I accept my limitations in the proper usage of English Language, would definitely try to improve upon.
    Regards
    ibn Azhar

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  • Rex Minor

    Ibn Azhar,
    I did not mean to be rude; I know what you meant though my english is foreign for me as well. It is just that non english people must care for the use of words. People are not a commodity for utilisation.
    In your essay style article you have identified the key factors which affect all institutions and they all require restructuring and reforms but the youth do not have the luxary to wait and ponder about the leadership wrangling and their prioritisation programs.
    Pakistan has several Nations with their unique cultures and to ntal mistakebring them all together under one hat of Islam is a fundametal mistake and this should be corrected by giving more autonomy to the provinces. Good luck and all the courage in your writing.

    Rex Minor

  • Rex Minor

    PS
    sorry for the misprints

  • Rex Minor

    Now in Sindh Province of Pakistan people are dying becuse of high tempratures and the infrra-structurs expert Prime Minister of the country is unable to overcome the energy shortfalls nor aware of the technology to bring rain in cities.

    Rex Minor

  • tajender

    rex ,why isis never kill jew or attack isreal.why they only kill muslim or christians and other minorities.

    if u can enlighten me i will be thankfull.

  • Rex Minor

    Tajender,

    The ISIS stategists do not ask questions nor discriminate among those who oppose them. They managed to carve out a territory between Iraq and Syria during the presence of the Americans and have since been expanding their reign of terror throughout the middle east and beyond to undo the division established by the Brits and French after the fall of the Ottomans,so are the reports. AlJazeera has shown their latest videos which indicate their plans to invade Rome and Andaluz as well as the Indian subcontinent.

    Rex Minor

    PS Kaalchakra can enlighten you, I am not the kind to enlighten any one.

  • tajender

    AlJazeera has shown their latest videos which indicate their plans to invade Rome and Andaluz as well as the Indian subcontinent

    i consider u quite a enlightened person.who is giving arms money and technology to conquere andluz rome and india.why jerusalam and occupied terroteries of palestine is not included.isis is brute militia cannot defeat spain india or rome.

  • Rex Minor

    Tajender,
    Your problem is and that of many otherslike you is to always use logic in your questions. Is there any logic that more blacks are being killed in the USA under Mr Obama than were under George W?.
    ISIS people from Germany even threatened Mr Todenhöfer who was given the safe passage to spend more than a week to interview the ISIS bods.
    Why grant the status of the muslim to the one who kills?It would seem that you are ready to call any one muslim who claims to be a muslim. Are the marauding soldiers of the Pakistan army muslims who are accused of committing genocide against Bengali Nation and killing civilians in KPK, Baluchistan and now in Sindh?
    According to eye witnesses ISIS do not intend to defeat but destroy those who oppose them, like your pal Mohan reported, they are even destroying the ruins. Their disciples are children and youth and they are being indoctrinated following the Communist pattern but at a faster speed?Who knows what their aims for India are, definitely not to practice Yoga or Kama Sutr a?

    Rex Minor

  • Rex Minor

    Raza Rumi article on Pakistan woes in Express Tribune is worth reading, which affects both young and old.

    The following are my commens on the article:

    A crippling governance deficit?

    The author has a strange way of looking at the tragedies. There is no deficit in governance, the country has been ruled in turn since it was formed in 1947 by the civilians and the military in turn and now by the civilian and military cohibition! The rich have become richer at least most of them and the poorer to the sub-human standard. Death is what the citizens are facing across the land for one or other valid or invalid reason.
    Islamabad is no longer the capital for a dialogue and peace for the several Nations who live in Pakistan, but has become a barbaric battle ground.

    Rex Minor

  • timely

    rex’s fixation with kamasutra is a typical result of islamic sexual perversions.
    he should do it with himself and not trouble others.