Young guns in UK unite for Pakistan

Published: February 26, 2011

150 Pakistani students from across the UK attended the conference at Oxford University

It’s going to be an exciting weekend in Pakistan. Future leaders from all over the country will gather in Islamabad for the Pakistan Young Leader’s Conference until 27th February. The aim of the conference is to help solve some of the crucial problems and issues currently facing Pakistan.

The whole conference is solution oriented. Earlier this week the PYLC was also held in UK.

The event took place at the prestigious Oxford University over the weekend of February 11-13. I had the opportunity to participate in the event, not only as a delegate for the Women Empowerment Committee but also as someone involved in helping its organization on behalf of NUPSA (National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni).

PYLC UK was a roaring success.

People travelled from different parts of the UK for a chance to discuss the vital issues facing our country. Committee sessions were held on all three days, with the last evening reserved for a joint committee session in which the everyone discussed the sessions. This was followed by a question and answer session with Kamran Shahid of Express News as well as some political guests.

The beauty of the event lay in the passion of the youth of Pakistan. Young Pakistanis travelled from across the UK for an opportunity to be involved in something which could potentially be helpful to their country. The sincerity and passion of all those involved, the commitment, research and hard work that went in the preparation of the sessions to ensure positive outcome is commendable.

Perhaps my praise seems like an exaggeration. But one had to be there to realize the genuine devotion that these young Pakistanis felt. The last joint session ran a little late but people decided to miss their scheduled buses and trains, opting instead to hear the crucial outcomes reached. Although most of them had classes early the next morning or were scheduled to go to work, when it came to what is more important in their lives, the priority was Pakistan.

The outcomes reached by the different committees, and those successfully passed as resolutions in the Joint Committee Session were presented to different politicians who were invited as guests. The resolutions passed in both PYLC UK and PYLC Pakistan will be combined and presented to different important political figures in Pakistan so they can be utilized and implemented on a practical level.

When I see the raw untapped potential in the Pakistani youth, and how they sincerely strive to decipher the code to unlock the answers to Pakistan’s dilemmas, it fills me with hope and pride. Pakistan’s future is much brighter than what may seem from our TV sets and dreary newspaper reports. It is events like PYLC that show us that Pakistan’s dark cloud has not a silver but a platinum lining due to the power, potential and patriotism of the youth.

Amna Khalid

Amna Khalid

An economics major from LUMS, with a MSc in financial economics from Cardiff University. Khalid currently works in London. She blogs at surreallist.blogspot.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • parvez

    After reading your article the first thing that came to mind was a cynical, caustic comment. Then on second thought and some reflection I said, at least these guys are trying to do something which is what really counts. Recommend

  • http://tightdhoti.wordpress.com TightDhoti

    All good, but who pays for all of this? Did the senate chairman attend the event at the government of Pakistan’s expense or at his personal expense? Perhaps consider to expand it to make it more inclusive in future? Hosting it at Oxford may make it seem prestigious, but it can also make it pretentious as well. Good to see that people are gathering to move things forward. Recommend

  • http://surreallist.blogspot.com/ Amna Khalid

    The full version of this article with more details can be found here:
    http://surreallist.blogspot.com/2011/02/pakistan-young-leaders-conference-2011.html
    =)Recommend

  • http://www.local.com.pk Jabran

    It is brilliant to have a platform to speak and bring voices and concerns to ressponsisbles. Though, being one of the participant, i can tell that the event was not a “roaring success”..Recommend

  • Amna Randhawa

    Would have loved to attend it. The way you have captured what the conference entailed I can’t help but wish our Pakistani youth’s sincere intentions towards Pakistan get fulfilled aameen. Amna, please I would be very grateful if you could give ‘me’ a heads up on such events in UK, I would love to attend. Thank you!Recommend

  • http://na deep

    Amna – if there is a recording of any of the sessions – please let us know. To date these much hyped interactions with the youth have been somewhat disappointing for me – I am always hoping to hear something radically different from what we hear on talk shows. For instance a programme called Reporter visited a campus recently to discuss pakistan’s current problems – on the panel were a professor and three students. The professor began by casting doubts on the 9/11 event and wondered if Saudis were truly invovled…Not one person on the panel or in the audience stood up and said that the conspiracy theories that Jews, the CIA etc were the perpetrators should be put to rest. And then the discussion was all down hill – because nothing substantive gets discussed – like the role of the army, the distortions in school text books, the nurturing of terror groups, the blashemy law, the growing role of religion etc etc.Recommend

  • faraz

    Instead of wasting money on this useless exercise, why dont they give out money to the flood affectees. What are they going to discuss, how to get out of this place?Recommend

  • Shafiq

    Great piece Amna. I I had the opportunity to participate in the event as a delegate in Finance committee. It was an awesome experience. I appreciate the whole team of NUPSA for arranging PYLC and hope they will keep on doing their good work. Recommend

  • Anon.

    @faraz:

    This event was hosted by The National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni in conjunction with Oxford PakSoc, and is one of many events that are hosted by NUPSA each year. NUPSA has already organised several charity events in the past to help the flood vicitims. In a recent charity dinner they raised £50,000 in one night alone. The various committee sessions allowed the youth to engage in discussion and put forward ideas on how to resolve issues being faced by Pakistan today. It is these educated youth who will be able to make a difference in Pakistan in the future. The conference on the whole is enlightening and very educational. Scepticism won’t get you anywhere.Recommend

  • http://www.pakrevolutionist.blogspot.com Shoaib Arif Butt

    Great way to contribute for Pakistan!!!!!
    I was also selected in Youth Affairs Committee for PYLC Islamabad this year but unfortunately could’nt be the part of it. Its an healthy exercise which our youth must do rapidly and regularly.
    I would suggest that to create a wider and better influence PYLC chapter conference should be started in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar to cater the youth from all parts of the Pakistan. PYLC should hire some volunteers and begin this mission to spread positiviity and enhancing leadership skills in Pakistan. Moreover my question to you is that how you think our youth’s policies are going to effect our Government? Do you have carved any methodology for that?Recommend

  • IZ

    Great! So after the successful solving of all of Pakistan’s problems at last year’s conference, this year’s conference is going to solve all our problems again! Excellent! Its so wonderful having all our problems solved on such a regular basis. Where would we be if all our problems had not already been solved for us?Recommend

  • http://surreallist.blogspot.com/ Amna Khalid

    @parvez: I am glad you managed to see the positive side of the situation.
    @TightDhoti: Thank you for your suggestions, I will definitely keep them in mind when writing next time. It was hosted at Oxford University due to the hard work that the Pakistan Society at Oxford University volunteered to do on behalf of NUPSA in order to ensure the smooth running of PYLC.
    @Jabran: I appreciate your view and difference in opinion. If you could fill in a delegate review form about how the experience was, and offer any suggestions to improve the experience in the future, that would be great so that NUPSA can build on the delegates responses and improve such events in the future inshAllah.
    @Amna Randhawa: I will definitely give you a heads up next time iA =)
    @deep: The end resolutions and the question answer session with Kamran Shahid will be shown on television in his show ‘Frontline with Kamran Shahid’.
    @Shafiq: Thank you for your kind comments regarding my article and also for appreciating the hard work put in by NUPSA.
    @Anon.: Thank you for enlightening @faraz about the efforts of NUPSA and other student Pakistani societies in the UK in their efforts to raise money for the flood stricken people of Pakistan. I agree, it is better to encourage the youth who are trying to make a difference rather than be skeptical of their efforts.
    @Shoaib Arif Butt: Thank you for appreciating PYLC and seeing how it can prove to be helpful in providing the youth with a platform to constructively use their passion for Pakistan by coming up with solutions to our problems. The policies will be combined and sent to different political leaders and parties so they can be implemented on a practical level. We are also planning to give more media exposure to the resolutions passed.
    @IZ: You have a right to your opinion, and hence the sarcasm. I am however of the view that it is better to stand and do something which can and inshAllah will potentially have an impact rather than sit and criticize others who are really genuinely staying up nights to make such an event possible in the hope of seeing a difference (people I have seen trying to put together PYLC.) Personally, I would rather encourage such dedication.Recommend

  • http://www.local.com.pk Jabran

    @Amna I have done that already.Recommend

  • Ali

    I am sure they all meant well, but unless they came to some drastic conclusions, I think they were better off spending the night in watching television!!
    I personally believe that short off disbanding parliament and jailing all our feudal lords and corrupt politicians we will continue to sink deeper into this quagmire.
    Nothing, I repeat nothing, can stop either the PPP or the PML-N destroying Pakistan. No matter how well meaning and water tight your proposals are our corrupt leaders will circumnavigate a route to plunder and pillage the country. Sorry for the pessimism, but democratic politics in Pakistan circa 1989 onwards have led me to draw this conclusion. Recommend

  • Syed Hussein El-Edroos

    @Amina Khalid agree with you 110%:

    “I am however of the view that it is better to stand and do something which can and inshAllah will potentially have an impact rather than sit and criticize others who are really genuinely staying up nights to make such an event possible in the hope of seeing a difference (people I have seen trying to put together PYLC.) Personally, I would rather encourage such dedication.”

    Keep up the good work.Recommend

  • Mohammed Saad Fayyaz

    I was a part of the Education committee, though this may seem bad, I was more of an observer than a participant. However, I can honestly say, without any biased view, that the NUPSA UK did an amazing job, to get all these people in one venue, that happens to be hours away from your own city is a hard job (I came from London!).

    Secondly, we at the Education committee did bring up a lot of issues, they were discussed, debated on and then we finally came to a number of resolutions, let me make it clear, we did not come to conclusions, conclusions won’t fix Pakistan!

    Also, due to time restraints and other factors, a few, and I do mean a few topics, such a child molestation and harassment, were not discussed. But overall, we did come up with some good points, now it’s up to the powers in Pakistan do decide if they actually want to make use of those pieces of paper! Recommend