March 29: Members of the 17th Youth Parliament met in its second virtual session to debate on the Sindh Students’ Union Act 2019. The session was opened by Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT who offered a comprehensive overview of students’ unions, their role in activating students’ role in their educational institutions and the society in general. Afterwards, an interactive question & answer session was conducted with the Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs), shedding light on how youth’s contribution as members of student unions will shape their future and contribute to their leadership development.
Led by Mr. Ahmad Saleem of NA-63 Rawalpindi-VII, 54 members of the Youth Parliament introduced a Member’s Bill for the revival of Student Unions in the federating units of Pakistan after 60% of the attending members granted leave for the introduction. In the ensuing debate, MYPs discussed the possibilities of politicization and radicalization of student unions and how the bill can be amended with mitigation and avoidance strategies. There was also a general consensus over inclusion of marginalized segments of youth such as women, transgenders, minorities and persons with disabilities in Students’ Unions.
After a brief general debate, the Youth Parliament referred the bill to three of the Youth-related Standing Committees: Youth Affairs, Higher Education & Political System. The three committees will prepare and lay their reports in the Youth Parliament in time for the third session.
Chairs and representatives of 15 Standing Committees of the YPP presented their interim reports in the sitting. Subjects such as Relations with India, Afghanistan, US, CPEC, performance of ministry of human rights and advisability of establishing diplomatic relations with Israel figured prominently in the reports.
The Standing Committee on Electoral and Political Reforms presented ideas for electoral system based on Proportional Representation.
The Youth Parliament of Pakistan is a project of PILDAT and has been running for the past 17 years. The 17th YPP is supported by the Jang/Geo Group, Bank of Punjab, Interloop Limited, Islamabad Serena Hotel, FES Pakistan, University of Lahore and Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.