Stories about youth

What is young Pakistan thinking?

It might come as a surprise to those concerned about a growing militancy problem in Pakistan that most of the people in the country believe that the Taliban and al Qaeda are not doing any service to Islam. According to the findings of a recent survey by the Pew Research Centre, support for terrorism among Pakistanis is much lower compared to other Muslim states. Militants have expanded their targeting of public places and intensified sectarian attacks in the last few years, actions that have fuelled public sentiments against them, and undermined the formerly tacit support for the Taliban in ...

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September 1, 2010
 Sadia A Ahmed

Turning a new leaf

Pakistan seems to be taking a battering these days in every possible way. It is plagued politically by incompetent leaders, jinxed by unpatriotic national heroes accused of spot-fixing, and reeling from a recent spell of accidents and natural disasters — flight ED-202 and the floods. I wish I could get my hands on a magic lamp and ask the genie to solve all our problems. But then I’m woken up to reality. At the same time, though, the good work people are doing to help those affected by the floods is extremely motivating. I would like to laud the enthusiastic response by ...

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Packaging hope in the flood crisis

Reminiscent of the spirit of volunteerism witnessed in the wake of the 2005 earthquake, scores of youngsters are gathering at Imperial Lawn at Shahrah-i-Faisal since the past two weeks to pitch in their part to help the 20 million affected by the floods that have wreaked havoc across the country. The spirit at the ground where packing of relief goods was taking place was infectious. One was automatically drawn into the swarm of people who were moving about in circles collecting supplies from the stalls lined around the ground and depositing them at the packaging table. To use the words of ...

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The street is my playground

I was returning from work one day when I saw a few teenagers playing cricket on the road. When a ball was bowled, the batsman hit a shot and the ball fell in front of two women, who were walking by. Although the ball did not hit them, their response was very disappointing. One of them said “Bahut hee badtamiz larkay hein.” The other agreed that the boys were a menace and said “Allah keray ye ball phut jaye ya kho jaye.” In a country, where there are no play grounds and few entertainment opportunities, we must appreciate these boys ...

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The common thread of genius at TEDx

This week, the city of Lahore got under my skin. It wasn’t just the idiosyncrasies and beauty of the city that crept into my resolutely Karachi-heart, but the people that I was able to meet. I was attending TEDxLahore, and in the lead up to the conference on July 31, I tagged the team for three days, meeting a rag-tag group of individuals from various backgrounds who had little in common besides their unwavering belief in the ideas they wanted to present to Lahoris (and Pakistanis) via the TEDx platform. In the absence of local arenas to showcase developing research, ...

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Why we need special economic zones

Pakistan is a country of unlimited human potential, especially with regard to talent that can be utilized to create a culture of dynamic entrepreneurship. Once the majority of your population is below 25 years in age you cannot depend upon a number of big companies working in the country to produce employment of a desired level for the qualified and skilled youth. It is all about how well the planners in the government provide solutions to the youth to become their own employers and in turn employ others. Let me give an example of a UAE based company, RSI Concepts. The company is ...

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What Jamshed Dasti taught our youth

 “I feel ashamed that I am in a country where a person who has committed terrible crimes is re-elected. It makes you lose hope, because we are working so hard for our degrees, yet there are those who do nothing, acquire fake degrees, and go far in their lives.  Its very discouraging and it makes you start looking for shortcuts.” These profoud words capture the very essence of the detrimental effects of our fractured political structure on our social strata. But these comments did not come from some famous party leader. Nor did they come from some respected scholar, or ...

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Weltschmerz, the sorrow experienced

The other day, the information secretary of a very prominent political party was asked what she thought of the criticism her party faced from young people on websites, airing views that werent particularly complementary. Her response was to simply point the finger the other way, blaming them for their “abusive language”, and dismissing their arguments as superfluous. And they have the nerve to call us deluded. This is what the youth of this country have to face. Every day is another battle for our sanity as we experience a way of life besieged with crises upon crises. We see our people ...

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