Pakistani youth—earnestly urging to own war on terror
By Qudsia Farhat
Pakistani youth comprises 60.3 percent of its total population, which is a sizable chunk. Despite being victim of numerous forms of troubles including unemployment, obscurities of social inequality, frustrating lack of security and traumatic spate of terrorism, the Pakistani youth displays the tenacity and fortitude to take up the cudgels for the betterment and uplift of its motherland. A further disparagement for the Pakistani youth is that anti Pakistan elements are scheming to ensnare the youth in their mischievous machinations and exploit their zeal and vigour in undertaking violent acts of terrorism. The encouraging aspect is that apart from a small minority, the bulk of the youth population of Pakistan rejects these reprehensible designs and refuses to be part of the machinations.
The milieu in Pakistan is marred with incessant incidents of bomb blasts, chaos and mayhem, which target educational institutions, public places like parks, shopping areas, business centers, hospitals and entertainment areas. The youth, which is both sensitive and mindful of the environment of trauma surrounding them, cannot become insulated or remain oblivious to the terror attacks. Through different platforms, the youth has urged the various organs of the state, including the government, the judiciary, and the law enforcing agencies as well as the media to take effective steps to rid Pakistan of the scourge of terrorism.
It is no minor satisfaction that the youth in Pakistan is fully cognizant of the dangers that lurk ahead and the impediments that lie in their path of realizing their full potential and a brighter future. The government of Pakistan has taken serious and concerted steps to harness the vim and enthusiasm of the youth. Festivals, seminars, moots and discussions involving the youth, bring out a vivid picture of their clarity on the subject. Although the government has inaugurated a business loan scheme for the youth with great fanfare, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promising that the initiative will be transparent and facilitate the youth in finding new avenues for them to stand on firm footing, yet the recipients of this largesse have expressed reservations regarding its efficacy. They rightly opine that their endeavour for peace and an atmosphere conducive to their pursuit of education and vocational interests is of prime importance. The youth is vocal and clear that unless the terror mongers are dealt with and the government firstly owns the war on terror and secondly takes firm steps to eradicate Pakistan of the menace of terrorism, they will never find peace, harmony and the environment to progress. The youth have themselves expressed their firm resolve to fight the menace.
The Pakistani youth, like its counterparts around the world, is media savvy and uses the social media effectively. The Egyptian youth had mobilized their nation to topple the repressive regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Their opposite numbers in Tunis and Yemen also utilized the social media to bring down the monarchy, which had suppressed progress and become unmindful of the desires of the people for betterment and development. Similarly, the Pakistani youth is constantly expressing its desires and aspirations through blogs, Facebook, twitter short messages and other modes of media. The institutions, workplaces as well as centers of entertainment, frequented by the youth, depict posts, bulletins and updates and demands from the pillars of Pakistan to rid them of the demonic practices of the terror mongers.
The last general elections saw the youth of Pakistan participating wholeheartedly in the electoral process. Hopefully if democracy prevails, the youth, being in majority, will actually dictate the type of government which will reside in the corridors of power. The current government’s recognition of the power of the youth has motivated it to empower them.
Redacted extracts from the musings by the youth on various fora depict their demand from the other pillars of the state, namely the judiciary and law enforcing agencies to take cognizance of the threat. The youth has been recommending that all convicted terrorists, who have been awarded the death penalty by the court of law through due judicial process, should be executed without any delay. This will send a strong message to the terrorists and provide deterrence against future acts of terrorism. The youth advocates that the judiciary must ensure speedy disposal of all cases pertaining to terrorism. Without undertaking special measures, justice in terrorism trials will remain delayed as well as denied. The youth has rightly asserted that the repeated daring jailbreak incidents by terrorists to set free the most hardened criminals and convicted terrorists will continue to swell the number of terror mongers and further embolden them to challenge the writ of the state and continue wreaking havoc in the length and breadth of Pakistan.
Pakistani youth has not lost sight of the role of the free and vibrant Pakistani media. They urge the media to pick up the gauntlet of combating terrorism wholeheartedly and denounce all acts of terrorism and stop providing media space to the terrorists. Media statements by spokesmen of terrorist outfits simply glorify the cause of terrorism, confuse the issue and provide a platform to the terror leaders to express their warped logic.
The plight of their own brothers and sisters from the youth, who end up becoming cannon fodder for the harbingers of terrorism, is not lost on our younger generation. Various annotations by the youth on the social media depicts that they are fully aware of the peril of exploitation of some members of the youth by the terrorists. The sense of deprivation of some unfortunate young boys and girls is being fuelled by the promise of a “permanent abode in heavens” for them and their dear ones if they sacrifice their lives in annihilating the “enemies of Islam”. To embellish their heinous indoctrination of the ignorant youth, the terror mongers distort the verses of the Holy Quran and either through their twisted logic or subliminal programming; compel them to conduct suicide attacks.
The Pakistani youth is earnestly urging the powers that be to own war on terror and combat the bane wholeheartedly.