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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Spanish Warrants Point to Russian Govt. Links to Organized Crime

    Links to several Russians, some of them reputedly close Putin associates, backed by ‘very strong evidence,’ Spanish judge says

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    Iraq needs stable, central government to push back against Islamic State, US says, but others warn that Baghdad may not have unified front any time soon

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora