Second Pak-Afghan Youth Dialogue was held at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), University of Peshawar (UoP) on September 06, 2022. The dialogue was arranged under an MoU between Fredrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Pakistan (FNF) and IPCS, University of Pakistan. In his opening remarks, Director IPCS, Prof. Dr. Babar Shah welcomed the participants and explained the purpose and objective of the dialogue. He highlighted that youth constitutes 60% of the Pakistani population, and the Afghans living in Pakistan also contain a large number of youth among them. He highlighted that the potentials of the youth need to be utilized for better understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
Pro-Vice Chancellor UOP Prof. Dr. Zahid Anwar appreciated the idea of organizing such dialogues which he called an agent for betterment improvingyO Afghans living in Pakistan. He further said that Afghanistan has been facing humanitarian crisis for last many years and they should be assisted to come out of this crisis. Mr. Amir Amjad, Senior Program Manager FNF, said that Pakistan has strong ties with its Afghan neighbor and share historical, cultural and economic relations. He stated that crisis always brings opportunities and youth who are the leaders of tomorrow should explore and cash on such opportunities.
Mr. Nasir Azam, Senior Representative of UNHCR, appreciated the holding of dialogue and said that youth is the economic engine of any country. He particularly highlighted education and employment as major problems of Afghan Youth. He also suggested for generating more opportunities for the Afghan women in education and employment.
The Afghan participants appreciated Pakistan for making every possible effort for their education and well-being in Pakistan through different schemes. At the same time, they talked about the problems faced by them in seeking admissions, employment, scholarships and similar other problems. They further asked for creating more opportunities for them in Pakistan. Pakistani participants stressed that Afghans are our brothers, neighbors and they owe our support. There was a unanimity that the continuous Afghan conflict situation is a source of concern and instability in the broader Af-Pak region, and efforts should be made to promote regional, economic and political cooperation. Youth representatives made detailed recommendations for a broader Pak-Afghan cooperation. Certificated and shields were distributed among the participants at the end.