ISLAMABAD: The youth of the country is still marginalized and even not has been focus of the UN due to unavailability of specific conventions in this regard, said Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson IA Rehman on Thursday. He was addressing a National Youth Convention titled ‘Naujawano ki Aawaz’ organised by Aurat Foundation in collaboration with AAWAZ Programme to commemorate 16 days of activism campaign in 45 districts of Pakistan. Rehman said that the State has a clear role regarding ensuring rights of its citizens but up till now citizens’ rights are not clear. “In constitution developed in 1950, most of the citizens’ rights were mentioned but two main rights were removed in another constitution developed in 1956: equal wages and working space for women and efforts to end violence against women,” he said, adding that education is a basic human right. He said a constitutional amendment introduced in 2010 provides for right to free education for age group 5-16 years. He said a similar step in health sector is still awaiting. Rehman urged the participants to read and raise awareness about Article 38 of the constitution which states that the State shall provide better living facilities on equal basis. “State is responsible for ensuring a safe space for cultural activities in the country. Pakistan is not part of those seven countries where education standards have improved. According to the UNICEF report, Pakistan is still far behind vis-à-vis improvement in education, health and living standard of people,” he added. AAWAZ team leader Harris Khalique said that more than two hundred thousand citizens have been engaged in 45 districts of Pakistan under the initiative. The project focuses youth in particular and some 12,180 young people are direct members who are working for their rights as well as peace and harmony in the society. Member National Assembly Shehryar Afridi said that 70 million IDPs were living in Pakistan. He said the world asked us not to support madrassas. “We believed in going back to our original principle of life given by Islam and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We will definitely change image of our nation. MPA Ziaullah Bangash appreciated AAWAZ programme efforts. Feroza Zahra from the Aurat Foundations said that the youth convention is a national event aimed at bringing women and girls from 45 districts at one platform. After provincial convention, the national-level event is culmination of the 16-day activism campaign. She said there was a dire need to timely pursue and ensure implementation of pro-women laws by state departments. Saadia Mehmmood from the UNFPA shared the status of provincial youth policies; different projects initiated by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for youth in Punjab such as Wasila-e-Taleem, BISP, Prime Minister’s Youth Programme. She said youth policies in KP and Balochistan are still in the development process. Sindh youth policy is developed but still needs attention to do more for youth, she added. Youth leader Afia shared recommendations of the KP and Punjab provincial conventions: effective and speedy implementation of policy; effective implementation of pro-women laws to reduce violence against women; enhanced participation of women in politics. NUML: The students should seek knowledge to make Pakistan a great country and the youth are the most important to develop the country in each respect, said Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Zafar Abdullah on Thursday. He was speaking at a national conference on Business Leadership and Management organised by the National University of Modern Languages (NUML). Abdullah said that we as a whole and youth in particular must think for the nation. NUML Rector in his welcome address said that universities are hub of innovation and research and development is the essence of the progress but unfortunately this sector was ignored in the past. He stressed on the ethics and values and urged the students to behave well in every field of life especially in business. In the conference, four papers were presented by the scholars and four speakers from academia and industry also spoke on the topic. In closing session, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf was the chief guest. Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.