SWABI - Former chief justice Supreme Court of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary has said that youth population in Pakistan has crossed the figure of 100 million and there was an urgent need to exploit their potential in the economic progress of the country.

Addressing the ‘Youth Symposium’ in Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology here on Saturday, he said if youth are not put on right track they would be failed to deliver. “They will also not be able to play their role according to the requirements and needs of the country,” he said.

“The youth are the building block of a nation and it is a fact that the stronger the youth, the more developed the nation is. The role of the youth in the nation building occupies the central place,” he added.

He said that it is duty of the government to provide ample opportunities to youth, enabling them to play their role in an effective manner. He said that Pakistan is currently having a youth population with more than 100 million. “Over 32 percent of the total youth is illiterate whereas 9.5 per cent are unemployed and only 6 per cent are equipped with technical skills. A number of uneducated youth have no vocational and life skills, make them vulnerable to several evils,” he added.

About fundamental rights of education under the constitution, he said that Article 25 (A) of the constitution regarding rights to education states that state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen in such manner as may be determined by law.

“Pakistan has to give attention to education of both males and females in the rural areas. Now it is high time for all of us not to ask, what our country can do for us; rather we should say what we can do for our beloved country,” he said.

He said that the vision of our country lies in the hands of our youths. “They are filled with tremendous and towering ambitions,” he said. He said that it would be a great wastage of human resources if these youths are not given an opportunity to exercise their talent.