HYDERABAD: Speakers at a dialogue on ‘Youth civil engagement’ held here on Wednesday to observe the International Youth Day held politicians, flawed government policies and corruption responsible for extremism, rebellion and other negative tendencies in youths.

The speakers, who included intellectuals, writers and civil society activists urged youths no to be carried away by attractive slogans and propaganda resorted to by political elements to achieve their ulterior motives. They pointed out that negative tendencies and corruption had destroyed society and deprived the youth of the academic qualification and professional capability that could enable them to compete in the practical life.

South Asia Partnership (SAP) deputy director Irfan Mufti said flawed policies introduced and pursued by successive governments since the country’s inception produced bad results while poor governance and failure of system gave rise to intolerance, extremism and other menaces in society, which stood divided on religious, linguistic and ethnic lines. He noted that the tendency of defiance and even rebellion was inculcated in the youth in this environment.

“The politicians ruling over the country always tried to impose political theories of their own choice on the masses and this aggravated the situation, which has now become very difficult to improve,” he said.

Mr Mufti said that the flawed policies and system have brought the state to the brink of instability.

Discussing the plight of today’s youth, he said this segment was now puzzled over which way to go. “The doors of all healthy activities like education, sports, trade and culture exhibitions have been shut on the youth,” he observed, and said they were being denied opportunities of demonstrating their skills in every field.

Awami Jamhoori Pary (AJP) president Abrar Kazi accused the ruling elite as well as intellectuals of having left the youth in the lurch. “Today’s youth is fully exposed to the tendency of rebellion due to the extreme sense of deprivation,” he observed.

Discussing the causes, he observed that “our children fail to attain merit in an environment where education institutions do not impart education but offer certificates and degrees against a small amount of money”. He quoted an official of the Sindh Public Services Commission as saying that “not a single candidate appearing in the commission’s exams after obtaining a degree from a university of Sindh is able to pass them. Mr Kazi said that degree-holder have to pass the commission’s exams to get a higher position in a government department.

Instead of ensuring a fair checking of papers, the educational boards in Sindh had been selling certificates while university degrees were also available on payment of a handful of money, he observed.

This had killed the merit, he said, and argued that why the youth would bother to attend classes and study books whole the year when the certificate or degree he wanted to seek was available in the ‘market’ for a few thousand rupees. The AWP leader said that politics is no bad thing but the youth must realise the importance of their educational and professional qualification and competence before going for political activism.

The programme was organised by the Sindh Community Foundation (SCF) in collaboration with Chanan Development Association.

Earlier, SCF executive director Javed Hussain highlighted the aim of holding the dialogue.

Sindh Hari Porhiat Council president Punhal Saryo, Sindhoo Soomro, Raj Kumar, Fayyaz Tunio and others also spoke.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2015

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