Executive Summary

This baseline study is aimed to explore thematic and process indicators for the project, “Scalable Strategy for Youth Creative Potential Development Pakistan”. This project is conceptualize and designed by College of Youth Activism mad Development (CYAAD) and is going to be executed by the financial support of International Development Research Center (IDRC). Project’s generally intends to build youths’ creative potentials to counter violence and exclusion by using communication technologies and building cultural platforms. Although CYAAD as extensive experience of working with youth (male and female) at national and regional levels, but baseline study for this project is basically aimed to extract road map for action research that can be further replicated thorough advocacy campaign provincial level.

The study was designed, and executed in the three subject districts of the project that is Quetta, Loralai and Sibi. Professional researchers were selected, oriented and trained on the three study tools that are Semi-structured questioners (360), Key Informant Interviews (15), and Focus Group Discussions (6). Respondents for quantitative data were selected through stratified random sample and the sample selected represent the population and covers gender, ethnicity, locality, rural-urban, religion etc.  Semi-structured questionnaires were coded through SPSS.

The report mainly covers three parts, the introduction and methodology, youth’s prospects of identity, multiculturalism, conflict and creative expression. While the third part manifest the way forward that include effective tools, strategies, potential partnerships, resource organizations, groups, individuals  and viable spaces at district level.

Data analysis show that youth respondents from different backgrounds have interesting opinions and perspectives. While analyzing Identity spectrum of youth, study revealed that almost half of respondents have a linear perception of Identity. It also unveil that identity has a central position especially in shaping youth individual and collective sense of identity. On the other hand, ethnic identity is one of the land marking features that transcend rest of the areas. Over all 69% respondents feel that their language is more important than others.

Qualitative data validated that there has been identity crisis within the subject districts. It prevails on ethnic, sectarian, and religious fault lines in the urban areas while the same issue persists at tribal and social levels.

In the nutshell above 90% respondents opted dialogue as the most suitable way to address different conflicts ranging from family to state and regional levels. Similarly violence is the least marked option by almost 2% respondents and avoiding conflict or keeping silence on conflict is marked by almost 8% respondents in general.

The dominant notion of youth’s volatility as agent of active violent conflict is studied through asking youth’s reactions on several different situations. Above 60% respondents confirmed that despite directly retaliating on the malpractices of others, they will prefer to inform law reinforcing agencies/police, 16% preferred to remain silent and almost the same percentage 16% tend to directly retaliate. This shows that most of the youth respondents have a civic understanding of resolving the conflicts that can become a potential social and collective threat.

While probing youth’s opinion regarding their basic rights, it was revealed that 76% and 66% respondents feel that they have rights and responsibilities respectively. Most of the rights guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan are listed by different persons. Especially the literate and urban youth have a comparative awareness and sense of assertion regarding their basic rights.

Youth’s prepared for future is gauged through quantitative tool. It is revealing to know that above 87% respondents have marked and shared their future prospects but there are few individuals who want to become artists, musicians, poetry, leaders and players. Most of the youth respondents foresee their future role in peculiar conventional pattern.

The baseline also reveals that majority of youth sense provision of water as one of the main issues, while security which has deformed the social fabric of these areas is not highlighted as prominent issue. The issue of gender equality and equity was also featured in the baseline. It is interesting to note that 70% respondents opined that both male and female are equal, but above 50% respondents decline possibility of gender equity.

Study show substantial level of religious and educational pluralism. Both girls and boys are supposed to get modern education, endorsed by 84% respondents. Students of religious minorities to be provided with education of their faiths in schools are endorsed by 64% respondents while the study of other religions by Muslin students is declined by 50%.

Knowing youth’s opinion about development and governance model study revealed that 29% youth opined that modern development cannot help us while 52% viewed that they should relearn old ways of living. Contrary to this 56% youth respondents declined that modern development is ineffective in changing the lives of the people. It is interesting to note that only 34% youth opined that poverty is a natural phenomenon, while 64% and 60% marked it as a social and political issue respectively.

Youth’s perceptions of ideal governance system (table I-7) show that in general youth idealizes the governance system of Saudi-Arabia 27%, followed by USA 20%, Pakistan 19%, England 19% and others 15%. This pattern is furthermore challenged by youth’s opinions about their ideal governance models, as democracy is marked by almost 50% respondents. It shows there exist contradictions within youth’s opinions and analysis. The baseline study also shows that 66% respondents have marked that they have responsibilities while 44% respondents have not even marked.

Probing creative expression was one of the main themes of the BLS.  Quantified responses indicate that overall 77% respondents (85% female, 69% male) marked expression as one of the important tasks. Means of creative expression are also affirmed. Poetry marked by (185), Music (126), Drama (126), Story-writing (96), Painting (91) and Dance marked by (64) respondents are the means usually experienced in society and communities.

Life has been interpreted by arts and literature, majority of respondents (72%) verified that arts and literature have a nexus with life. This pattern is further validated by 63% respondents who confirmed that artisans, poets and musicians should be treated equally and their social exclusion on the basis of their profession should be challenged.

Baseline study also unveils that creative expression is predominantly carry out in Urdu language has marked by (244 out of 360).  Figure II-6 show that English (79 out of 360) and Pashto (52 out of 360) are followed by Urdu as means of creative expression by youth respondents.




  • About CYAAD:

Established in 2009, the College of Youth Activism and Development (CYAAD) is an increasingly emerging non-profit organization in the arena of nurturing youth’s potentials through diverse dialogical, expressive and creative means. Since inception, CYAAD has trained thousands of young Paksitani youth who positively contribute in shaping a society cohesively engrained in tolerance, civic rights and dignified living for all the citizens.   

  • About the venture: Scalable Strategy for Youth Creative Potential Development Pakistan

Scalable Strategy for Youth Creative Potential Development Pakistan, a project by CYAAD proposes to build youths’ creative potentials to counter violence and exclusion by using communication technologies and building cultural platforms. With the collaboration of International Development Research Center (IDRC), CYAAD tends to launch this exciting project in the three districts of Baluchistan namely, Quetta, Sibi, and Loralai. The project is one of CYAAD’s core interventions for the revitalization of cultural forms of expression of music, art and literature and promoting intercultural dialogue and cultural actions for understanding and collaboration.

This project is aimed to strengthen youth creative potential and reclaim public, social spaces to turn them into inclusive platforms where young women and men can work together to build pluralistic identities and enjoy full citizenship without the threat of violence and exclusion.

In order to obtain the devised generic objective of the project, the design and mode of project has been set on the principal of evolution. Participatory learning, surveys and action research are the main pillars segments of the project that will inform actions and tools for attaining the set goals of the project.

In order to explore process indicators and viable tools for engaging youth in the domain of art, literature and performing arts, Baseline Study was carried out in the subject three districts.

  1. To explore thematic and process indicators for the project that can potentially contribute in the design of the Action Research/ Project while addressing the issues of violence, exclusion and conflict transformation through creative potential pre-existing in the society.
  2. To find out the ways, spaces, mediums and creative resource potential in the target areas that can be instrumental for shaping Youth’s peaceful, tolerant and pluralistic worldviews while using creative expression as means and medium.
  • Baseline Report Structure:

The BLS mainly covers three parts. The first part deals with exploring the worldview and perceptions of youth regarding identity, multiculturalism, governance, development, conflicts and gender equality. In this connection set of study indicators were developed that were gradually culminated into baseline survey questionnaire and FGD schedule. The second part of the study mainly covers youth’s perceptions of creative expressions, its prospects, and potential of means and tools of expression. While the third part of the study mainly explores the existing potential in terms of individuals, groups, organizations that exist in the form of cultural, literary, sports, music, art and other organizations. This part also paints possibilities of effective tools and strategies that can bring sustainability to the project in the larger frame.


The design of baseline study caters to various stages of conceptualization, tools design, data collection, classification, interpretation, coding and analysis.

2.1) Tools designing and Pretest:

Prior to the conduction of study, extensive two days working sessions were carried out with CYAAD program team to work out themes, sub-themes and generic indicators that could be instrumental to design the study tools. It is important to note that tools for  both Questionnaire , Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD)  were designed in the light of the themes and indicators worked out.  Questioner mainly covers quantitative features while KIIs have an ostensible qualitative impetus.  The tools mentioned were pretested before its utilization for data collection.

2.2) Team Recruitment and Training:

In order to conduct a carry out this baseline study in the subject areas a group of 6 data numerators was selected and trained on the tools that were practiced for data collection. It was a positive aspect that all data numerators had preliminary research conduction experience. The training venture helped to enhance their understanding and orientation regarding baseline. Extensive data collection plan was developed and executed and the process of data collection was supervised. At field level

2.3) Data Collection:

After tools pretest, refinement and training of the selected group of data numerators, the process of data collection was started. Key Informant interviews conducted at district level have helped data numerators to identify relevant respondents for questionnaire and KIIs. The team of data numerators mastered their skills and understanding while practicing the tools in district Quetta under the structured mentoring of senior research scholars and research associate.

2.4) Sampling Size and Technique:

While keeping in view the purpose of the baseline study, a reasonable representative sample of respondents was selected as informants for the three mentioned tools.

A total number of 360 youth respondents were selected as informants for semi-questionnaire. Respondents were selected through stratified random sample in which respondents were selected on the basis of gender, literacy, ethnicity, religion, rural-urban and district wise. The data coded in SPSS has helped to easily segregate and study the patterns.

Beside semi-structured questionnaire, 15 Key Informant Interviews (5 from each district) were conducted; Key Informants were selected through snow ball sampling technique. Similarly 6 FGDs (2 from each district) were conducted with homogenous groups of male and female. Further details are shared in the BLS proposal.

2.5 Data Coding and Interpretation:

Data collection took four weeks to complete. It was started from district Quetta and was ended at districts Sibi. Data obtained through BLS Questioner was coded in the SPSS. Outline designed for coding data was stemmed in the gender, religions, sects, urban-rural, literacy, age, qualification, and locality. Data was properly coded in SPSS outline and was interpreted on different variables.

2.6 Report writing and analysis:

The amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative data figured out study prospects that helped out to write this report. Data coded in SPSS was used as primary source to study the patterns. Qualitative data collected also helped to validate or challenge the emerging prospects of the study.

2.7 Limitations and Constraints: –

  1. The uncertain security situations were one of the major constraints.
  2. Issues with data coding in SPSS emerged due to software breakdown. All entries were carried out again.
  3. The idea of youth engagement around creative and expression means is new and hence challenging.
  4. Particularly for the specific target districts, written literature was not in abundance to be taken into consideration for study design and analytical framework.
  5. As the three districts Quetta, Loralai and Sibi are pole apart and there is extensive diversity in all respects, so team from one district could not help the others that cause delay.



Part I: Youth’s Prospects of Identity, Multiculturalism, Governance and Conflict  

This section of the study investigates the perceptions of youth regarding different notions of identity, multiculturalism,

I.1) Youth’s Perceptions of Identity:

One of the main themes of the Baseline study is to identify the thinking patterns of youth, especially with respect to their perception of self and other’s identities. Quantified responses in table I-1 shows that 67% respondents think that they have multiple identities. This table caters different contrasting statement that helps to study the fundamental touch points of youth’s self and other’s identities. When asked the same question in a different way it is revealed that 49% (Table I.1) admit that they have only one identity. It shows that subject youth particularly have a swinging mode regarding Identity. Quantitative analysis of other themes further validates that above 63% respondents think that they don’t have any identity that cannot shared or expressed. While 30% (Table I-1) respondents confirmed that they have certain identities that render shame or harassment for them. Studying this pattern through gender we can see that female 22% and male 38% have a sense of identity with which they are not easy.

Baseline also figures out that linguistic identity is one of the leading one. Above 67% (Table I.1) confirmed that their language is more important as compare to other’s. It is interesting to know that female 74% and male 65% marked this opinion.

The same pattern is observed in responses quantified regarding sectarian identities of youth. The study generally shows that responses of youth regarding sectarian and religious identities become comparatively much linear as sectarian entities (Shi’a and Sunni) and Muslims and Non-Muslim respondents invariably opined that their peculiar identities are superior to others. Table I-1 further elaborates this phenomenon.

In the nutshell, quantitative data indicates that there has been substantial number of youth who comparatively have an exclusive point of view. While analyzing the correlation of this trend with peculiar age-brackets, it is revealed that the young respondents comparatively have a high tendency of having a linear understanding of identity.

Zooming in the district wise variance it is interesting to note that youth respondents from district Quetta 62%, Loralai 92% and Sibi 50% opined that they have multiple identities. This pattern is further validated in the responses on having a single identity. Respondents from Quetta 61%, Loralai 11% and Sibi 78% marked that they have only one identity. Responses tabulated in (table I-1) have a contrast with responses in (Table I-1). Discourse on identity shows that youth generally face some sort troubles with certain identities with which they don’t feel easy. While replying to this possibility, only 30% respondents both male and female have verified this pattern.

On the other hand, ethnic identity is one of the land marking features that transcend rest of the areas. Over all 69% respondents feel that their language is more important than others. While zooming in at the level of districts we can find that respondents from Quetta, 62%, Loralai 65% and Sibi 82%. Sibi although a multicultural and multiethnic district has interesting cultural landscape, it has evolved a Creole[1] language, which has been playing central role in shaping social cohesion. The same pattern is evident in Loralai, where Pashto is predominantly spoken in both rural and urban clusters. All the ethnic groups mainly communicate in Pashto. But linguistic and ethnic identities still dominates as linear determinants at almost all districts.

I.1.1) A Glance over Identity Crisis:  

Focus Group Discussion with male in Quetta district shows that Quetta city and the semi-urban areas have been experiencing a multicultural environment that created a peculiar level of acceptance in learning different languages. But these social and civic spaces in Quetta are condensing gradually. The respondents mainly pointed out ethnic, sectarian, religious and political conflicts amongst different ethnic and social groups that have destabilized the social fabrics and cohesion amongst residents of the city. In the past (1990s) Inter-Ethnic conflicts in Quetta city somehow render violence in the peripheries of the Province Balochistan. This has been observed in the Pashtun-Baloch conflict that has rendered displacements from districts of Quetta, Khuzdar, Ketch and Gawadar. Although politically managed, Baloch-Pashtun ethnic divide is one of the major political fault lines in the Province.

During FGD with male at Quetta respondents pin down that, the uneven and overwhelming urbanization in Quetta city has been taking place on ethnic, sectarian and religious divisions. In the recent past, religious and social minorities used to live around the tribal cum political notables from Baloch or Pashtun ethnicities. Their protection, traditionally was supposed to the duty of the notables while they had to serve in a given social position and condition. The Bohra-Community located in center of Quetta city, has been displaced gradually due to prevailing situation of peace in the city and Province”.

Ministry of Climate Change and UN Habitat with the support of the Australian government released a report that show that Six out of 10 major cities have double-digit poverty figures – Quetta has the highest poverty rate at 46pc.[2]

Rise in the sectarian violence has been one of the major political and social determinants of  Quetta and other adjacent districts to the provincial capital. Violence and target killing has rendered a peculiar social segregation in the city, especially for Shia-Hazara community. A Key Informant (KI) Dr. Behram Ghori revealed that “the only oldest and largest public university of Balochistan has not a single male-Hazar-Shia student at the moment”.

Beside ethnic, sectarian and linguistic identifies, tribal identity of the youth is also considerable. District wise data segregated shows that youth from district Loralai, Sibi and Quetta 11% , 27% and 30% respectively marked that their tribal identities are far more important.

Analysis of the quantified responses show that most of the youth have a linear understanding of self and other’s identities.  Key Informants and FGDs also confirmed that the world views of the urban-educated youth contain an exclusivist approach towards others. Their opinion in this regards is not very much different from the perspectives of the rural-illiterate or semi-literate youth.

I.2) Youth foreseeing their Future:

One of the important indicators to understand youth’s dreams, goals and visions is to know their attitude towards future. In total 84% youth have a vision of their future role and position.  Although open ended attribute to SPSS does not emerge solid patterns, yet collection of the segregated responses show that (50 out of 180) girls foresee their future as housewives. Similarly (34 out of 180) and (25 out of 180) girls have vision to become teachers /lecturer and doctors/nurses respectively. Although there are substantially less frequencies that show girls painting their future as poet, artist, painter, army officer, pilot, and human rights defender.

On the other hand male youths somehow have different priorities. Most of the youth want to run their businesses (36 out of 180), get government jobs (28 out of 180), become leaders (16 out of 180)  and commissioned officers in Pak-Army Officers (15 out of 180). Beside these jobs, we find mixed and ambiguous responses like becoming good human, getting marriage, serving nation etc. There are some respondents who have a dream to become, doctors, teachers, welfare officers etc. Respondents from religious backgrounds have no sharp variance in their responses. Respondents, Muslim (86%), Christians 80% and Hindu 75% have affirmed that they have foreseen their future.  While analyzing data religion-wise one can also see that youth from both Christian and Hindu communities comparatively have a high tendency to become artists, painters, singer, player, poet etc.

This pattern was also validated by the FGDs with male and female in district Sibi. That is both Christian and Hindu communities have an acceptable gesture towards music, art and poetry. It has a direct connection to their religion.

Most of Hindu and Christian boys tend to learn Tabla, and Harmonium and they also feel pride to sing in programs, their families and communities support because music and singing is part of their religion”  (FGD-Male, Sibi)

A considerable dimension depicted from quantified responses is that there are negligible responses that show youth have dreams, goal or visions to become artists, poets, writers, players, actors, explorers, scientists, specialists etc. They predominantly marked businesses, traits and profession that have particular social and cultural acceptance.

I.3) Youth’s Perceptions of Problem:

The main problems that need to be addressed on priority basis was one of the prospects responded by 93% respondents. It interesting to see that provision of clean water has been on the main issues identified by 39% youth, followed by Quality Education 18%, Unemployment 16%, Security issues 11% and Right to expression 8%. While analyzing this pattern on gender basis we can see a visible contrast. Provision of clean water is the top priority of 43% female and 30% male. Similarly male respondents 22% marked unemployment as an issue while girls 25% marked access and quality of education.

An interesting dimension that is highlighted by qualitative data is the overwhelming deteriorating situation of peace and security in all the areas particularly in Quetta. But youth have not noticed this important issue in their responses. One of the reasons may be that security issues have been present in province since the occurrence of 9/11, so there are respondents who even born after the very important incident taken place. Female KI from Hazara community Quetta shared that, “Since my schooling day, I have seen patrolling of the security personal, attacks on Imam Bargahs and Mosques, and check points on each corner of- the city” (Female KII – Tahira).

I.4) Gender Analysis of Youth’s Perspectives:

Youth’s world views regarding different gender and sexes are captured in the baseline study. TableI-4 contains a details regarding different aspects of gender justice and women empowerment. As depicted in graph I-4, above 70% respondents opined that both male and female are equal. It is interesting to note that only 18% female negated this reality while above 40% male respondents think that male and female are not equal. When asked whether women should be provided more opportunities as compare to men, youth respondents have followed almost same pattern. In total 52% affirmed while 50% male and 34% female respondents declined the provision of such advantage to women.

Women seeking opportunities of mobility is another dimension that helps to measure the world views of youth. In response girl’s mobility for education, we find 33% decline; same is for women right to get employments marked by 81% respondents.

While coming to the question of women social position, we can find contrasting views that is depicted in tableI-4. Participation of women in the decision making process is not approved as overall 75% respondents ( 64% male and 85% female) have affirmed. This pattern helps us to understand that youth value women mobility for jobs and education that mainly changes their condition but does not alter her position as equal being in the social structure.

Table I-4 show that, youth respondents in particular have condemned acts of gender based violence. Above 80% respondents strongly condemn the act of acid throwing on women, while 38% think that in order to remain safe women should keep at home.  It is considerable that 53% male-respondents condition women and girls safety to their keeping at home strategy. While only 23% female respondents have marked it as a doable option. When asked about equal educational rights of transgender, 69% have approved this act while 30% decline.

Youth’s perception of understanding gender equality is satisfactory while, their approach towards men-women equality is not consistent especially when it comes to the question of girl’s mobility for jobs and her participation in decision processes at family and community levels.

During FGDs with female at Sibi, it was shared by the participants that gender gap can be met through participatory event and activities of arts and expression. KIs in Quetta particularly stressed on thorough review of the text books that perpetuate peculiar gender stereotypes. While in Loralai, female FGD figured out that positive gender messages should be spread through different means especially awareness programs from radio, TV and theater would definitely help.

I.5)  Youth’s viewpoints on Religious and Educational Pluralism:

In order to know youth’s understanding of education and development quantified responses are collected against different statements depicted in table I-5. Cursory view of the table shows that most of the youth’s respondents perceive no difference in getting religious or temporal educations. They are of the view that both modes of education are obligatory. Table I-5, contains quantified responses that indicates a positive picture. Both girls and boys are supposed to get modern education, endorsed by 84% respondents.

Analysis of different contrasting statements given in table 1-5, show that both girls and boys respondents have affirmed both modern and Madrassa education for both male and female. The overwhelming perception that only religious education is obligatory is challenged by 73% respondents, similarly the myth that only boys should be provided with modern education is also challenged by 74% respondents.

Teaching religions other than Islam to the Non-Muslim students is endorsed by 64% respondents while the study of other religions by Muslin students is declined by 50%, almost 38% affirmed and 12% show ignorance about this particular question.

  • The way youth understand Development and Governance:

Youth’s worldviews regarding development, governance and other variables present an interesting pattern. It is revealing to know that 29% youth opined that modern development cannot help us while 52% viewed that they should relearn old ways of living. Contrary to this 56% youth respondents declined that modern development is ineffective in changing the lives of the people. While 41% declined the possibility of relearning old ways of living. These indicators show that in general youth certainly have a rational connection to the old ways of living and traditional cultural domain.  While further probing these patterns we can find that there no considerable variance at the level of gender, rural-urban and religion.

Similarly majority 75% youth respondents show a pluralist perspective regarding cultural and religious diversity. They confirmed that a society having religious and cultural diversity can easily find ways for progress.

Poverty is one of the key variables that have been repetitively shared in the general educational and social discourse. It is really interesting to note that only 34% youth marked it as a natural phenomenon. While 64% marked it as a social issue. Contrary to this 70% female and 59% male opined that poverty is a social issue. Quite contrary, 60% marked it as a political issue and also connected it to the unjust distribution of resources as confirmed by 82% respondents.

While declaring poverty a social cum political issue, majority of the youth respondents have confirmed that a critical understanding and cause and affect relations especially in the case of understanding poverty persist in youth.

Youth respondents 57% marked learning from other nations particularly Europe and America is a positive act. Probing this pattern further we have come to know that 31% declined this probability and 12% marked don’t know.

Youth opined that development policy and planning is substantially urban-centric. While responding questions regarding development priorities with regards to rural-urban division, youth 65% are of the view that development of urban centers at the cost of rural areas is not real development. This pattern is further supported by 84% respondents who opined that development of rural areas should be the high priority of the government. While probing the pilling over migration of rural communities to the urban centers, 44% youth think that migration from villages to cities is a good practice while 45% percent declined the justification of this practice (see TableI-6). Youth’s critical thinking of development is further validated with their responses on mega projects like China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In total 53% youth respondents declined that only mega projects can help the country.

These indicator show that majority of youth from almost all backgrounds have a critical understanding of development, governance, poverty and its connection to cultural and religious pluralism.

I.7) Youth’s views of Ideal Governance Structures:

Governance system youth idealize is an interesting dimension of knowing their worldviews. It is interesting to note that in general youth idealizes the governance system of Saudi-Arabia 27%, followed by USA 20%, Pakistan 19%, England 19% and others 15% . These patterns can be easily unpacked through the cursory glance over tableI-7.

While probing these patterns on gender, rural-urban and religious basis, we can find that female respondents 29%, rural 34%, Illiterate 35%  and Muslim youth 30%  marked Saudi Arabia as the fittest development and governance model. Above 40% Christian and 29% Hindu respondents marked Pakistan as having the best model of development and governance.

I.7.1) Governance System    

Youth’s opinion regarding the best governance model shows that there is substantial divergence in their opinions. Majority of the respondents opined for the Saudi-Arabia having the best model of governance that is regulation of Islamic Law or “Shari’a” through a monarchic structure. When they are asked to mark the best governance system practiced in the world, above 50% respondents in general have marked democracy followed by Sharia 23% and monarchy 13%. If coupled both monarchy and Shari’a is mainly practiced by Saudi-Arabia, the aggregate definitely reach to 36%.

Analyzing data through the lens of different religions we can find that 61% Christians, 60% Hindu and 47% Muslims view that Democracy is the best way to govern and regulate a state. While analyzing quantitative data on gender basis one can find that female comparatively have a high tendency towards Sahri’a and Monarchy as marked by 26% and 20% respectively. Same is the case with illiterate male and female. For Shari’a and Monarchy 32% and 11% youth respectively marked Shari’a and monarchy as depicted in table I-7.


I.8) Youth’s Perspective of Conflicts and Social Harmony:

Quantitative responses revealed that most of the youth 54% from almost all districts, religions and genders opined that there are conflicts around them. While sharing their opinion regarding the probable resolution of global conflict that affects their worldviews and life, they have shared interesting responses.

Youth respondents 80%, 89% and 90% affirmed that the issues of gender justice, concerns of religious minorities and Kashmir issue should be resolved through dialogue respectively.

Kashmir issue needs to be resolved through dialogues as 80% respondents have marked.  Similarly 88% and 83% youth respondents respectively confirmed that tribal and ethnic conflicts should be dealt through dialogue.

While tracing the 10-17% respondents through SPSS lens we can find that male respondents 40% and female 59% opined that there exist conflicts. It means that female respondents comparatively observed high occurrences of conflicts. Similarly female respondents have comparatively highly marked possibilities of dialogues for gender balance (88% vs 78%),  resolution of conflicts geared by religious discrimination (92% vs 86%), and dialogue on Kashmir issue (90% vs 70%).  Statistics also show that female respondents have comparatively less tendency to resolve conflict through silence and violence.

In the nutshell above 90% respondents opted dialogue as the most suitable way to address different conflicts ranging from family to state and regional levels. Similarly violence is the least marked option by almost 2% respondents and avoiding conflict or keeping silence on conflict is marked by almost 8% respondents in general.

I.9) Youth’s Active Response towards Social Issues:

Empirical studies on the issues of conflicts waged in Pakistan and region shows that youth have been harnessed as fuel to these conflicts of diverse political, religious, ethnic and national backgrounds. The phenomenon of religious extremism in Pakistan, like the incidents of Lal-Masjid witnessed that youth in general and youth with religious education have a high tendency to become part of the active violent conflict.

“Youth-hood is a volatile age bracket”, shared by a KI in district Loralai also confirmed that youth have a probability to get his feet easily entangled in active conflict. Baseline study tends to unpack this phenomenon through asking responses of youth against some interesting situations. For example, an individual respondent is asked to reply his/her probable response if s/he see a person selling drugs or takes bribery?  Above 60% respondents confirmed that they will inform law reinforcing agencies/police while 16% prefer to remain silent and almost the same percentage 16% tend to stop it with their hands. On gender level we can see that female have a less tendency (13%) to retaliate physically as compare to male (18%). This pattern has a visible contrast when interpreted on religion basis. Above 34% and 33%  Hindu and Christian respondents ignore the given cases of malpractices, while only 14% Muslim youth tend to keep silence or ignore the misshapes around them.

Study of this situation at different age brackets presents another interesting dimension to unpack tendency of youth in different age brackets. Further probing of this pattern show that youth’s younger age brackets (16-18) years affirm 54% to inform police and retaliate physically 23% for stopping the malpractices in the given situation. The same situation responded by the bracket (28-30) years is 70% affirm tackling situation through informing police and only 8% tend to retaliate directly. District level responses in this connection are depicted in fig I-9.

I.10) Seeking Male-Female Ideal Leaders:

While analyzing youth’s choices of their favorite leaders, it is interesting to know that almost all 95% respondents have shared their choices. Most of youth have selected political leaders as their favorites. In general there has been extensive divergence in the choices as on district level, we can see specific patterns. Most of the respondents from rural areas of Sibi district have marked their respective tribal leaders (Sardars), while in Loralai, both male and female respondents have written names of the leading political parties in the districts. Although there are some respondents who have opted for national level political figures, army generals, and social activists that include Nawaz Sharif, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Wali Khan, Akbar Khan Bugti, Mallala Yousafzai, Asma Jahangir, Arifa Sidiq, Abdul Satar Edhi, Afia Sidiquee, etc. While selecting the top three leaders from the scattered responses we find Imran Khan, Benazir Bhutto and Manzoor Pashteen marked by 74, 66 and 48 respondents respectively.

Analysis of the personality cult or favorite personalities identified by youth’s show that majority of persons are political cum democratic leaders while there are some (10-15%) frequencies for army personal and active militants known in the respective areas. For female leadership, there is extensive divergence in responses, district level responses show that persons from UC level to MPA,s MNAs, Senators, of predominantly  ethno-nationalist politics in Balochistan are marked by both male and female.

I.11) Assertion of Civic Spaces:

Baseline study design tends to explore the perceptions and knowledge level of youth regarding their role and responsibilities as citizens. In this connection youth understanding of rights and responsibilities are dealt through open ended questions. While calculating all the respondents from different district tableI-11 is extracted that underpins interesting patterns. In total 74% male and 79% female respondents affirmed that they have definite rights. Further study of the diverse spectrum show that  most of the respondents have written various rights that include, rights to live, rights to have employment, trade, free access to market, right to education, seeking justice, clean drinking water, peaceful life,  clean environment, health, food, shelter,  equal opportunities etc. There is a partial different at district and gender levels. Education is overwhelmingly written by both male and female respondents of district Loralai, while for Sibi employment and food provision is repeatedly appeared. Quite contrary most of the respondents from Quetta shared that rights to live and provision of security as their primary rights to be dispensed by the state of Pakistan.

The list of responsibilities contains variance of understanding of youth. It indicates that most of the respondents have not easily placed responsibilities that are supposed to be fulfilled by them as citizens. In total above 66% respondents has marked that they have responsibilities while 44% respondents have not even marked. Further segregation on the basis of gender indicates that 70% male and 63% female respondents have marked list of their responsibilities.

Part II: Expression, its significance and constraints:

Significance of expression in general and creative expression in particular has been one of the central themes of Baseline study. This part of the study investigates the patterns of expressions, its cultural and linguistic connections and youth’s priorities and aspirations.

II.1) Expression matters:

Quantitative responses indicate that overall 77% respondents (85% female, 69% male) marked expression as one of the important tasks. Key informants from district Loralai shared that youth in general feel highly motivated to share in folkloric forms that have substantial cultural acceptance, while most of the young and educated poets and writers would not easily express their names and identity. The main issue as raised by them was the cultural taboos that have associated poetic, literary and musical expression as a profession of the social minority of artisans, blacksmiths, craftsmen etc.

This pattern is also depicted in all the three districts. FGD members shared that particularly girls who want to sing can only the religious songs Na’at Shareef. KI respondent from Sibi and Loralai also shared the Hindu and Christian youth are encouraged to learn Tabla and Harmonium playing that is basically used during the prayers (service) time. As singing Na’at and Hamd  get a social and cultural acceptance, and religious motives, same is the case with  playing Tabla and Harmonium.

In the past our college students used to sing different melodies, like they would sing folklore and modern Urdu, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi songs. But for almost last 10 years, we have observed that girls only want to sing religious songs and Na’at Sharif (FGD: Principal G. D C Sibi).

During data collection, most of the KIIs from the target district shared that “youth and expression” are intertwined and conditional. Especially, youth’s expression of his/her feelings, thoughts, and imagination give way to several types of creative means of expressions. Qualitative data generated from FGDs and KIIs show that youth in general live on cross-roads. Due to the advents of modern technology, schooling, role of commercial media, cultural spaces, means and forms of literary and art expressions either seized or made irrelevant. As traditional society of Balochistan oscillates between the extreme points of modernity and tradition, and society in general floats through a transitional period, therefore youth’s responses towards expression are also nonlinear and transitory.

Almost all the KIIs in the three districts have confirmed that the learning and expression spaces especially regarding literature, art and music have been condensed at both public and private levels. In the rural areas, traditional spaces of women mobility, creativity and expression have been either replaced or extinct.

Girls used to sing at various occasions, particularly during different cultural and religious festivals. They even create their poetry in the routine life, for example the space from where the girls used to fetch water is called “Goodar” in Pashto, this was a space where all girls and women would go and share their feelings, one can find Goodar as one of the most powerful space behind the creation of most of the Pashto-Folklore.  {KII-Quetta: Professor Hamid Baloch}

On the other hand, social media has opened up a virtual world of communication and interaction, which has ignited alternative modes of expression.

In order to know subject youth’s knowledge base regarding different means of expression, they were asked to sort out means of expression that are usually harnessed for literature, music and arts. Quantified/marked responses of youth show an interesting pattern. Fig II-1 shows an overall picture. Respondents affirmed that Poetry marked by (185), Music (126), Drama (126), Story-writing (96), Painting (91) and Dance marked by (64) respondents are the means usually experienced in society and communities.

While interpreting the same pattern through gender lens we can see that male respondents have a high tendency to correlate with specific forms of expression. Gender wise study of quantified responses show that except Painting, male respondents have comparatively high marked all forms of expression depicted in Fig II-1. We can see the contrast for male and female respectively, that is Poetry (55 Vs 47%), Painting (22 vs 30%), Dance (23 Vs. 13%), Music (39 Vs. 31%) , Drama (38 Vs. 31%) and Story writing is (33 vs 20%) .

Male respondent’s comparatively high probability to participate, observe, practice or contribute is also validated by the qualitative data. FGDs with male at Sibi and FGD with female at Loralai explains that female in most of the cases are supposed to avoid sharing their feelings and expressions. This imposition of social taboo was shared by a respondents in  Loralai.

It becomes very problematic if people come to know that you are writing poetry or you have a desire to sing or play music. Family member and peer become suspicious when they come to know that a girl is writing poetry. Therefore most of the girls strive to divert their interests towards paintings and drawings (FGD, Female District Loralai: Sadia).

On the other hand poetry has a historical connection to the socio-cultural setups of the target districts. Although modern forms of poetry are not very much liked in the rural-illiterate milieu as people express in the folkloric forms, but poetry still persist in almost each town and rural settlement.

Gender Vis-à-vis religious background also counts when it comes to expression. FGDs in district Sibi particularly confirmed that, a Muslim-male in general has a comparative advantage and hence has a high tendency to express. Quite contrary Non-Muslim-female has a less probability to expression.

Modern forms of expression that are depicted in the (Fig II-1) are promoted by the educational and cultural institutions. Mainly schools, colleges, universities, media and cultural festivals organized by government institutions have been instrumental and effective.

2.2) Nexus of Arts, Literature and Life:

Study investigates perceptions of youth regarding nexus of arts, literature and life. Figure II-2, states that 72% respondents affirmed that arts and literature help in understanding life. There is substantial consistency at rural-urban and gender levels. This pattern is also supported by the KIIs.

 “Young boys and girls can only understand challenges of practical life if they understand their feelings and emotions. Arts, music and literature are the sources that blend their emotions, wisdom and practice”. (Source: KI-Male, Loralai, Dr. Munir)

Contrary to the socially constructed taboos regarding girls and women mobility and expression, youth respondents of the baseline have shown a different picture. Table II-2 annexed indicates that, In general 86% overall (82% male and 89% female) respondents confirmed that both girls and boys should be provided with basic rights to expression. Similarly above 58% respondents (Extracted from Table II-2) challenged the myth that only a silent woman can be a good woman. Additional to this 69% respondents give value to expression and they affirmed that “expression matters”.

“There is substantial resistance to woman expression at family and community level, nevertheless the educated women have challenged this pattern and have raised their voice through different means”.   (KII-Male, Quetta, Dr. Jahanzaib)

“Expression give value to life”, this phrase was center of discussion with female FGD at district Sibi. The senior teachers shared that, girls emotional issues used to be tackled through different activities of expression that is Baz-me-Adab, speech competition, painting competition, Anthakshiri or poetry competititon etc. But these practices have been reduced with the passage of time, and now the students are only supposed to complete their course work.

While sharing the prospects of youth’s positive thinking and their mobilization for creative expression, KIs in different districts shared that intra-college, university and school level tournaments, competitions and opportunities of girls guide and boys scouts have been reduced to level of extinction.

The young persons are not allowed to express in the tribal-traditional set ups. Mr. Malik Zaheer, a poet and writer shared a detailed account of how cultural milieu of Loralai district constraint young lot to keep silence and speak only when there is no elder. Young and youth’s silence in most of the cases is a norm rather barrier.

“There has been extensive pressure from youth to not express their feelings. Girls and women comparatively are supposed to not express their feelings in routine. But there has been a cultural acceptance for the poetic expression of women in different folkloric forms. (Male- FGD, District Loralai , Malik Zaheer)

2.3) The Dilemma of Expression and Difference of Opinion:

Expression has been taken in two different meanings in this study. At one hand it is used as basic entitlement of an individual/agency to harness expression for showing his/her opinion. While in the other case, expression is used as mean of creative expression that is in the form of literature, arts and music etc.

In order to know the level of understanding of your respondents regarding expression of difference of opinion, it is revealing to know that 51% respondents opined that expression of difference of opinion causes chaos and instability in society. Table II-2, show that 32% respondents negated this statement while 17% show lack of knowledge in this regards.

This table also caters another contrasting social value/norm that only elders, notable and religious leaders are supposed to speak and express their opinion. In total 71% respondents challenge this collective social norm that exclude youth male and female from the right to expression.

“In illiterate girls and women have good skills to create and express folk poetry, folk music and art through embroidery. In rural areas girls are required to create poetry, like Chaghai as mandatory act of girls wedding ceremony. This practice has substantial cultural acceptance in Pashtun social decorum. But the literate girls cannot easily relate to folkloric forms of expression” (FGD-Male, District Loralai, Rashid Haqmal).

 2.4) Analysis of Social perception regarding Artisans and Poets:

Creative expression has been observed as one of the social taboos in most of the cultural milieus of Balochistan and Pakistan. This trend also prevails in the subject three districts of Balochsitan. The major cause that is also discussed by respondent in the FGDs is that traditionally artisans, musicians, singers and other skills of craft have been nurtured by the specific working class community who remain at the margins of society as landless social minority. FGD respondents in Loralai and Quetta particularly named them Usthakar, Lori, Jat, Jolla, Dom, Mochi etc.

Communities living at the margins of traditional societies and suburbs of the cities and towns have been conditioned to perform different practices of rituals, fun, music and art. Although FGDs and KIIs data confirmed that segregation in the entire three districts exist on the basis of profession. Entitlement of equality or Syali applies only when the opponent has a possession in land of forefathers of different clans. Respondents in Loralai and Sibi shared that people usually exclude the social class of artisans

Table II-3 caters interesting quantified responses that show 63% youth marked that artists, musicians and poets represent nations. This opinion is also complemented through another aspect. Youth respondents 55% and 75% affirmed that poets, artists and musicians contribute to society and they are equal to all other persons in society.

Contrary to this, social position and social condition of particularly artists, and musicians not very encouraging. Society has acceptance of folklore singer and artists, when it comes to profession, most of the KIIs in all districts confirmed that particular communities who perpetuate and promote culture, language and music are not dealt on the basis of equality. One of the reasons shared in male-FGD at Loraiai was that most of these communities living in the villages or suburbs of towns and metropolitan city of Quetta, have no land. Their dispossession of land does not make them equivalent to those who do have land.

Key informant, Amit Kumar Aasi, poet and teacher from Sibi district share that their contribution in terms of promoting language, literature, culture, arts and music is not acknowledged ordinarily at the level of state and society, artisans have been living at the margin of society. They are neither encouraged by society nor the state institutions responsible for the promotion of culture, language and literature.

2.5) A Glance over Reading Habits of youth:

It is really interesting to study the reading habits and emerging trends of reading in the youth of the three different districts. In the nutshell, out of 360 respondents only 135 have marked that they have read a book, almost 20% of them did not know name of the author of the book s/he had studied. It is also important to note that particularly female respondents from Sibi and Loralai have largely marked the religious books like the holly Quran and Geeta. In this connection above 63% respondents did not mention any book they read last time. While further segregating this pattern on gender levels we can say that male respondents comparatively have a high tendency to avoid the habits of study. Table 14 clearly indicates that 55% female and 70% male respondents did not mark a single book and its author’s name.

Further study of the lists of books show that female have comparatively high trend to study as compare to male. Their main focus has been Urdu fiction, the legendary Urdu fiction of 20th century like Raja Gidh by Bano Qudsia, Jhooty Roop key Durshan, Ankahee, etc are shared commonly in all the three subject districts. The fiction work mainly written in Urdu by Nimra Ahmad and Umaira Ahmad, and Hasham Nadeem has highly marked by respondents in this connection.

Similarly religious, Tableeghi Jumat reference material, like Fazayal Ammal, Ya’seen, and different prayers books are also marked by respondents. Quetta district comparatively has a diverse spectrum of reading books that also include English fiction, books on political philosophy and political history are repeatedly shared by respondents.

It is considerable that negligible number of books and authors of the native languages (Pashto, Balochi, Brahui and Darri) are shared.  Patterns depicted in table II-4, II-5 and II-6 present a clear pattern that Urdu and English have almost replaced learning and reading in the native languages. It is important to note that reading and writing practices in the native languages may gradually cease if policy makers and education managers do not recognize it as an issue.

2.6) Native Languages vs Languages of Expression:

Respondents for Baseline were selected on the basis of districts demography. Majority of the respondents belong to Pashtuns 40% , Brahuis  20% , Baloch (15% , Sindhis  10% , Persian (5%), Urdu 5% Urdu and other 5%. According to this map above 95% respondents are ethnically from the native languages. Table II-6 shows that majority of respondents feel to express in languages other than their mother tongues.

Study show that in total (67%) respondents feel easy to express in Urdu.  Urdu is the undisputed language that has been accepted and used as lingua franca in almost all parts of the Province Balochistan and Pakistan. Fig II-6 shows that English is the second highest source of   above 21% youth respondents that is also depicted in Table II-6.

As mentioned that majority of respondents in baseline consist of Baloch, Pashtun, Brahui, Darri (Persian), Sindhis etc. Fig II-6 indicates that native languages are also source of expression for some respondents. Quantified responses show that 14% (52 out of 360) respondents experience Pashto, 10% (35 out of 360) use Balochi,  7% Saraiki (25 out of 360) and Brahui and Persian (Darri) each 5% ( 19 out of 360).

FGDs with both male and female respondents unveil that there has been extensive divergence at the level of rural-urban, literate and illiterate and religious minorities’ levels.

Female illiterate have a less tendency to express in their native languages, as observed from the data that is 18% male and only 10% female tends to express in Pashto. This pattern is equally depicted for other native languages that are Balochi, Brahui, Persian and Sindhi.

Gradual increase in the literacy of Urdu and English has disconnected the youth from their oral tradition, cultural values, norms, history and poetic forms of expression. Dr. Munir a KI from District Loralai expresses this phenomenon in following words.

In the past expression through folkloric genres was a norm, people would consume only local art, music and poetry, most of the native poets, musicians and artists were either illiterate or living in the villages. Modern means of expression have generally reduced the probability of creation as Urdu language has replaced a wide range poetic, artistic and linguistic diversity in Balochistan.( Male- KI.Dr Munir District Loralai)

2.7) Ideal Languages of Expression:

Probe into the nexus of expression and languages are further elaborated through Fig II-7. Tabulated figures show respondent’s opinions regarding their favorite medium of expression. Only Urdu marked by (106) respondents; invariably supersedes other languages. It is closely followed by native languages and combination of Urdu-native language marked by (96) and (78) respondents respectively. Fig II-7 shows that the option of Urdu-English and only English is marked by 63 and 10 respondents.

Expression in the native languages and creole (mixed) language of Sibi was a great source that used to connect all the people. The poetry, music and art of the native languages is gradually declining as all the cultural events in Sibi festival invite the national level celebrities that only can sing in Urdu pop music. The local level Artisans are not encouraged even by the cultural institutions and media, while in the schools; local language literature is already at the margins. (Ms. Rukhsana, Principal G G D C Sibi)

Consultations with culture department will earn a proper streamlining of funds available for the promotion of culture. Last year, Provincial cultural budget was used for celebrating 23rd March, Five million rupees were paid to a single Lahore based singer, who had nothing to do with the music and literature  of Balochistan.


FGD – Sibi- Male

During Sibi Festival (mella) hundreds of artists, journalists, and performers come out, they give it up, and only mobilize during the festival. Government should at least support some of the specific artisans and crafts men so that the skills and concepts should be conserved.

Issues of Expression:

The issues of expression persists here, most ofhte girls suffer from Spycological issues, they cannot express easily. The girls who come to college does not challenge th e issues of gender.  (Ms. Rukhsana, Principal G G D C Sibi)

Anger, Mood disorder, stubbornness, people say these are instincts and,,, There is no support for girls to help them understand their self.  What can be done? (Ms. Rukhsana, Principal G G D C Sibi)



CYAAD’s intervention to build youths’ creative potentials to counter violence and exclusion by using communication technologies and building cultural platforms has distinct features to engage youth in the target three district of Balochistan. Baseline study was designed around the specific thematic lines of the project document.

3) Proposed tools and Strategies:

Baseline study unveil that engaging youth through different means will help to develop a viable project that can be documented and projected as pilot action and action research. Some of the generic strategies in this regards could be as follows.

3.1) Bridging the missing link: Engaging diverse groups in District level Literary and Arts Forums (LAFs)

The Literary and Arts Forums as proposed in the project document can be potentially used to lay sustainable foundations of the initiatives. During field visit to the three target districts, it was revealed alternative spaces of youth engagement are taking shapes. As shared in section II that expression in native languages and folkloric forms is comparatively meager, but social media, and social meet-ups especially in Quetta and Sibi cities is shaping a literary culture that can be harnessed for positive social change and nonviolent ends.

The concept of forming Literary and Art Forums is pragmatically effective and strategic. The social capital and cultural capital of the districts can be bring together to create a forum that can be used as representing body of the district Literary and Arts interventions.

In order to form forum that can reconnect artists, poets and musicians with youth of the district, district based Literature and Arts Forums (LAFs) should be formed. Based on this baseline study there are particular youth groups and literary organizations that can be taken into loop. CYAAD should develop capacity of the forum core committee both technically and conceptually.

Forums should be nurtured and empowered to facilitate the process of youth’s training and awareness sessions on literary and arts concepts, skills and the essence of creative expression. TORs of these forums should be developed in the wake of an extensive workshop. It is considerable that the purpose of LAFs is not only to implement this project; it should be developed and nurtured in the particular future prospects.

3.2) Conceptual Framework for Youth Engagement:

Analytical part of the baseline study (Section II) explored the thinking patterns, worldviews and youth’s responses to different situations of identity, multiculturalism, development, governance, religious and sectarian pluralism, rights, conflict, gender equality and creative expression. One of the nexus that BLS tends to establish is that youth’s worldviews regulate their actions; especially their sense of self and other influence their response in contrasting critical situations.

Study show that, youth’s awareness level on issues of violence, exclusion and stereotyping is encouraging, but the knowledge base has not culminated into their belief system, way of thinking and general practice. It has been figured out by the study that, theoretically they marked positive gestures regarding various indicators, but their responses on the contrasting situations and statement like gender equality, equality of religious and social minorities etc uncover that there are appalling contradictions.

Discussions with KIs and FGD respondents also validated that patterns that violence, exclusion and stereotyping can be addressed through coupling sensitization of youth on mentioned themes and their expression skills. The knowledge base regarding the different forms of expressions especially poetry, fictions and arts are required to be raised while their worldviews should be tackled through sensitization on peace, plural identities and non-violence. Identity crisis required to be addressed as shared by several KIs and FGD respondents. Dr. Munir the reckoned social activist and literary figure of district Loralai shared that “if not taken into consideration, prevailing identity crisis in different forms can potentially ignite communal rifts in society. Identity puzzle needs to be resolved before it start complicating other matters of our social and political domains, opined by another KI scholar Dr. Behram Ghori,

In order to measure the impacts of reflective educational and dialogical process of CYAAD’s intervention, the target group of youth’s should be engaged as experimental group subjects. Their pre and post opinions and world views should be recorded through assessment frameworks that deal with youth’s empowerment strategies.

“Youth should be provided basic awareness regarding their inner self, for example, why they get angered, what are emotions, how to express emotions properly and how to correlate emotions with creative expression”. (Source:  KII, Loralai, Sher M Shad)

Analytical and interactive tools that unpacks different identities of the controlled group would help CYAAD to connect the complex notions of


3.2.1) Proposed Issues/Themes for Seminar Conductions:

BLS identifies various issues that pertain to youth’s sense of knowing self, others, the world and its connection to creative expression. It figures out interesting patterns to be culminated into workshops contents, seminars and dialogues themes.

  1. The Dilemma of Expression in Native Vs National Languages: Dialogue on essence of creativity in the mother tongues.
  2. Systemized exclusion of Singers and Artisans: Asserting social position of artisans
  3.  Cultural Pluralism Through Celebrating Literary Diversity: Engaging poets and artisans of different cultures within districts
  4. Exclusion of Native Languages from the arenas of Education: Dialogues on exploring possibilities of youth’s expression in the indigenous languages in schools and colleges.
  5. Cultural literacies and folkloric forms of expression: Prospects of Peace and pluralism in literature and arts of relevant districts
  6. Knowing our civic space and rights to expression:  Reimagining forms of expression
  7. Promotion and conservations of cultural diversity: Dialogue on gapes in cultural policy, planning and financial allocation in the PSDPs.
  8. Alternative Prospects of Putting Show: Dialogue on designing Sibi Mella with special reference to make it an inclusive space for all ethnic and cultural groups.
  9. Listening Women Voices in Literature: Seminar on asserting women position as creative agency

These seminars can be led by the representatives of Literature and Arts Forums (LAFs) who will further develop extensive mechanism for connecting youth and senior artists, poets and musicians in the respective districts.

3.2.2) Proposed Thematic Framework of Youth Training Workshops:

The complex nature of issues that surrounds youth worldviews can only be tackled through a comprehensive and yet critical approach. As mentioned “Identity puzzle” is the core of all segments in the discourse. Contents of the training workshops should encapsulate thematic essence of understanding diversity, ethnicity, gender, cultures and other sets of identity spectrum. Integrating worldviews and creative expression as interdependent phenomenon will definitely help the youth to evolve as good thinkers, practitioners and artists.

Youth should be provided with specific skills through a hand on practice in the workshops. It could be group simulations on analyzing, creating and writing the poetry, fictions, essay and humorous writings.  Design of workshop should follow needs of youth who want to be part of the workshop and post workshop process.

Workshops should contain two fundamental parts; the first part should focus on sensitization, awareness and critical analysis of the identity-puzzle, while the second part should focus on inculcating specific skills pertaining to particular group of participants. Based on the classification by BLS, it is proposed to classify participants in following three categories. Literary (Poetic and Fiction) Expression:  

BLS study table I-1 show that majority of respondents tend to use literary means of expression. Out of 360 respondents 185 and 96 have marked poetry and fiction as their possible ways of expression. It is considerable that youth who wants to be part of the workshops should be asked to share their priority. Specific workshop for individuals who want to become part of poetic expression, story and prose writing. Performing Arts (Theaters /Dramas,):

Study shows that drama/theater is marked by the 126 respondents. Although tagged as cultural and social taboo by KIs, youth respondents still confirmed their association to music as one of the vital source of inspiration and expression. Workshops participants who are motivated to become part of drama and theater should be engaged exclusively. Arts (Paintings, and Drawings):  

Female respondents particularly have a high tendency to express through colors and images as described by BLS. In order to capture diversified perspective of youth and help them exploring their creative potential group of youth associating themselves with painting and arts.

3.2.3) Generic Theoretical Framework of Workshop:

S# Generic themes Description
Part I: Sensitizing youth on themes of Identity, multiculturalism, non-violent communication and social inclusion. This part of the workshop will be generic and all the participants will get through this segments.
1 Understanding Identity Puzzle At this initial stage, youth should explore the multiple overlapping and horizontal identities. It will enable youths to know binaries and dichotomies associated to identity politics and should help them to realize that most of the hegemonic identities shaped are socially constructed.
2 The Nexus of Nonlinear sense of identity Expression and Youth. A life cycle perspective on youth well-being and their position to transform their situations should be added in the training stuff. Sense of alienation/otherness and romantic association to certain identities works as the most influential factor to shape the youth’s imagination, feelings and consequently their creative expressions.
3 Multiculturalism, Peace and Social inclusion This segment of the training will help youth to understand essence of cultural diversity and social harmony. The training segments will mainly resolve contrasting and linear perspectives on gender, racial, ethnic, religious and sectarian issues that are politically projected to segregate people. The segment will conclude on how to use nonviolent communication and empathy for socially and politically weak entities.
Part II: Delivery of specific sessions for the exclusive groups of literature, performing arts and visual arts. The groups as shared above will be exclusively segregated on the basis of Literature, Drama/theater and Paintings/drawings.
4 Exploring Possible ways of creative expressions This segment should elaborate various forms and means of creative expressions. If should focus on literature and in the nutshell should explain how literary expression come into being. Similarities and fault-lines amongst the folklore and modern genres of literature should be pin down.

Similarly, understanding art, literary theories, styles and diction and the semantics of literature should be delivered as part of the capacity building course. It would also help the youth to practically correlate art and literature history, genres construction and its utility in the poetic and narrative forms

5 Literature and arts as means of social reconstruction, peace and harmony  

This segment should present objective of art and literature as means of nonviolent and peaceful expression. Stereotypes, hate speeches, sense of exclusion and otherness for different social and ethnic groups can be identified, challenged and hence a new perspective of inclusive, peaceful and tolerant space of expression should be developed.

6 Simulations, audio visual and textual analysis Audio-visuals, videos, assignments and simulations can be highly effective in delivering complex literary concepts, theories and history.


3.2.4) Selection of Workshops Participants:

In order to workout youth’s different issues regarding their worldviews, emotional health, inherent inabilities of expression and connecting them with other people from various backgrounds of gender, ethnicity and religions, a competitive process of participants selection should be developed. As action research, CYAAD will require committed and encouraging youth male and female who can sustain their initiatives beyond training workshop.

Although following the principal of inclusion, there should be at least criteria for the Selection of participants in workshops.

Inclusion of different social groups, religious minorities, genders and individuals whom families have been playing folk and modern music should be imparted in the course so that a diverse group of participants could be ensured.

3.2.5) Experimental and Controlled Groups

In order to manage the participants as subjects of this action research, selection should be carried out on the basis of experimental and controlled groups.  Pre and post assessment frameworks will be instrumental to sketch and articulate the impacts of learning on the level of groups and individuals.

In order to devise a need based course and develop effective engagement strategies, stakeholders could be delineated in three groups/cadres as follow.

  • Engaging Senior poets, writers and artists:

As mentioned above, institutional infrastructure exists at grassroots level that is mainly incepted by some reckoned pioneers and teachers of the youth literary groups. This cadre comprises of the academies, organizations, and institutions leaders, mangers and founders.   This cadre could be engaged mainly for widening the scope, vision and working out their tools and strategies to engulf a larger number of youth who still remain outside the circle. On the other hand, this cadre can also be highly effective to teach and transfer their knowledge, experiences and wisdom to the mid-level and fresh youth groups.

  • Mid-level emerging creative entrepreneurs:

Writers, mentors, and teachers in the emerging phase should be consulted for LAFs, Seminars, and Workshops. This group can be potentially engaged for perpetuating literary activism and youth engagement at districts levels. This is the bridging cadre of writers, poets and artist that can potentially connect the two distinct worlds of senior fresh cadres. Most of individuals in this category either lead literary organizations or part of it as effective members. It would be highly effective if these individuals get basic understanding of organizational cultures, its portfolios and basic domains.

  • Young cadres:

This cadre includes the motivated fresh youth who seek ways to express and enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding. Working with this cadre can potentially transform the leading art and literary dictions and themes as most of the motivated poets and writers have not been properly trained and mentored.

3.3) Potential Collaborations and Joint Ventures:

The study shows that there exists high quality human resource in the subject districts that can uplift and craft initiatives around literature and art. While connecting the two halves of literature and art for peace and pluralism, support of the academic institutions like Universities and Arts Councils can be highly effective. In the nutshell, educational institutions have played vital role at certain levels while connecting and acquainting youth with written literary texts and different genres of arts. This task is further pin down by the literary organizations and political parties. Following are the details regarding potential institutions, organizations and groups that can be instrumental as partners and resource organizations.

3.3.1) Collaboration with Educational Intuitions in the districts  

The study confirmed that girl’s and boy’s schools, colleges and universities have been instrumental to flourish youth’s skills and knowledge regarding arts forms and literature. Although meager, the role of boys scouts and girls guides, conduction of Bazm-e-adab literary events, poetry, painting and speech competitions have been highly effective to nurture youth’s taste. But the co-curricular activities that used to be part of the educational institutions in the past are now reduced to zero. Principals of girls colleges, university professors and school teachers have validated this overwhelming change in educational arena. Principal of Government degree college Sibi shared that, each year colleges used to publish a journal in which first time writers, mainly college students would publish their writings. This was a great initiative that would also motivate teachers to write and co-author with students.

Although BLS quantified data confirmed that expression in the native or indigenous languages is exponentially less as compare to that expression in Urdu and English respectively, yet we find glimpses of native languages literature within educational institutions.

The study also show that teaching of native languages, modern and folk literary genres is increasingly taking place in the domain of boys-girls degree colleges in the target districts. Appointments of above 50 college teachers and inclusion of five native languages as additional subject at primary level has also pave the way to mitigate the issues; however, there is a great room to initiate process of alternative learning form schools.

All the three districts possess exclusive girls and boy’s degree colleges, high schools and numbers of middle schools. While there are some districts like Quetta, Loralai and Sibi where degree awarding public and Private Law Colleges, teachers training colleges offering courses on B.Ed are also functioning.   At district headquarters and tehsil level towns, there are English language academies, coaching centers that predominantly teaches language and literature to thousands of young male and female. Similarly the mushrooming of private schools in this district is also witnessed that contain huge numbers of students. Hence, public and private sector educational institutions could be tackled as the most pivotal partners in the execution of project in the areas.

 3.3.2)    Literary and Art Academies:

Literary and art academies in Balochistan have particularly evolved in the decade of 1970s.  These institutions have historically played vital role in engaging youth around various forms of folk and modern forms of expressions including dances, music, play writing, poetry and story writing. Informants through KIIs have confirmed that in each district, renowned literary figures of the local languages have formed organizations that organize sessions and meet ups for poetic and narrative expressions. These organizations, usually meet in bi-monthly and weekly in which a sizable number of organization members and observers participate. According to the literary tradition, a member of the organization takes the responsibility to bring a piece of a short story, ghazal, poem, reportage or essay in the forthcoming meet up. In the coming meeting, s/he presents the literary piece and then flour is opened for a critical assessment of the presented piece. It is important to note that, all the members of the organizations are provided space to share their opinion. Besides literary organizations, there are some public sector organizations who teach fine arts and martial arts. Table below indicates names of the literary, art and cultural organizations chalked out in the target districts so for.


District Academic/ Literary/art Organizations Music Clubs/Academies Youth, Civil Society and public Institutions
Quetta  –          Faculty if Languages and literature University Balochsitan, BUTIMS, SBK.

–          Balochistan Adabi Form

–          Sangat Academy of Writers

–          Balochi Academy Quetta

–          Pashto Academy Quetta

–          Brahui Acdemy Quetta

–          Darri Academy Quetta

–          Pashto Adabdi Baheer

–          Pashto Adabee Cheena

–          Pashto Adabi Ghurzang

–          Progressive Writers Union

–          Pashto Mutaraquee Likwal

–          Art Gallery



–          Academy of Art


–          Art Council


–          Department of Fine Arts, UOB.


–          Department of fine Arts SBK and BUTIMS

–          Press Club

–          College of Youth Activism and Development (CYAAD)

–          Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP)

–          Department of Culture

–          Sangat Academy of Writers

–          Balochsitan Civil Society Network

Sibi  –          –      Halq –e- Ahbab Zooq,

–          –      Dasthak Adabi Sangeeth

–          Perveen Shaker Acadimy

–          Urdu Literary Baord



–          – Balochistan Acadimy of Arts.

–          – Cultural and Environmental

Preservation Society

–          National level historical festival at Sibi, this festival attracts thousands of people across the province and country and tends to connect folklorists, musicians and local singers.
Loralai –          Pashto Adabi Malgari

–          Roohila kalthori Organization

–          Saraiki Adabi Tanzeem

–          Pashto Mutaraquee Adab


Kohar Music Academy CYAAD
SADA Development FoundationGul Social Welfare


3.3.3)     Engaging University, College and Schools Students; 

At this very juncture of history of Balochsitan, one can find abundance of Colleges, Universities and Schools. The number of students (male and female) in these institutions is highest in the history of these districts. All the target districts have colleges, universities in which departments of fine arts and literature are getting evolved and seek opportunities to gel in with endeavors that can diversify their portfolios. Discussion with Dean of arts and literature in UOB confirmed that collaboration with CYAAD in this regards can uplift the scale of work and institutions profiles.

3.3.4) Engaging Illiterate Youth:

Study confirmed that illiterate, unschooled youth (both male and female) are left with not options to share and express. KIs shared that only illiterate female and male youth are still connected their folkloric forms of expression and they have a comparative advantage to understand and express in native languages.

3.4) A Generic SWOT Analysis of the Project:

The concept and approach of Scalable Strategy for Youth Creative Potential Development has viable features to be counted as one of the core projects that take on the youth’s issues beyond symptomatic levels. Although the conceptual and technical design of the project is rationale and pragmatic , yet in the light of the BLS, a generic SWOT analysis is carried as under.


CYAAD’s concept, approach and preparedness of reclaiming social and public spaces and transforming it into inclusive platforms through developing cadres of youth are innovative and pragmatic. The study revealed that, public sector educational, cultural and literary institutions lack the conceptual clarity, educational and reflective tools, and human resource that can harness process of youth empowerment through literature and arts. There is a great room for this type of interventions that particularly take on issues beyond symptomatic levels and tends to create alternatives for a collective social good.

Action research or pilot action, this endeavor can potentially uplift the level of understanding youth’s issues and subsequent approaches towards its resolution.


Contrary to the strength, it is imperative to connect youth through a cumulative and consistent process. The concept of nurturing youth’s critical thinking, analytical canvas and skills of creative expression required a long term mentoring program. One of the weaknesses of this initiative could be the short and project approach towards the concept.

Working with the disadvantaged, illiterate and rural youth will require different approach. Process, tools and strategies are required to be evolved for the dominant majority lying outside the system.



The BLS shows that there are diverse opportunities of engaging with youth as active-creative entrepreneurs.  Possible collaboration with resource persons, potential literary, and arts groups, organizations and institutions at district levels will expedite the project from execution to policy advocacy. Literary and arts organizations, schools, college senior management and teachers engaged by CYAAD on the same thematic lines; is a great asset to be harnessed for perpetuating and sustaining this initiative beyond the project life.


The deteriorating peace situation in all the three districts can affect the pace and quality of work. The themes, reading material, audio-visuals and reflective tools on multiculturalism, social inclusion and identity can become a potential threat if not utilized within the context.



3.5) Considerable Points from BLS Data:

3.5.1) Focusing Expression in Native Languages:

The study shows that majority of respondents 63% and 21% fell easy to express in Urdu and English languages respectively.  Similarly reading practices/habits captured by the study show that negligible number of books of the native languages are read by respondents. Not a single respondent could share name of any author who writes literature of native languages.

During FGDs and KIs it was revealed that youth’s alienation from their culture and history is one of the main reasons that have made their native languages and its literature irrelevant to them. Urdu and English are the imported languages, although as described by Dr Tariq Rehman both are languages of power and knowledge but youth respondents could not have even learnt it to a level of literary and arts expression.

One of the main reasons of decline in literary and arts tradition is the alienation of youth from their native languages, folk/oral tradition and history. FGD respondents and general history of the target districts show a considerable peace situation in these areas.

3.5.2) Connecting pole apart: Writers and artists of different languages   

Brining writers, poets, artists, folklorists, of different languages and cultures will help in regaining trust of the communities on each other. The recent Balkanization of Quetta city is one of the major threats that can ignite communal, sectarian or religious feuds any time. Social spaces around the urban towns and cities can be instrumental to connect the diverse social classes, sects, religions, languages and tribes.

In District Sibi, there outstanding spaces in the form of music academies, literary spheres, college base literary interventions and yearly-festival that tend to help the local communities to evolve a creole language and culture.

Interventions in Quetta district particularly forming Literary and Arts Forums should connect literary and art organizations and individuals from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

3.5.3) Probable Actions for “We are the answer”

Youth’s actions for sustaining peace through literature and culture can cater to various practical issues of awareness, policy and planning levels. Most of the issues as raised by the KIs and FGDs respondents have provincial level impacts. Despite creating specific peace messages, creative expressions and initiatives on worth of creative expression, there are some areas which needs to be taken into consideration,

  • Exploring data, knowing allocated budget for culture and art in the respective year’s PSDP, and advocacy for its proper utilization will definitely make a difference. Youth awareness regarding provisions in the fiscal year’s budget will streamline cumulative practices of policy planning and resource allocations.
  • Presenting tributes to the folk artists, musicians, and poets who contributed in the promotion of local languages, literature, culture and art forms. Tracking life histories of the local artists, their families, status of the subsequent arts and music skills.
  • Prospects of enhancing awareness in people to express and write in native languages
  • Harnessing the available spaces of literary expression in the local communities, schools, colleges and universities.
  • This is important to note that communities within Quetta, Sibi and Loralai have been facing identity crisis due to their low social and economic position. Artists from Quetta shared that, PTV and Radio Pakistan have been the parent’s institutions of several folk and modern means of music and art. But these institutions are at the verge of extinction, PTV even does not pay to the Artisans who perform there. While the private TV channels invest no time and money on the promotion of local culture.




Annex A


S# Table I-1: Youth’s Perception of self and others Identities
Yes% No% Don’t Know%
1.1 I have Multiple Identities 67 28 5
1.2   I have only one identity 50 49 1
1.3 I have Identity that cannot be shared 30 63 7
1.4 My Language is more important than others 69 22 9
1.5 My sect is superior to others 67 23 10
1.6 My ethnic group is superior to others 41 52 7
1.7  I and my tribe are born to rule 21 67 10


  Table I-2: Youth who foresee their future
S# Yes% No%
2.1  Youth foreseen their future 84 16


Table I-3:  Youth Prioritizing problems
S# %
3.1 Clean Drinking water 39
3.2 Unemployment 16
3.3 Quality Education 18
3.4 Access to Education 8
3.5 Security 11
3.6 Right to expression 8


Table I-4: Youth’s Perception of Gender equality and segregation
S# Yes% No% D/Know%
4.1 Man and woman are equal 70 28 02
4.2 Women should be provide more opportunities as compare to men 52 42 6
4.3 Women should not go outside for education 33 65 2
4.4 Women should go outside for jobs/employment 81 16 3
4.5 Women opinion is not important in decision making 75 21 4
4.6 Strongly condemn the act of acid throwing on women 85 11 4
4.7 In order to remain safe women should keep at home 38 56 16
4.8 Transgender should be allowed to get education with our children 69 30 11


TableI-5: Youth’s Perception Education
Yes% No% Don’t Know%
5.1 Both religious and temporal education are obligatory 88 7 5
5.2 Only religious education is obligatory 21 73 6
5.3 Both boys and girls should get modern education 84 12 2
5.4 Only boys should get modern education 74 22 4
5.5   Both boys and girls should get Madrassa education 62 33 5
5.6   The boys should go to school and girls to Madrassa 29 64 7
5.7 Religious minorities should be taught their religions in schools 64 26 10
5.8   Muslim students should study other religions 38 50 12
5.9 It is hard to live in society having different religions and cultures 36 53 11


Table I-6: Youth’s perspective on Development, Governance and Politics
S# Yes% No% Don’t Know%
6.1 Modern development cannot help us 29 56 15
6.2 We should relearn old ways of living 52 41 7
6.3 A society with different religions and cultures can get progress 75 15 10
6.4 Poverty is a natural issue 34 61 5
6.5 Poverty is a social issue 64 29 7
6.6 Poverty is a political issue 60 28 12
6.7 Unjust distribution of resources if the main cause of poverty 82 10 8
6.8 Should we learn from Europe and America 57 31 12
6.9 Development of Metropolitan cities is real development 31 65 4
6.10 Development of rural areas should be high priority 84 11 7
6.11 Migration from villages to cities is a good practice 45 44 9
6.12 All provinces of Pakistan got equal development 69 22 9
6.13 Only Mega projects like CEPIC can help us 30 53 17


TableI-7: Youth’s Perceptions of Governance System
S# Countries %
7.1 USA 20
7.2 France 3
7.3 Saudi Arabia 27
7.4 Paksitan 19
7.5 England 18
7.6 Others 13


Table I-7.1: Youth’s opinions regarding best model of governance
S# Governance Systems   %
7.1.1 Monarchy 13
7.1.2 Democracy 50
7.1.3 Shari’a 23
7.1.4 Dictatorship 4
7.1.5 Social Democracy 6
7.1.6 Others 4


Table I-8: Persistence of Conflicts
S# Statement Yes No
8.1    Conflicts exist around us 54 46


Table I-8.1: Youth’s approaches towards addressing different conflicts
Dialogue% Silence% Violence%
8.1.1 Approach to resolve issues of gender 80 17 3
8.1.2 Concerns of religious minorities to be dealt 89 9 2
8.1.3 Kashmir Issue should be dealt through 90 3 7
8.1.4 Tribal issues need to be resolved through 88 10 2
8.1.5 Ethnic conflicts can be resolved through 83 15 2


TableI-9: District-wise youth responses to counter malpractices
S# Ignore Retailation Inform Police Others
9.1 Quetta 20 17 53 10
9.2 Loralai 1 17 77 5
9.3 Sibi 28 13 52 7


Table I-10: Top three leaders highly marked
S# Marked
10.1 Imran Khan 77
10.2 Benazir Bhutto 66
10.3 Manzoor Pashtren 48


Table I-11: Marked responses for rights and responsibilities
S# Marked Unmarked
Male Female Male Female
11.1 I have several rights as Citizen 134 143 46 37
11.2 I have definite  Responsibilities 127 114 54 46


Table II-1: Means of expression practiced  and observed by youth
S#  Means Frequency
1 Poetry 185
2 Painting 91
3 Dance 64
4 Music 126
5 Stories 96
6 Drama 126


Table II-2 : Over all % of Youth’s Perceptions of Expression
# Statements %





D/ Know

2.1 Expression is equally important for both male and female 86 9 5
2.2 If does not make difference either to express or not 24 69 7
2.3 Arts and Literature play vital role in understanding life 72 13 15
2.4 Only notables like family elder, religious person should express 25 71 4
2.5 A good women is a silent women 36 58 6
2.6 Society get unstable with difference of opinion 51 32 17


Table II.3:  Youth’s perceptions of artist’s social position and entitlement to expression
# Statements %Yes %No %D. Know
3.1 Artists, Poets, Musicians  represent nations 63 18 19
3.1 Artists do not contribute to society 25 56 19
3.3 Those who make arts and music instruments are not equal 15 77 8
3.4 A good young person is a silent one 31 59 9
3.5 Girls and boys should be provided equal  spaces of expression 64 20 16
3.6 Only boys should express 17 76 7
3.7 Music create chaos in society 24 61 15


Table II-4: Respondents Reading Habits
Districts Marked Unmarked
Quetta 46 74
Loralai 45 75
Sibi 44 76
Total 135 225


Table II-5: Responses marked by persons who remember reading a book and author
Districts Marked Unmarked
Male Female Male Female
Quetta 25 21 35 39
Loralai 15 30 45 30
Sibi 14 30 46 30
Total 54 81 126 99



Table II-6: Respondents feel easy to express in Languages
# Languages Frequency
6.1 Balochi 35
6.2 Pashto 52
6.3 Brahui 19
6.4 Persian 19
6.5 Urdu 244
6.6 English 79
6.7 Panjabi 10
6.8 Sindhi 21
6.9 Saraiki 25


S# Table II-7: Ideal Languages for Expression
7.1 Only Urdu 106
7.2 Only Mother tongue 96
7.3 Only English 10
7.4 Urdu and English 63
7.5 Urdu and Mother Tongue 78


[1]  Creole, is a stable natural language that develops from the mixing and simplifying of different languages at a fairly sudden point in time.

[2]  https://www.dawn.com/news/1421176  Last accessed, Dec 15th ,2018