Soon after the independence of Pakistan, the youth of Pakistan started their struggle for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan. To their disappointment, Pakistan has never been a prosperous Pakistan. Politically, Pakistan became unstable during the first years of independence. Meanwhile, in 1971, east Pakistan got separated from west Pakistan and became Bangladesh. The youth especially students of East Pakistan, played an important role in the independence of Bangladesh. In the aftermath of the fall of east Pakistan, students were restrained from participating in political activities. Eventually, in 1884, student unions were banned, which resulted in the depoliticization of the youth.
In an expected turn of events in Pakistan, recently the youth can be seen actively visible at the political spectrum of Pakistan. Students, young women and the youth of ethnic minorities have built movements for their rights.
PTM (Pashtun Tahfuz Movement), which was formed in 2018 to demand an end to the killings and enforced disappearances of Pashtoons . Today they are resisting because they have seen and endured all the injustices of those who were not in politics for service but for profit. PTM today has the support of millions of people who have been subject to the state oppression. Millions of youngsters are taking part in the movement. It’s not because they are interested in politics, but because they have endured the Taliban. They have endured terrorist attacks, they suffered the consequences of the war of 1965, and they have sacrificed their businesses, but still they don’t get their basic rights. This is the first reason that youth are the vanguards of the movements.
Apart from PTM across the country, students who lost Mashal Khan and Hafiz Baloch are resisting justice for their fellows and they also want student unions in universities which were banned in the regime of Zia ul Haq. They are mobilizing thousands of people in protests and marches. It’s because they want a change in the politics of Pakistan. For three decades, we have been facing the same people in government with the same ideas. How can we expect a change from them if they have spent decades in power and yet they haven’t achieved the promise of making Pakistan a prosperous country?
Along with students, women are also marching for their rights. Women are marching for Noor Mukadam, Karima Baloch and all the other women who were killed and raped in the Islamic republic of Pakistan. Still, they are looking for a space in society. It has been 73 years of independence, but still the youth are on the roads for their rights. The ruling class first divided the youth on the name of religion. Jihad was a new tool used to destroy young people, especially tribal youth. Not just were they destroyed, but the Afghan land was also destroyed.
Today, activists of the PTM, student activists and young women of Aurat March are taking part in the social movements to demand the right to live peacefully. They want education, employment and dignity. They want justice, peace and prosperity for those who became IDP’s, for those who were killed in the name of religion and for those who were assaulted, raped and were silenced. Let justice and tranquility prevail in Pakistan!
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