LAHORE, Nov 4: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan has ‘empowered’ the youth by announcing at least 25 per cent representation in the next general election and delegating full authority to contest the forthcoming party election and be in a position to decide the candidates for the award of party tickets.
The PTI announced its Youth Policy at party’s Youth Convention, focusing on “the message of change by crushing the status quo forces.” The event was held at jam-packed Expo Centre on Sunday and the PTI youth members had travelled to Lahore from across Pakistan, enthusiastically waving party flags.
Insaaf Students Federation central president Farrukh Habib and Punjab president Usman Gujjar had also led a large rally of young students who were wearing party colours and chanting slogans in excitement.
Speaking to the highly-charged youth, Imran said he did not need seasoned politicians, landlords and big names but the youth to turn around the fate of Pakistan in the next elections. Only those complying with party’s ideology would be able to stay with it, he cautioned.
Stating that the party would do away with feudalism, the PTI chief announced that it would fund the general election campaign of young candidates who would earn party’s ticket. He said the PTI with the support of youth would make a new Pakistan, reiterating this was a golden chance to save Pakistan and bring it back to life. “The youth must not lose this chance,” he stressed.
Bashing the PML-N leaders, Imran said those who think that they could buy youth by giving them laptops were living in a fool’s paradise. He said this time some 40 million youth would caste their votes for the first time in general elections.
He said women and young girls would be offered maximum opportunities of education and justice so that they could rise on the basis of their capabilities. Urging the youth to fully participate in the party elections, he stressed that the leader must be dauntless and selfless because no coward and self-seeker could ever become a true leader.
Pakistan, he said, needed an honest leadership that could ensure that it did not become slave to any country and ensure respect for the green passport. He said the country would be transformed to development mode again and youth from different nations would come to find jobs here.
The PTI also lauded the Youth Task Force for formulating a proactive youth policy and endorsed that the party after coming into power would increase education budget from 1.8 per cent of GDP to five per cent. He said the vocational training opportunities would be increased from 300,000 slots to two million slots.
He said the party would also create two million jobs annually that would be offered to the candidates purely on merit. He also acknowledged youth leaders’ assertion that even the PTI chief’s recommendation would not be able to get jobs for ineligible candidates.
PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the youth itself could become a catalyst of change and hope for the entire nation. He said the incumbent rulers’ bad governance and policies had shattered the national economy and the youngsters were going abroad to look for greener pastures.
In view of uncertain future, he said, a massive brain drain from Pakistan had been recorded during the past one decade.
He said the PTI had developed policies and action plans to put Pakistan on the path to progress. He stressed that the youth should play its due role in pulling the country out of unbridled price hike, massive loadshedding, terrorism and sectarianism.
Javed Hashmi stressed that the youth, which had reposed confidence in him when the PML-N leadership ran away from Pakistan, must show that enthusiasm again. He warned the youth working with the PML-N that they must not trust their leadership because they were not of any worth.
PTI Youth Task Force members Waqar Toor, Arsalan Ghumman and Amira Sadaf explained the Youth Policy. They said there were 40 million young 18-35 years of age voters among total 83 million registered voters in Pakistan.
Amira Sadaf said the PTI would revive student unions in educational institutions in the country to hold peaceful political activities and give students a platform to hone their leadership abilities. He said the trained youth would then be elected to Youth Parliament.
She said the youth policy also aimed at establishing an autonomous institution – the National Youth Foundation -- with a centralised database of 18-35 years age youth. She said scholarships, grants and students facilitation would be a priority along with turning around decadence creeping in society.
She said all those who were locked within conflict zones would be rehabilitated with special attention to Balochistan and tribal areas.
Allama Iqbal’s grandson, Waleed Iqbal, also spoke.