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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs