‘Youth, minorities are untapped resource of Pakistan’

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*Daylong event calls for recognising minority heroes in syllabus for diversity

*Hundreds youth and students celebrated special day for minorities and youth

Hundreds of students from different parts of the country, on Wednesday, called the federal and provincial governments to include minority icons and heroes of the nation in the syllabus at school and college level.

More than 1,000 students across the country unanimously passed the resolution in the presence of Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael and Punjab Minister for Law, Education and Youth Affairs Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan at Alhamara Hall-I, while celebrating special day for minorities and youth.

The students from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) also participated in the celebrations.

Bargad organisation for youth development in collaboration with the Punjab government, UNFPA, Umeed Jawan and other organisations arranged the daylong event which was graced by Bargad organisation executive director Sabiha Shaheen and minority members of National Assembly and different provincial assemblies.

“Our state needs to recognise the contribution made by the minorities and showcase them as national heroes. We must celebrate their services in the school curriculum to show strength of diversity in Pakistan,” the unanimous resolution, addressing the federal and provincial governments, said.

The celebrations were arranged to commemorate these two days together to highlight issues of the Pakistani youth and recognise services of the unsung heroes belonging to minorities. Its aim was to include youth in development, and give minority heroes the respect they deserve. The Bargad celebrations aimed to harbour a peaceful, progressive, and democratic environment for youth by bringing young people from all areas of Pakistan at one place, and highlighting Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 speech; the message about minority rights and equal opportunities for all in particular. This event will also provide youth from all over Pakistan a platform to showcase their talent through various competitions being held.

Rana Mashood said the Punjab government wanted to bring youth and minorities in mainstream giving them their due role and respect to work for a better Pakistan. He said such events would help in bringing these two sections of society close and giving them opportunities to understand each other and bridge the gaps for a better and peaceful society. He said no nation can progress without peace, tolerance, and diversity. He said such days would strengthen our youth and provide them opportunities to sit together and understand each other.

The minister said that the province has 68 percent of youth, adding that the government is bringing policies to help this youth in going forward and encouraging talented students.

Sabiha Shaheen said such celebrations would be arranged every year to commemorate and highlight the role of minorities and youth. She said this would help them in promoting peace, bridge the differences through dialogue and become one nation.

Muhammad Saboor of Umeed Jawan said that there is lot of potential in Pakistan’s youth but there is dire need to channelise it.

Dr Babar from the UNFPA urged the governments to implement policies related to youth. The issue is not policy but its implementation, he said.

The event includes speech competitions, theatrical and cultural dance performances, drum beating performances by noted drummers of the town and many colourful episodes.

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