Political parties urged to provide space for youth

Pakistan needs to provide reserved seats for the youth in National Assembly, discussed Thursday in a Dialogue organized by PILDAT & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Pakistan.

In his opening presentation, President PILDAT Ahmed Bilal Mehboob highlighted the lack of representation of youth in political sphere, he said, “The largest and mainstream parties do not even make it into the top five. 46% of the tickets need to be awarded to youth in proportion to their population. We need to address this issue and ensure youth’s increased representation and participation before the next elections”.

The Dialogue session was attended by Country Director FES Pakistan Dr Niels Hegewisch, Director Media Coordination and Outreach Wing Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima, Shaheera Jalil AlBasit, Advocate for Pakistan’s Youth Election Quota Campaign and Dr Ali Muhammad Malik, Deputy Secretary of Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP).

According to the statement issued, some recommendations were proposed by the participants, “Political parties need to play a more active role to involve youth in electoral affairs, starting by incorporating youth within its power structure and reserving seats for the youth in the National Assembly”, the statement said.

Dr Niels Hegewisch reiterated the German organization’s dedication towards creating socially democratic states around the globe. One of their aims in Pakistan is to promote the role and participation of youth in democratic practices of the country as “infusing youth into politics and legislation is the true way of forming a representative democracy in a country.”

In their key remarks, Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima shared key statistics on voters of Pakistan and the different methods employed by the Election Commission to improve. While Dr Ali Muhammad Malik highlighted the efforts undertaken by Prime Minister’s Office of Youth Affairs to engage youth of the country.

Mr. Mehboob further said that in Pakistan, TLP is the top party granting their tickets to youth while the largest and mainstream parties do not even make it into the top five.

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