PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak said Tuesday that the youth of the province have proven their worth as a vehicle of change, adding that his government will continue providing facilities to the youth to integrate them in all spheres of life.
The chief minister was addressing the concluding ceremony of National Youth Carnival at Qayyum Stadium of Peshawar Sports Complex, where he also signed an agreement on behalf of the provincial government with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
Provincial Minister for Sports Mehmood Khan and others also addressed the gathering which was attended by thousands of students from 110 universities and religious seminaries from across the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).
CM Khattak said on the occasion that the youth of today were more conscious and aware than before. He said that since the last 70 years the ruling elite had been keeping the people hostage under a system which only served and protected the interest of the elite class by restricting the country’s march towards progress.
He lamented that the wrongs committed by the political elite had put the public sector institutions in total disarray, while adding that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had emerged as the last hope to guide this nation towards a stable destination.
Pervez Khattak said that the youth were committed to their ideals and no power on earth could deprive them of achieving excellence in their respective fields. The youth had challenged the corrupt system and would succeed under the leadership of Imran Khan, he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s population comprises of 60 per cent youth, making it one among the few fortunate countries in the world that boast a young population.
Furthermore, Khattak said that his government was spending the maximum amount of time and money on the youth by initiating entrepreneurship programmes, soft skill development programmes, academia industrial linkages and youth exchange programme.
He said that his government had established hundreds of playgrounds in the province, adding that upgradation of Arbab Niaz Stadium in accordance to international standards would be completed in the next six months.
He also said that the budget for the Annual Development Programme (ADP) had been enhanced from Rs 250 million to Rs 500 million, besides announcing an additional Rs 150 million for businesses and Rs 350 million for the youth.
He also announced rupees one billion package for youth affairs, and said that his government was committed to imparting professional and advanced training for the youth through upgraded facilities. Khattak assured that his government was taking concrete steps to provide resources to develop promising ideas pitched by the youth.
He also said that that a Youth Directorate and Youth Development Commission have been established by the provincial government, thus enabling the youth to make their own decisions. The government had made an agreement with LUMS for sponsoring the promising ideas put forward by the youth, he added.
The KP government had allocated Rs 500 million for the KPIC, of which 84 per cent would be given as grants directly to successful applicants and 16 per cent would be used to implement the programme by LUMS School of Education (SOE).
The agreement for Youth Entrepreneurship Education Programme is a partnership between LUMS and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to facilitate education and entrepreneurship in the province.
Addressing the ceremony, LUMS Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Sohail Naqvi said that, “Our youth is our future. We are proud and delighted to be working with the KP government on this ground-breaking initiative that focused on entrepreneurship as the vehicle to improve the economic wellbeing of the youth. LUMS will share all of its learnings and provide oversight and stewardship to selected universities in the province, so that the impact of the initiative may be enhanced.”
Commenting on the partnership, LUMS School of Education, Associate Director Dr. Mariam Chughtai said, “Youth in KP are most enterprising and resilient, yet they are economically marginalised and socially misunderstood. This collaboration between LUMS and seven KP universities is specifically designed to help unleash the talent in KP youth for sustainable capacity building across communities in the KP province.”
The collaboration would also facilitate the objective of the LUMS SOE to conduct research, policy and practice in the education landscape of a globally marginalised region of the world.