LAHORE, Sept 28: The Pakistan government should ensure a meaningful participation of the young people, particularly from conflict-affected areas, in the peace process and formulation of national counter-terrorism and national peace policy.
This is one of the resolutions among many passed at the 4th National Youth Peace Festival 2013 which concluded at the Ali Institute on Ferozepur Road here on Saturday.
More than 500 young people from all over the country, including Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJ&K, Fata and Islamabad Capital Territory attended the festival.
The event was organised by the Chanan Development Association (CDA), a national youth-led organisation, in collaboration with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), USAID, Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) and Karachi Youth Initiative with the theme “One Nation, One Agenda: Democracy & Peace!”.
During the three-day event, the youth from diverse cultures, ethnicities, religions, communities and socio-economic background interacted with each other in a positive manner.
Endorsing the resolution of the All Parties Conference to give dialogue a chance for establishing peace in Pakistan, they said the writ of the state, however, should not be compromised.
All provincial governments should engage the youth in the upcoming local body polls by nominating them on all general seats or reserve at least 10 per cent seats for the youth under the age of 29.
“We urge the government to establish at least one university in Fata so that maximum number of youth of this area can get higher education. We believe that there should be only one system of education and standardized curriculum which should include chapters from human rights, democracy, peace and harmony.
The government should promote regional languages, cultures, and exchange programs so that youth can conveniently interact with the people from other parts of the country.
We appreciate efforts of the prime minister who has recently announced the Youth Empowerment Package.
The government should ensure the safety and security of its citizens, particularly all minorities.
We condemn all acts of terrorism -- the killing of a Major-General in Lower Dir, the Peshawar church blasts and the recent bus blast on Charsadda Road and urge the government to take strict action against militants.
We also urge the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the federal and Balochistan government to utilize all resources to rescue and rehabilitate victims of the Awaran earthquake,” they said.
The young people also got the opportunity to directly interact with personalities of civil society, media and politicians. Prominent among them were Justice Nasira Iqbal, Samson Salamat, Mariam Azeem, Sabiha Shaheen, Abrarul Haq, Abdul Rauf, Rizwan Jaffar, Kamran Shahid, Faisal Sabzwari, Zaeem Qadri, Shaukat Basra, Dr Murad Raas, Sharmila Farooqi, Rana Sanaullah and Shahi Syed.
Youth Icon Awards were presented to the late Arfa Karim, swimmer Kiran Khan, and siblings who climbed the Mount Everest, Mirza Ali Baig and Samina Baig.
The forum also acknowledged the contributions of people who have played their role in strengthening democracy in Pakistan, including the late Rana Bilal Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Tehseen, Muhammad Waseem, Shahtaj Qazalbash, I.A Rehman, Asma Jahangir and Peter Jacob.