GB Assembly members discuss employment and poverty issues
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Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) held two days consultative workshop on “Youth Employability and Poverty Alleviation” for the members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly in Islamabad.
The inaugural session was graced by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Khalid Khurshid Khan. In the workshop, an array of experts shared their insights about the emerging issues related to youth employment and shed light on contextual strategies for poverty alleviation in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid said that in Gilgit-Baltistan there is a strong tradition of making decisions at the local level. His government intends to incorporate this local tradition into the local government model to pave the way for the representation of grassroots level communities in the governance structure.
Welcoming the participants and experts, CEO Aga Khan Foundation, Akhter Iqbal, said that it is a great platform for learning about emerging issues related to the development of Gilgit-Baltistan and making synergies with government and civil society.
The speakers in the workshop emphasized contextualizing the development plans so that they are more in sync with the issues of Gilgit-Baltistan. They lauded the local communities of Gilgit-Baltistan for introducing a successful model of community participation for other regions of Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, appreciated the proactive approach of the government of Gilgit-Baltistan towards Ehsass initiatives.
She said that the Ehsaas programme has introduced a system for the vulnerable communities in Pakistan, but there is a need to introduce the programme to the targeted people. A strategic plan was also discussed with members of GB Assembly and Ehsaas Nashonuma and Ehsaas One Window Centres in all tehsils of GB.
Malik Amin Aslam, Federal Minister for Climate Change/Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, shared government initiatives in tackling climate change. He laid great emphasis on living in harmony with nature instead of fighting with nature.
Amin Aslam said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan know better how to live amicably with nature. He said that since Gilgit-Baltistan is bearing the brunt of climate change, it is imperative to intervene at multiple fronts. Speaking about the future of work, the speakers emphasized on digitization of the economy and promoting entrepreneurship in Gilgit-Baltistan. This will open up new opportunities for youth employment and economic development in the region.
The themes covered in the workshop ranged from community participation, poverty alleviation and prosperity, safety nets, climate change, digitalization, promoting entrepreneurship and responsible tourism to renewable energy. The speakers and participants agreed to gear the insights of the workshop into their policies and planning for the development of Gilgit-Baltistan.
General Manager AKRSP, Jamil Uddin, expressed his gratitude to the members of the GB Assembly and experts for making the session interactive and fruitful by giving undivided attention to the ideas discussed in the two-day consultative workshop. In the end Speaker GBA, Syed Amjad Ali Zaidi thanked AKRSP for providing an opportunity to the members of GBA to get exposure to novel ideas about the emerging issues of Gilgit-Baltistan. He concluded the workshop with a note of optimism and resolve to work together with all stakeholders towards the development of Gilgit-Baltistan.