Denmark Supports the Youth Parliament of Pakistan
“Youcannottalkaboutdemocracyorcivilempowerment Withoutengagingtheyouth” DanishAmbassador,
UffeWolffhechel The Ambassador of Denmark emphasized on the important role of youth in marking issues and bringing solutions to Pakistan's situation, while speaking at the inaugural session of the 4th batch ofYouth Parliament Pakistan. The formal inaugural ceremony began by paying homage to six martyrs of Youth Parliament Pakistan, who lost their lives in an air crash on July 28, 2010. The Inaugural Session was also addressed by Patron Youth Parliament Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA, Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Senator S. M. Zafar, Chairman and other members of Youth Parliament Steering Committee, including Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA, Mr. Nadeem Afzal Gondal, MNA and Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan, MNA. Speaking at the ceremony, the Danish ambassador highlighted the important role of being a youth parliamentarian and how they would be engaged in debating some of the most important questions concerning the future of Pakistan and the SouthAsian region -questions that were of high priority to the rest of the world as well. ”Fighting for a better world gives life meaning; it leads, sooner or later, to concrete changes and, when you work together with others, it nurtures the individual and collective ability to make a difference”, said the ambassador.The ambassador also shared that the education system in Denmark works around the empowerment and rights of the individual citizen. “Throughout their education, theDanish youth is taught that their opinion matters and can determine the influence on policy and decision makers. We strongly believe that the youth holds the key to the future of this world and for Pakistan it remains equally relevant. We are therefore very happy to be supporting theYouth Parliament of Pakistan”, he said. Facilitated by PILDAT, the Youth Parliament is patterned after the National Assembly of Pakistan. Its membership is drawn from young Pakistanis aged between 18-29 years from Balochistan, KP, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJKand FATA. The inaugural session lasted over 5 days - February 20-24, 2012, where the selected young Pakistanis from across Pakistan joined the session. The selection process, based on merit, has been led by an independent Steering Committee. Out of the 60 member batch, 44 are male while 16 are female. The average age in the 4th batch is 23 years. In the fourth successive batch, the Blue Party forms a majority with 78% membership opting for its membership while 22% members have joined the Green Party. The Youth Parliament Pakistan consists of 28 members from Punjab, 12 members from Sindh, 7 from KP, 5 from Balochistan, 3 from Islamabad Capital Territory, 2 each from FATAand AJK while 1 member from Gilgit Baltistan. Youth Parliament is also expected to debate theWay Forward in Balochistan, Electoral Reforms in Pakistan and in particular the new Electoral Roll in its first session.
PILDAT has earlier conceived, planned and facilitated 3, year-
Extremism Watch Repor t launched by J innah Institute Pakistan's problem of extremism is a greater threat to the country than terrorism. This was the consensus during the February 16thlaunch of Jinnah Institute's report 'Extremism Watch: Mapping Conflict trends in Pakistan 2010-2011'. The report records and examines various types of extremist incidents that have occurred in Pakistan over the past year, and the effects that these incidents have registered on Pakistani society. Ejaz Haider, Executive Director of Jinnah Institute, opened the event by welcoming the panelists and guests at the report launch. Mr. Haider spoke about the purpose and design of the report, and acknowledged the need to integrate various issues categorized as extremist activities so that effective policy recommendations could be developed for Pakistan. Mr. Haider stated that extremism is a greater menace in terms of a state's ability to deal with it, rather than terrorism, and this fact enhances the