According to the latest census data, individuals aged 18-35 make up over 60 percent of the population in Pakistan, and 64% of the total population is below 30 years old. Recent surveys indicate that the electoral participation of first-time voters, specifically those aged 18-25, will play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of elections. Consequently, political parties are actively striving to connect with young voters through various channels, such as featuring their leaders in YouTube podcasts and leveraging other social media platforms.

Therefore, university students nationwide must refrain from merely treating the 8th of February as just another holiday and, instead, actively participate in the electoral process by casting their votes for the candidate they believe is most suitable for their constituency. The significance of the upcoming election should not be underestimated, as the choices we make on election day will shape the trajectory of history for the next five years. The economic policies implemented by the incoming government will have a direct impact on the lifestyles and career options of students currently enrolled in universities and pursuing higher education.

Even during the movement for the independence of Pakistan, students played a pivotal role in organizing and mobilizing the Muslim Youth of the sub-continent under the umbrella of the Muslim Students Federation, the student wing of the Muslim League. The founding fathers of the country acknowledged the presence of the youth, especially students in the political arena. Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself addressed student conventions throughout India and motivated students to take part in the independence movement. The famous Ali Garh became the epicenter of the movement.

Quaid i Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with the students
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with the students of Aligarh Muslim University on March 12, 1941. Mr Jinnah mobilised the students to campaign for the Muslim League in elections that were due shortly. The University served a major role during the Pakistan Movement and Dawn was an effective tool to keep it galvanised. — Photo: Dawn/White Star Archives

To enhance accessibility for individuals, particularly the youth, HUM News has introduced a user-friendly portal in collaboration with Google Maps. This platform not only enables users to identify their constituencies but also allows them to view the profiles of candidates from various political parties. Comprehensive information on both provincial and national assembly seats is now just a click away, providing a convenient and informative resource for all. To check the polling station, you still have to send your ID card number to 8300, but this portal is one of its kind as it shows the trends of voting in the past election, etc. The editor of English HUM News, Nizamuddin Khan announced his release yesterday on his “X” account.

University Students can benefit from this wonderful tool to exercise their political right and to know about different candidates taking part in the elections from their constituency. Their participation will eventually decide the future of this country.

The writer, Muhammad Saad, is an M.Phil scholar of Political Science at GCU Lahore.

Related: Punjab schools get six-day break for smooth elections

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