News / Asia

Survey: Most Young Pakistanis Pessimistic as Economy Struggles

Supporters of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) shout slogans during a rally in Lahore, March 23, 2013.
Supporters of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) shout slogans during a rally in Lahore, March 23, 2013.
Reuters
Nearly 100 percent of young Pakistanis are pessimistic about the future and believe their country is headed in the wrong direction, a survey released on Wednesday found.

A British Council study, entitled "Next Generation Goes to The Ballot Box," also showed that only one in five young adults expect their economic situation to improve over the next year.

The findings make for disturbing reading for politicians who are trying to win over Pakistanis ahead of a May 11 general election.

Pakistan's elected government completed its full five-year term last month, the first in the country's turbulent history to do so.

While that may have bolstered the young democracy, a growing number of Pakistanis are wondering if their leaders will ever tackle poverty, crippling power cuts, corruption and a Taliban insurgency.

"Pessimism is fast becoming a defining trait of Pakistan's next generation," said the British Council, which defined young people as between 18 and 29-years-old.

"Economic factors appear to be the most important driver in the next generation's rising pessimism," said the council, which is partly funded by the British government and promotes British education, culture and business abroad.

Critics say Pakistani politicians are often too distracted to fix the nuclear-armed country's problems.

The military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 66-year-history, is widely seen as the most efficient institution in the South Asian nation.

Politicians are often consumed by tension with an increasingly interventionist Supreme Court or the army and spend little time worrying about the economy, critics say.

In 2008, Pakistan averted a balance of payments crisis by securing an $11 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package, but the IMF suspended it in 2011 after economic and reform targets, including widening a miniscule tax base, were missed.

Little Confidence

The Asian Development Bank, one of Pakistan's biggest lenders, predicts Pakistan will have to lean on the IMF again before the end of the year for up to $9 billion.

The Taliban, who are waging a violent campaign to topple the U.S.-backed government, often recruits young jobless men who have grown disillusioned with the state.

"Unfortunately, most young people feel that prosperity is sliding further from their grasp," the British Council said. "Over two-thirds of the next generation think they are now worse off than they were."

Rising prices are the biggest concern.

A supporter of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) with party flags painted on his face attends a rally in Lahore, March 23, 2013.A supporter of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) with party flags painted on his face attends a rally in Lahore, March 23, 2013.
x
A supporter of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) with party flags painted on his face attends a rally in Lahore, March 23, 2013.
A supporter of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) with party flags painted on his face attends a rally in Lahore, March 23, 2013.
"The next generation has been shaped by its experience of increasingly expensive food, energy and other commodities. An overwhelming majority report pressure on the living standards of themselves and their families," said the council.

Pakistanis, long accustomed to dynastic politics or military rule, have few new candidates to choose from in the election.

A former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is seen as the front runner. But he could face tough competition from the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan had gained some popularity but analysts say his appeal appears to have faded.

"Young people have very low levels of confidence in the institutions - government, parliament, political parties - most responsible for setting the country's direction," said the survey.

"In contrast, the justice system and the media have higher approval ratings, as does Pakistan's armed forces."

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: wajih from: houston
April 09, 2013 4:38 AM
The writer of this article failed to mention that 30 million new voter age 18 to 30 is voting for the first time and overwhelmingly support pakistan tehreek insaf and imran khan is the most popular leader
P T I IS FRONT RUNNER IN THIS ELECTION NOT NAWAZ SHARIF AS WISHED OR SUPPORTED BY AUTHORS ARTICLE

by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
April 02, 2013 11:43 PM
The main problem in Pakistan is lack of accountability. Different parties came during the history of Pakistan and most of them spend their energy to prolong their power and created so many problems for poor Pakistani as to justify their stay in power. For example last Govt of PPP did nothing except created UNLIMITED problems for poor Pakistani. PPP never serious to solve the problem rather they spend their energy to create mess in all parts of life. Even they purchased ARMY,ISI,CID and all instituions to create Religious,Political killing in Pakistan. We have seen the END of those KILLERS let us wait and see the END of current KILLERSSSSSSSSS.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs