FATA youth policy draft: Authorities turn to Gen Y for policy suggestions

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Adolescents from the tribal belt attended a one-day, consultative seminar organised by the FATA Secretariat as a platform for the youth to brainstorm and come up with propositions for the ‘Draft FATA Youth Policy’ on Tuesday.

The event was thronged by a large number of students, academics, journalists and youth representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shauktullah Khan was chief guest at the seminar.

Participants were welcomed by Fata Additional Chief Secretary Arbab Muhammad Arif. Fata Director General Projects Zahir Shah gave a presentation at the event, focusing on aims and objectives of the proposed youth policy, all the while elaborating on features of the draft. He hoped that participants will actively suggest additions to the draft to give it the shape of a more holistic and inclusive document.

“If young people in Fata are provided sufficient opportunities, they will have the potential to reach new heights and aim for greater achievements,” said the governor while addressing the seminar.

He urged young participants to make full use of the present opportunity and come forward with workable suggestions for the proposed youth policy.

Governor Shaukatullah added improvements can be made in the policy draft by also consulting youth policies introduced by other provinces.

The governor also motivated participants to take full advantage of the prime minister’s youth loan scheme, along with stressing that funds must be utilised wisely and returned on time.

Full of hope, he said the tribal belt was ripe with talented youth and that the secretariat was only a visit away from guidance and assistance for people of Fata.

Participants were later divided into several groups, to discuss provisions of the draft youth policy and brainstorm to work out feasible additions and solutions for social, political and economic empowerment of the youth, that could be incorporated into the draft.

Fata Secretary Social Sectors Sardar Muhammad Abbas concluded the seminar by admitting that change cannot spring up out of the blue. “The people of Fata need to work hard to make things happen for improving the collective fortune of the region,” he added. He assured participants that their suggestions will be made part of the policy draft, but also urged them to stay grounded and keep in check with their roots, customs and traditions.

The seminar was part of the FATA Secretariat’s efforts towards the process of developing a comprehensive Fata Youth Policy, and bringing it to completion.

Source: The Express Tribune.