Young voices on Kashmir

Can the youth of Pakistan afford to be apolitical?

18th August 2022 | Ishba Aziz Khan
Pakistan today is facing the biggest political instability and is at the point where there is a lot of chaos, confusion and disturbance in the society. Pakistani people, in this socio-political condition, have to stand for their political rights and have to decide for their future. For this, they have to be fully aware of the current political scenario of Pakistan and have to be updated with the current political situation.


As 63 percent of Pakistani population comprises of youth, so the youth of Pakistan has the power to change the future of their country.
In this situation can the youth of Pakistan afford to be apolitical?
 
Last week, I was in a family gathering where my uncle inquired us about our viewpoint on the current situation of Pakistan. In response to his question, one of my cousins responded; “Uncle mja politics ma interest nai ha tou kch zada pata nai ha ka kia ho ra mulk ma aj kal”. Hearing this sentence, I was surprised as how can someone not know what is happening in Pakistan just because he/she has no interest in politics and when youth is supposed to decide for their future. That conversation ended there but this sentence kept echoing in my mind and I thought the best way to address this is to write on it so that those who are unaware of it may get this realization that whether or not you have interest in politics; a young Pakistani, at least in the current circumstances, cannot remain unaware of the current political situation of the country.

I used to watch television with my father when I was a kid just to accompany him as I did not know what the newscasters were saying at that time but I remember I knew the name of every government minister of that time just because of listening to the news twice a day, even unconsciously. Then, later in my life, I lost this habit of watching news.  But during the past few months when the regime change occurred and Pakistan faced huge political crisis; I kept myself updated because of the fact that we, who are the future -makers of our country, cannot remain unaware of the political happenings of our country.

The biggest dilemma of our society is that it is generally recommended to youth to stay away from politics in order to be on the right path. Having interest in politics is not appreciated in our society which maybe one of the leading causes of the youth being apolitical or at least appreciated for being so. It is a generally accepted notion that young people should only be focusing on their studies and should have interest in politics only if it is related to their subject.

Moreover, the politics of Pakistan does not allow its youth to remain involved in it due to its predominantly aristocratic and instable nature as we have seen that no government in Pakistan ever got a chance to complete its tenure. In this situation, the youth starts questioning the democratic system of Pakistan assuming that the whole power to change the future is in their hands and their opinion will be respected by the system. But later, without the consent of these people, the government is dismantled by the same system and no one asks them about their opinion and choices. So, the youth loses its trust in politics and finds it useless to invest their time and energies in politics.

Another important aspect behind the youth being apolitical is the current political instability of the country which has led Pakistan to huge economic crisis. Things that people of many countries consider a basic necessity are out of reach for most of the Pakistani people. Observing this, young people in Pakistan have started moving to countries which can provide them with a secure future and have resided in those countries permanently. They are now fed up with the political turmoil of their country and take no interest in Pakistani politics or living here which has resulted in brain-drain of the highest order.

Despite all the above mentioned factors for youth being apolitical, political activism is inevitable for Pakistani youth in the current situation. We need  the vitality of youth engagement in the political system. Youth of Pakistan should become aware of their responsibility towards their country. They should not keep themselves ignorant of what is happening in their country only because it is not the domain of their interest or the political turmoil which does not seem to be resolving in the near future. Instead, they should keep themselves fully aware of the political happenings of the country so that they can contribute in securing the future of their country and play their part attaining the stable economic and political state.


Ishba Khan

The writer is a student of International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI).
She can be reached at cpdrajk@gmail.com


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