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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More