|Though AJK is blessed with the natural resources i.e. Minerals, forests, water reservoirs, tourist sites and above all the dynamic educated youth but its successive governments could not effectively exploit its available resources to create opportunities for socio-economic empowerment of its people and youth particularly.
Since 1960s, young people from AJK have been migrating to Europe and Middle East to find a decent leaving which shaped the local economy as remittance- driven. AJK, being a non-industrial state, does not offer technical, skilled and unskilled jobs to its citizens and most of the people link its economic woes with the larger dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.
The continuing upward trend of unemployment demands serious consideration from government and policy-makers. Labor Force Survey (LFS) states that the rate of unemployment is 14.4 percent in AJK, a much higher average as compared to the provinces. Besides, as a response to the earthquake 2005, most of the non-government orgnaisations working on rehabilitation and reconstruction offered employment opportunities to people but those are dried up after the completion of their projects. Consequently sole dependence rested on public sector, which with the passage of time has gone overemployed and taken as huge burden on state exchequer.
|These jobs are also critiqued for being filled on the basis of political affiliations, inevitably stimulating frustration among young people. However, tourism and hydropower generation are appeared growing sectors which has potential to create new jobs and economic opportunities.
In the context of elections, the debate on socio-economic issues demands deeper attention from all key stakeholders. Basing on this, CPDR has invited leaders from major political parties of AJK to share their perspectives on the subject and also aim to provide an opportunity to young people to put forward direct policy inputs to political parties so that it might reflect into their elections campaign and subsequent political strategies.
The details of the program are attached.
We look forward to seeing you.