The Department of International Relations, National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad, organized a three-day thematic seminar on “Youth Development through Engagement in Civic Activities” from March 2-4.
The seminar included interactive on-campus sessions with prominent speakers held at the main campus and the Rawalpindi branch of NUML and civic engagement through field activities that took place at various sites in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Speaking at the inaugural session, motivational speaker Mr. Zafarullah Khan said that civic engagement has three contours namely knowledge, communication and empathy for others. He advised students to think big and become active and effective members of society.
One analyst, Mr. Abid Iqbal Khari, underscored the importance of Non-Governmental People (NGI), saying that even 1% can bring change, as Abdul Sattar Edhi and Dr. Ruth Pfau have done. Emphasizing the need to build character, he said students should learn, earn a living and return to society.
NUML Rector, Major General Muhammad Jafar HI (M) (Retd) informed the audience that NUML promotes and institutionalizes civic activities. Students have the opportunity to grow in their leadership role through these activities.
He pointed out that the power to think positively is the real strength of young people. Appreciating the diversity of identities in Pakistan, he said regional identities are important, but young people should be proud and prioritize their Pakistani national identity.
Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, a parliamentarian, said that “leaving no one behind” is the essence of the SDGs. Further, she said that the youth is the most important segment of society in terms of pursuing the SDGs in Pakistan. She concluded that Pakistani youth do not have the luxury of getting tired of making efforts in this regard.
Presenting the conclusions and recommendations of the seminar, Prof. Dr. Riaz Shad, Head of the RI Department, highlighted the need to establish more platforms both at state and society level for civic service . He recommended that universities being the most important forum for youth, should establish societies for civic service.
Mr. Suhail Awan said that the famous Pakistani economist Dr. Mehboob ul Haq popularized the concept of human security around the world. Pakistani youth should play their part in promoting human security by engaging in civic activities.