Youth Parliament

In Pakistan, for the first time Youth Parliament’s idea was launched and implemented last week. Youth in the age bracket of 18-28 were selected to be members of the parliament, with each province and territory within the federation of Pakistan given representation. Punjab has 29 seats, Sindh 13, North West Frontier Province 7, Balochistan 3 and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 5, while the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Northern Areas all have one member each in the House.

In Pakistan, for the first time Youth Parliament’s idea was launched and implemented last week. Youth in the age bracket of 18-28 were selected to be members of the parliament, with each province and territory within the federation of Pakistan given representation. Punjab has 29 seats, Sindh 13, North West Frontier Province 7, Balochistan 3 and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 5, while the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Northern Areas all have one member each in the House.

Around 72 percent of the ‘youth parliament’ members are male and 28 percent are female with two mock parties, the Blue Party (liberals) and Green Party (conservatives). Members were given a choice to join any of the two parties upon considering the party manifesto.

The “liberals” Blue Party bagged 36 seats while the “conservatives” Green Party bagged 24 seats. Wazir Ahmed Jogezai, The National Assembly of Pakistan former deputy speaker, chaired the session as speaker and invited the majority party to form the government.

The house elected Basil Nabi Malik of ‘liberals’ as prime minister with 32 votes. Opposition’s Mariam Raza Zaidi secured 23 votes and was elected leader of the opposition. Four of the majority party members abstained from voting, prompting speculations of cracks in party ranks on the very first day of the ‘youth government’. Mehwish Muneera Ismail was elected deputy speaker with 35 votes.

Prime Minister (youth parliament) Basil Nabi Malik and Deputy Speaker Mehwish Muneera Ismail also took oath of their offices. Youth Parliament Speaker Wazir Ahmed Jogezai administered the oath. Speaking on the occasion, Malik vowed to take the opposition along on all important issues. In response to the opposition’s demand of provincial autonomy, he said his party agreed, adding, “We need to define how much autonomy can be given to the federating units”. Jogezai criticised the role of the judiciary in the past and believed that it had been legitimising the illegitimate governments.

The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), a research body, conceived the idea and initiated the ‘youth parliament’. Facilitated by the ministry of youth affairs, the project is being supported by the Global Opportunities Fund of UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Germany.

Let’s see what it brings to us … Most of Pakistanis are though not very “content” with the Elderly Parliament :/

3 Comments so far

  1. 1967 (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    I don’t think there is anything surprizing by people not happy about young parliment. Why, because a big portion of our society is based on patriarchic foundations. In honmes, school, colleges, madrassas, parliment, how dare you contradict with the opinion and views of the patriarch? Experience here is measured in terms of age and seniority, not in terms of exposure and knowledge.

    Youth are just idiots who haven’t seen anything in the world.


  2. Moiz (unregistered) on February 5th, 2007 @ 1:48 am

    I think the quota granted to each representative area is not the right way of running the youth parliament unless there is a supervening similar senate. I think every region should get equal representation irrespective of the population or the area.
    This will help generate constructive discussions based on equality and with less fears of exploitations.


  3. Abrarism... (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

    my experiece with youth parliament was not good! i applied for it, was shortlisted for interview, but i couldn’t appear due to my exams..
    i prompted them thru mail, but they didnt replied, and when i got to their office after my exam, i was waved bye bye from the door! i mean, bitha he laitay 2 minutes k liay!

    thats not fair :(

    STILL, best of luck to those who got selevted, i wish them success!



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