The Youth in Pakistan, defined by the Pakistan Ministry of Youth Affairs as those under the age of 29, comprise approximately 70% of the population. Although youth have played a constructive role in many democratic struggles and political transitions, academics have also noted a strong correlation between large youth populations and political instability, especially in developing countries.
There is a lack of positive role models among Pakistan’s current political leadership; youth have become increasingly apathetic and apolitical. In addition to this, Pakistan’s educational system does a poor job of preparing young people for the workforce or teaching them to think critically. While religious extremists and militant groups vigorously recruit young men to join their cause, civil society groups have been less active in providing spaces for youths and women to participate and engage in movements that prioritize democratic values, tolerance, respect for the rule of law and human rights, and pluralism. Without a critical mass of young activists and leaders dedicated to promoting a vision of a tolerant, peaceful, and democratic country, Pakistan is likely to continue along a tragic trajectory of authoritarianism, corruption, extremism, and poverty.