PAKISTAN: Role of youth vital in defeating terrorism
(From Associate Press of Pakistan) Islamabad, June 26 - PRIME Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said youth hold the key in purging terrorism afflicting the nation and in reinforcing the image of Islam as a religion of peace. The Prime Minister was speaking at a ceremony of distribution of placement orders among about 250 youth belonging to Rawalpindi and Islamabad region here on Friday under the National Internship Programme.
Ministry of Youth Affairs is running the programme under which youth are offered one year internships. He said the national internship programme has been expanded and this year Rs. 3.6 billion will be spent to give internship to 30,000 youth.
The Prime Minister said terrorists are following a foreign agenda, destabilising the political and economic system and trying to undermine institutions of the country. Youth are majority of the population and it is upon them to come to the forefront and play a decisive role in improving the image of Islam, which is being disfigured by the terrorists, he added.
“The role which the youth can play in countering terrorism cannot be performed by anybody else.” Referring to his visit to China, he emphasised upon more people to people contact between Pakistan and China saying exchange of youth delegations will provide a platform for more close bilateral relations in future.
He said higher education remains a top priority of the government and maximum number of youth will be sent abroad on scholarships. He said more opportunities for vocational training will be provided and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis will make available more jobs for youth in foreign countries.
The Prime Minister said new youth and education policies will be according to the needs of the present era. These policies will open up new opportunities for youth and help utilise their potential, he added. He said the Finance Ministry will examine the availability of funds for 100 youth activity centres proposed by the Youth Ministry.
The Prime Minister agreed to creation of a permanent Youth Fund for which initially the government will give money but it will be made sustainable by financing its activities in partnership with other government departments.
On the advice of Deputy Speaker National Assembly, the Prime Minister has decided to patronise young parliamentarians to groom them for future leadership roles. The young parliamentarians will visit universities to motivate students and prepare them for national responsibilities and make them aware of the present challenges.
Gilani appreciated Minister for Youth Affairs Shahid Hussain Bhutto for making vibrant the National Internship Programme and starting new projects for youth welfare. The Minister for Youth Affairs said the internship programme will polish the skills of youth and prepare them for the changing demand of the job market.
He said he held talks with the industrial sector to accommodate the internees hired under the government programme. The Minister said last year 22000 internees were employed. Many of them found good jobs after their one year training and now are successfully serving important organisations.
[Associated Press of Pakistan]
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