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PR No. 223 MINISTER OF STATE ENGR MUHAMMAD BALIGH UR REHMAN ATTENDED THE OPENING CEREMONY OF 7TH NATIONAL YOUTH PEACE FESTIVAL ORGANIZED BY CHANAN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION IN COLLABORATION WITH YOUTH PARLIAMENT FORUM AND UNFPA AS A CHIEF GUEST AT NATIONAL LIBRARY TODAY Islamabad: September 28, 2016

We all know that the peace destructive elements; extremism, fundamentalism and terrorism are the main problems world over, and youth has been the main target of these evil traps, stated the minister. He appreciated and thanked the organizers of providing such a platform to the youth where they could not only talk about peace issues but also could devise a mutually agreed strategy to counter it in near future. He added that interaction between different partners, civil society, students, and political leadership on this imperative issue is very important at this stage.

Talking about the role of the government in establishment of peace in the country, Minister of State said that we devised a National Action Plan around 2.5yrs ago and it has been implemented successfully. We used to hear about 2 to 5 bomb blasts on average per day in Pakistan in past but the situation has largely been improved now. Although we have still a long way to go but we could not deny the fact that things are improving day by day. He added that the worst thing we do to ourselves is “HOPLESSNESS”, our youth get hopeless very easily and therefore become the victim of terrorist’s scheming. One should never be hopeless as it is not allowed in our religion, emphasized the Minister. He also said that all these terrorists’ organizations namely Daesh and ISIS are using Islam’s name to promote their own agenda, Islam has nothing to do with these nefarious activities. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and we all should promote these two things with full devotion.

Things are improving; crime rate has been reduced, unemployment rate has been decreased, energy crisis has been contained, investment and economy of Pakistan have been improved, stated the minister. Quoting the President of London School of economics, Minister of State said that according to him “Pakistan is giving a hope to the world, an economy which is developing despite the ill conditions of the economies around the world”.

In the end, Minister of State said that our youth is our future leaders, to be a true leader one has to be companionate, empathetic and caring towards other’s needs.

Ceremony was attended by H.E Mr. Iknat Dhakal (Member Parliament Nepal), Ms Roomina Khursheed (Member Youth Parliament), and Dr. Hassan Mohtashami (Country Director UNFPA) along with other political and civil society members and students.

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