Kya Karain – What is the Pakistani youth thinking?

First aired: March 19, 2011

This episode: May 8, 2011

Beamed at: BBC Urdu/Express News

Timings: 6:30 p.m. every Saturday

Creators: BBC Urdu

According to the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 103 million Pakistanis are under the age of 25 years, which is 63 per cent of the population. Hence it makes sense to engage with this large number to find out their views and opinions on major issues through the electronic media. Unfortunately current programmes for youth on television are either in the form of overtly romantic sappy dramas, boy/girl losing-their-love music videos or as guests in talk shows who are then sermonized by pompous and unwise adults. 

Probably with this in mind, BBC Urdu and Express News have been presenting Kya Karein, Naujawan Aur Aaj Ka Pakistan (What to do? Youth and today’s Pakistan) every Saturday with Wusutullah Khan and Mohammad Hanif as hosts. Each week they go to campuses of leading colleges and universities and find out from them what in their opinion are the problems facing Pakistan and what do they think are the solutions. Pertinent questions but the variety of answers offered by the students makes for interesting viewing.

In this episode Wusutuallah Khan (an old BBC hand and for a short while was brought to Dawn News when it had gone Urdu) spoke to students of National College of Arts in Lahore. Wusutullah pointed out that NCA was the only academic institution that had closed down in the 1980s for four months during the height of anti-Zia agitation. It is also one of the few public sector educational institutions that comes under the federal government specialising in arts studies and hence students from all over the country come here giving them an opportunity to interact with people from all corners of the country which would not have been possible if they were studying in their provinces. 

Interestingly Baloch students thought this policy of integration was not enough and complained over the fact that Balochistan despite being the largest province had only one of medical college and one engineering university, deeming it unfair and a source of frustration for them. A student from Kohat bravely said that Punjab was not letting people from other smaller provinces come forward as it was scared of their talents.

An informative programme, except that the students did not often answer the questions that Wusutuallah was asking them but instead rambled off to discuss other issues, as if they badly needed to get something off their chest. Also if you have become tired of watching never-ending serials, inane morning shows and reality programmes then this is worth your time and it is short too.




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