Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09


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Despite Challenges, Pakistan has a Bright Future; Agriculture, location and Manpower great assets;
Zardari Tells Youth Parliament

Islamabad, August 08; The President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari termed Youth Parliament as future Leaders of Pakistan. “A future President, Prime Minister, and Parliamentarians are sitting among you,” he said addressing the Youth Parliament Pakistan members who called on him today at the Presidency.

“It is a great initiative to groom and train tomorrow’s leadership in politics and democracy today,” he said, terming the Youth Parliament as a great initiative by PILDAT. “We did not have these forums available to us as we were growing up; I started my political career from a Union Council member in Nawabshah and we in the PPP believe in putting everyone through the political mill of learning,” he said.

The Youth Parliament Pakistan, a PILDAT initiative, was represented in a meeting with the President in which young members from across Pakistan put a range of questions from upcoming water crisis to the energy issue, Pakistan’s dependence on foreign aid, abolition of the concurrent list from the 1973 constitution and the issue of Balochistan to the President. The President, who very deftly and ably answered questions of the youth members, said that he was glad that youth was thinking about key issues for the present and the future.

The Youth Prime Minister Mr. Ahmed Ali Babar congratulated the President on the huge achievement of the government to have managed the rehabilitation of IDPs in record time. “It is a gigantic task and as Pakistanis we are truly proud to have not only absorbed the displacement of such a huge number of people but have managed an unprecedented rehabilitation process for which the state and government of Pakistan truly deserve credit,” he said.

“We believe youth is the custodian of Pakistan’s future; we are promoting youth in our party; the youngest-ever Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly is from the PPPP and I am glad to be part of a journey with you to secure the future of Pakistan,” he said while addressing the delegation. “My children are one with the youth of this country and will have to go through the greatest test of democracy when they have to go to ask for a vote” he said responding to a question about whether the Bhutto-Zardari children would be living in Pakistan and would like to join Youth Parliament. “Bhutto gave the asset of vote to every person rich or poor in this country which is the true essence of democracy; asking people to vote for you is the greatest reality-check and the real beauty of democracy,” he said. “Given the Bhutto family history of martyrdom in the line of political and democratic duty to the country, allowing your only son to take up the post of party’s co-chairperson needs a heart,” he said, adding that having a 20-year old co-chairman of party also meant that the party was thinking of the future and investing greatly in the youth’s potential.

Responding to questions on water scarcity and energy crisis he said that the PPP government was pursuing the water issue at the highest international levels as well as with our regional partners. The government is working on pilot projects to conserve water and propagate the water use judiciously to make the most of water resources available. The PPP government had shown the foresight back in 1988 to start power production through the private sector. “Keep an eye on us, but put your mind to rest,” he said to members of Youth Parliament about governmental policies on key issues.

Talking about the Balochistan issue, he said that the PPP government is the first government that apologised to the people of Balochistan for the excesses committed to them in the past although we were not directly responsible. No fort can collapse with just the outside forces but crumbles first from inside, he said. We are therefore working on providing more and more resources to Balochistan before we can ask them for anything in return. Balochistan has been hurt too many times on the basis of promises alone and we will not just make promises. The issues will be resolved but that will not be done in a year, he said.

Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09

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