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"Challenges of Youth Bulge: Vulnerabilities and Prospects for Youth in Urban Areas of Lahore."

Crossroads Asia Lecture by U. Siddiqi, 11 am at ZEF, right conference room

A population’s age structure, i.e. the relative size of each age group, is deemed to shape development opportunities and plays a major role in social, economic and political spheres of life. High birth rates in past have produced a youth bulge in Pakistan. There are dividends and risks of this bulge, but given Pakistan’s dwindling economic resources; lack of compulsory, market oriented, and modern education; widespread poverty; deteriorating law and order situation; food, electricity, gas, and water shortages; and denied access to healthcare, employment, civic engagement, and democratic participation, this bulge is most likely to brew social frustration, intolerance, juvenile delinquency, and perhaps extremism. The situation in urban areas, especially Lahore and Karachi, is alarming. Street crime, which mostly involve youth, is becoming rampant. Militant Islam is another threat to the youth in Pakistan (Yusuf 2008). This presentation will summarize the preliminary thoughts for the elaboration of a research project which aims to investigate the nature of vulnerabilities and prospects for youth in urban areas of Lahore. The research focuses on four city areas: 1. Walled City, 2. Iqbal Town and Sabzazar, 3. DHA and adjacent areas, 4. Township and Green Town.

Usman A. Siddiqi is a lecturer in Political Science, GC University, Lahore, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Political Science. He visits ZEFa as 2012-Co-coordinator of the GCU-ZEF Pakistani-German Research Collaboration project.

Time and place: Nov 28, 11 am- 12.30 am. ZEF, Bonn. Right conference room (ground floor).