By Asad Farooq
KARACHI: The United States Consulate in Karachi and the Blinck, a social organisation, jointly organised a youth conference to mark the International Youth Day under the theme of ‘Youth Participation in Decision Making’ at a local hotel here on Friday.
About 100 youngsters participated in the discussion and action forum at the programme.
Addressing the ceremony, US Consul General (CG) William Martin, who was the guest of honour, said that young people are making history and bringing fundamental changes in their societies as well as international community.
He presented the example of Tunisia and other countries of central Asia, where youths came forward and brought historical revolutions. He also shed light on the role of the American youths, particularly through social media in regard with electing Obama as president.
The CG hailed the role of Pakistani youngsters and urged them to come forward, take advantage of their abundance and bring a positive change in their society as well as entire world through education and entrepreneurship.
The CG advised youths to learn skills and connect each other. He was of the view that youths could do a lot through education and entrepreneurship. He further said that the US government had a sincere interest in supporting programmes that invested in Pakistani youth’s future.
He announced that the US government had decided to double the scholarship named ‘Fulbright Scholarship,’ for Pakistani people in the US. He further said that bout 8,000 Pakistanis had participated in fully funded academic or professional development programmes in the US and at the time, 5,000 Pakistanis were enrolled in the US funded English languages programmes in Pakistan.
He also said that there were a large number of misinterpretations about Pakistan and Pakistani people in the US, while there were also several misinterpretations about the US among Pakistanis. He said that such misunderstandings could be mitigated through people to people interact.
He also appreciated the efforts of volunteers who were managing the ceremony and congratulated the organisers.
Blinck founder and chief executive officer Sidra Iqbal said that Pakistani youths were less than none and they had outstanding abilities. She was of the view that forums and such type of conferences played a vital role in recognising the importance of Pakistani youths at the international level.
Later, a panel discussion was also held on the theme of the programme: “Idealism + Energy + Action = Youth”. The panelists include former city mayor Mustafa Kamal, Emmy Award Winner Filmmaker and Documentarian Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Badminton National Champion Palwasha Bashir, renowned vocal artist Komal Rizvi, and Navitus Farhad Karamally.
The panelists shared their experiences and visions besides discussing the importance of ideas and activation so as to encourage youths for combating the challenges being faced by the country.
The panel discussion was followed by a question answer session. During the conference participants, belonging to various sectors, including sports, journalism, education and community development, were divided into groups and engaged in several joint activities such as making Eid cards and casting votes in polls to sort out the number one problem being faced by the country.
Courtesy Daily Times