–Youth Affairs secretary says govt determined for provision of socio-economic opportunities to youngsters
LAHORE: Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism Department on Tuesday commemorated the 72nd Independence Day as well as the International Youth Day here at PILAC.
A leading youth development organisation, Bargad, assisted the department in organising these celebrations in which 550 youth representatives from across districts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Islamabad participated.
Chief Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani was the chief guest at the occasion while Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism Department Secretary Muhammad Ayub Chaudhry, Punjab Sports Board DG Aamir Jan, Tourism MD Shakil Ahmad, LDA DG, Youth Affairs Deputy Secretary Tehmina Rashid and Bargad Executive Director Sabiha Shaheen also attended the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Ayub Chaudhry said that witnessing the passion of today’s generation, the government was committed to provide them with opportunities to engage economically, socially and politically.
“It will ensure that youth, especially vulnerable groups, are empowered,” he said, adding that the youth needed to realise their goal of a prosperous and peaceful country. The secretary said that the potential of youth would make the dividends of national development a reality as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Earlier, the celebrations began with a flag hoisting ceremony amid the release of balloons, pigeons, as well as cultural dances to the tunes of traditional music. Other highlights of the celebrations were Sufi music performance and screening of a documentary on Pakistan.
An exclusive youth panel discussion was also organised in which youth representatives Mansoor Qazi, Aqsa Shahid, Awais Arshad Bhatti, Naveed Khan, Sumbal Arif, Aqsa Rani, Aroon Kumar, Zanaya Chaudhry and Farzana Maqsood shared their perspectives on evolving youth leadership in the economic, social, political and civic echelons of the motherland.
Youth icon awards were also distributed among individuals for their excellence and achievements. The recipients included Shaheer Hassan, Ali Awan, Maryam Batool, Asif Sultan, Ali Raza, Azeem Ikramzai, Naveed Khan, Aqsa Shahid, Sumbal Arif and Faran Aslam.
In his concluding remarks, Zahid Hussain said that the event demonstrated the spirit of the Independence Day and this year’s theme of the International Youth Day was “Safe Spaces for Youth”. He briefed that youth affairs had been a neglected area but the incumbent secretary had submitted a summary to the government to establish a full-fledged Directorate of Youth Affairs.
As part of the celebrations, the participants also planted trees under the Punjab Government’s Clean and Green Punjab campaign.