ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser Wednesday underscored the importance of dialogue with youth as their inclusion was imperative for the prosperous future of Pakistan.
He was speaking at a session held during the 5th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Asia Regional Conference, 2019 currently taking place here from July 29 to August 2, which was organized keeping in view the role of youth in nation building and inclusive democracy.
The session was organized to engage young parliamentarians and youth leaders to initiate a dialogue highlighting the importance of youth platforms for parliament, youth members as medium of peace tolerance and prosperity and role of young MPs in enhancing youth participation in parliamentary business.
The session was divided into four thematic areas discussing; youth as building blocks of inclusive democracy, youth platforms as stepping stone to parliament, strategies of young MPs to advance peace, tolerance and prosperity and role of young MPs in enhancing youth participation in parliamentary business.
The session was chaired and moderated by Akbar Khan, Secretary General CPA. In his welcome remarks, Akbar Khan stressed upon the need of including youth in decision making and democratic process highlighting Pakistan’s potential in youth which was around 64 percent of total population.
The keynote speaker of the session was Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati who said that there was an utmost need to involve youth in political as well as parliamentary process.
The first round of discussion was addressed by young parliamentarians including Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari, Deputy Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mehmood Jan, MNA Shaza Fatima Khwaja, Member Parliament from Sri Lanka Heshan Withanage and CPA youth leaders who thoroughly shed light on the prevailing issues regarding inclusion of youth in democratic process and importance of youth platforms for democracy and progressive Parliament.
The second roundtable session stressed upon the role of young MPs in enhancing youth participation in parliamentary business and strategies of young MPs to advance peace, tolerance and prosperity.
The session was addressed by members of Young Parliamentary Forum including Deputy Speaker Balochistan Assembly Sardar Babar, MNA Farrukh Habib, Uzma Riaz, Naz Baloch, MPA Sumaira Shams, Member House of Lords, Lord Purvis of Tweed and youth leaders who unanimously shared a view that it was imperative to enlighten and engage youth in political and parliamentary processes of the country and not only make decisions for them but make decisions with them. Speakers further stressed that for ensuring a peaceful democratic society, inclusion of youth was of pivotal importance.
They said that youth of a country become a direct stakeholder of hatred in society and it was youth who could counter the messages of hate and violence with the message of peace and prosperity.
The debates were followed by a thorough question and answer session between participants and panelists. At the conclusion of youth roundtable, souvenirs were presented to panelists by the Secretary General CPA Akbar Khan. Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser presented the souvenir to moderator of the session Akbar Khan, Secretary General CPA.