Two industrial zones, one each in Bimber and Mirpur, and an expressway from Muzaffarabad to Mirpur have been included in the CPEC which will transform PaK’s socio-economic landscape, said President of PaK, Sardar Masood Khan.
He was addressing participants at an event “Our Youth Our Future: Creating Spaces for Youth-centric and Youth-led Policy-making.” The event was organised by Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms in collaboration with the British Council, here, a statement said.
Around 200 young people from a cross-section of society shared their views at the event with the President and asked critical questions regarding the “uneven relationship” between Islamabad and Muzaffarabad, poor infrastructure, lack of quality education and health facilities in PaK.
While highlighting their imminent role, the President advised the students and young people to achieve excellence in their respective fields, become active and vibrant civic actors and develop skills to use modern Information Communication Tools in a more strategic and effective way.
“Youth and civil society should support the government for better governance, and we need to introduce reforms both at the micro and macro level to curb the menace of corruption in the society,” he said.
On a point raised by research scholar Dr Waqas Ali on rising unemployment, he stated that government was making serious efforts to create opportunities for investment and private sector employment to reduce brain-drain and provide economic opportunities for young people.
Ershad Mahmud, Executive Director CPDR said, “In today’s globalised world, no nation can make progress without increasing youth participation in the policy-making process and ensuring their economic empowerment.”
Zeenia Faraz, Head of Programmes-Society, British Council, Islamabad, hinted to explore the possibilities to develop linkages between Kashmiri diaspora in the United Kingdom and community in PaK.
Vice Chancellor Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) stated: “We are in a transition stage and our universities are improving, but a lot is to be done to build capacity and create opportunities.”
Zulfiqar Abbasi, a leading businessman, stated the role of the private sector must be made instrumental to generate economic opportunities for youth instead of providing jobs in the public sector.
He underlined the urgent need to conduct an economic survey of PaK so that realistic policies can be formulated on the basis of facts and figures.