EditorialGilgit - BaltistanPakistan

[Editorial] Youth Development Centre in Gilgit

The Federal Government has, reportedly, allocated around 8.231 million rupees for construction of a “Youth Development Centre” in the capital city of Gilgit – Baltistan. The planners deserve praise for taking this important, overdue, step towards holistic development of the younger generations of the region.

Globally, such centres play a pivotal role in youth development, by creating an enabling and rewarding environment, through trainings in life skills, health, social care, sports and arts. Some centre also offer specialized courses in fields related to the fields.

Rationally speaking, the relevant ministry and department shall consult the youth of Gilgit – Baltistan and their existing representative organizations to get their inputs on how the centre may function and which of their needs it may cater.   For our part, we think that the Youth Development Centre in Gilgit may

A proposed logo

focus on the following five major areas;

1. Life Skills Training and Counselling (Self esteem, leadership, prevention of drug abuse, personal care etc.)

2. Civic Engagement (Social care, volunteerism, citizenship, peace, sectarian harmony)

3. Sports and Fitness (International and local games and exercises)

4. Arts (Music, Fine Arts, Creative Writing, Digital Media etc.)

5. Research and publication (pertaining to youth issues)

In Gilgit – Baltistan’s context, the need for interventions in the above areas is of prime importance because our society, economy, politics and culture are going through a period of rapid change, under internal and external influences.

In the past a very large number of GB youth may not have been able to realize their true potentials due to lack of enabling facilities, strategies and vision at the government and community levels. Hundreds of active young minds have been consumed by the fire of sectarian and other centrifugal propaganda, due to lack of alternate thoughts and views, leading our region towards chaos and mayhem, from time to time.

A very large section of our youth have lived, are living, their lives without productively engaging with the society because the enabling environment for nurturing such agency at a tender age did not exist.

This youth centre, and others that may be established in the future, shall play a proactive role in engaging the youth, if we are to save our coming generations from the menaces of sectarianism, regionalism and ethnocentrism.

It goes without saying that the centre shall operate above all gender biases prevalent in our societies. In a nutshell, the youth development centre in Gilgit should strive to be an open, accessible, creative and safe social space for the youth.

That the first step towards positively engaging the youth has already been taken is a highly welcome step. It can positively be expected from the energetic leaders concerned with youth, specially Advisor to Chief Minister on Youth Affairs, Ms. Sadia Danish and GB Secretary for Youth Affairs and Sports, Mr. Imran Sikandar Baloch, that the youth development centre will be developed into a model of its kind, which can then be gradually replicated in other parts of the region.

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  1. it is a good news and good sign for the youth of GB if it is implemented properly than we will be able to our coming generations from the menaces of sectarianism, regionalism and ethnocentrism.

  2. The establishment of Youth Development Centre at Gilgit is a much awaited and terrific initiative of the government and concerned Ministry. However, to get the desired results and outcomes of the proposed centre; I absolutely agree with the writer that the Ministry must consult and take into board the Youth and other stakeholders already working for the Youth Development.

    Being associated with a Youth Development voluntary organization; I am in picture that there are some platforms already striving for Youth Development; such as Gilgit-Baltistan Youth Forum, Gilgit-Baltistan Voluntary Movement (GBVM), Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board (AKYSB) and few others (my apologies if I missed any organization working for the Youth). The government must build synergies with these organizations and use their expertise and experiences along with their own mandate for effective and meaningful achievement of the goal of Youth Development.

    Summing up, hats off to all those who actually thought this wonderful idea and are planning to establish a centre for our young generation.


    Sajjad Haider
    Youth Development, AKYSB-P

  3. A pertinent and rightly step has been taken by the GB Government for the development of the youth of the area. Youth are viewed as a real asset of any nation. To nurture their potentials and energies youth need opportunity, participation and encouragement. Of course, institutions like Youth Development Centre can play a leading vital role in nurturing and developing the potentials/capacities of the youth. However, youth development cannot be done alone by a single institution. This centre will need to develop a strong relation/partnership with the communities, educational organizations, civil society organizations and as with the leading youth development institutions around the world for better quality and effective performance. The political ambitions needed to be taken away from such institution to make it accessible for maximum youth. Youth development is considered one of the challenging tasks, particularly, designing programs and curriculum require a thoughtful reflection and planning. Hope that this centre will be a place of harmony, respect and cherishment.

  4. A very important step, but was seriously awaiting need of young youth.
    i am hopefull that this centre will help the local goverment to create harmony and also help them to create bridges amoug the youth of different areas.
    In addintion to this also suggest the local goverment to buld such instutions in different areas. it will help to involve those young and energetic youth who are far away from gilgit.
    I must Suggest the think tanks of this centre to cunsult with those orginization who are working for youth development nationally and internationaly, for making its use in a better way.

    Zuhaib Zulfiqar

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