Pakistan has a history of being overambitious and looking at things with extreme optimism at first but lacks the proactive and sustainable capacity to justifythis optimism. A nation of more than 180 million,Pakistan has an exhaustive list of opulent wealththat comes from natural resources. An abatement has already started and should be linked with the aberration of decision makers either due to indifference, inability, or abdication, leading the nation towards abysmal misery wherebeing poor is only the product of inabilityninability of governments when nations remain poor and inability of individuals when households remain poor. Let us take a look at the plight of the youth of Pakistan. Pakistan is not the first country in the region to have a youth ‘bulge’. East Asian countries have already transformed youth bulges into economic dividends, and they are still feeding on those dividends. Every year, Pakistan sees millions of young men and women entering thelabour force but they are non-productive. Are they incapable ofworking off poverty? Much of this should be answered by looking deeply at their current educational and technological competence. An appropriate answer can only be revealed by looking at and analysing the relationship between existing opportunities and capabilities of the existing labour force. At present, Pakistan does not have any authentic source on both of these indicators and hence no policy can be fruitful in this context.The recent Prime MinisterYouth Loan Scheme (PMYLS) is one of the positive signs but how it will berealistic in transforming the existing youth bulge into an economic dividend is the question. There should be a strategy paper showing apolicy to annex the extended labour force. There is a strong need to legislate for the youth so that transition in governance is not a reason forthe abatement of policy.The government needs to legislateforbusiness incentives for the youth like tax rebates and should impart free technology-intensive training. In Pakistan, statistics are only available through projections that come with lots of assumptions. A census is badly required to see the youth bulge through a concrete policy lens. Our young generation is living in adverse conditions; the absence of jobs means use of weapons- the youth of Pakistan are anarchically vulnerable and are becoming belligerent. The rage is already tangible.The mismatch between pace and distance has already been established; there is more probability that our youth bulge will be chaos rather than a dividend.It is ahistorical fact that in the absence of affluence, economies of violence are established. The survivors of the current generation willask which antediluvian dark era they have hailed fromunless Pakistan’s conundrum of violence is aggressively tackled. There is also a need to becognizantof the fact that new legislation linked with security is not further curbing the free market dynamics,which is a precondition of entrepreneurship growth.Doing business in the contemporary era is to design it for a global village. Entrepreneurship is the only way to integrate our youth bulge with business and peace. Again, we need to revisit at our prospects for entrepreneurship growth. Our economic policies have not empowered entrepreneurism. The fact is that only the uneducated and unskilled choose to partake in entrepreneurship in Pakistan — this is called necessity-based entrepreneurship. This kind of entrepreneurship does not add anything to economic growth but another kind does: opportunity-based entrepreneurship. Pakistan is a factor-driven economy, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), where opportunity-based entrepreneurship can hardly be seen. The state of entrepreneurship in Pakistan is not aimed at the youth as it is all over the world. Almost half of the entrepreneurs are between the ages of 25 and 44, as areport depicts, but this is not the case in Pakistan.As mentioned earlier, East Asian countries have striven for economic dividends through constructive and sustainable economic policies engaging the youth. Among the Asia Pacific and South Asian region, only Pakistan falls under ‘factor-driven economies’ while China, Malaysia and Thailand are ‘efficiency-driven economies’.East Asian economic miracles -Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan- are ‘innovation-driven economies’. If Pakistan cannot engage its youth in the next two to three decades, the opportunity is lost and it will be stuck in factor-driven economic conditions with an extended labour force that is unemployed and seeking healthcare, education and social services, leading to the perfect battleground for social unrest and anarchy. Last but not least, the government has to foresee the situation where thecurrently unemployed youth will be reproducing in a country where marriage is universal,nuclearisation of families is increasing and family planning practices are lowest in the region. The end product is definitely the next phase of young people entering the process with a compromised future. The writer is adirectoratResearch Analytics International, a private social enterprise.