Pakistan Tehrek-i-Insaf central leader Shireen Mazari while unveiling elections manifesto of the party prior to 2013 general elections promised that her party would establish 150,000 seat call centers that would create 250,000 new jobs.
Pakistan Tehrek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the newly ‘populist’ party at the country’s political threshold before 2013 general elections in Pakistan. The party’s show of power was witnessed in Lahore, back in 2011, as the biggest event in the party’ history.
Before general elections, with hundreds of other promises, PTI also promised the nation that they the party would establish 150,000-seat call centers, which would create total of 250,000 new jobs if they were voted into power.
Party’s leader Mazari, while unveiling the party’s manifesto in Islamabad on April, 8 2013, said that the call centers would take service calls and will help facilitate the e-governance.
The call centre idea, said KP’s minister for Information Technology Shahram Khan Tarakai, was to create job opportunities for the youth of the province and the country and in this regard various steps have been taken by the government.
While speaking to the Truth Tracker, Tarakai said that PTI government has trained over 21000 youth and freelance students to become more productive, capable of earning money while even working from homes or with various companies.
Besides this, he said more than 40,000 youth have been trained in a recently held Digital Youth Summit in Peshawar that would help them coordinate with the national and international companies to find jobs or freelance prospects. “These are steps towards employment opportunities in the province for the youth, announced Taraki.”
“More than 1200 women have also been trained for various skills to empower and enable themselves from the comfort of their own homes,” he claimed.
Moreover, he said a concept called ‘Durshal’ (door entrance) space have been created for the youth of the province where they can float their creative ideas and work on them in coordination with their other colleagues and the support of government. The ‘Durshal’ concept encourages the youth to rigorously brainstorms diversely innovative ideas for resolving the civic and governance issues.
When asked if KP’s e-governance system introduced in different departments are like the party’s previous promise of establishing call centers, he refuted and said that this is totally different idea where complaint cells, much like chief minister complaint cell, have been established. The local citizen can lodge complaints in case any malpractice is seen happening in the departments.
However, what the minister shed light on, ‘steps taken’ for creating new jobs, hasn’t been in line with the promise the party had made—that is establishment of 150,000 seat call centers.
Shafiq Gigyani, Youth Activist who also provides trainings to the youth on entrepreneurship told Truth Tracker that the government’s preoccupation with creating freelancers rather than encouraging true entrepreneurship in the province was an unsound strategy.
He said freelancers mostly start working with the companies but quit after six to seven months owing to several issues but entrepreneurship is far sustainable than freelancing.
About call centers, Gigyani said that no such call centers have been established in KP. “I personally am not in the favor of call centers as these too are not that much sustainable for the youth employment.”
Furthermore, he said that the government needs to train the youth for entrepreneurship where they would establish their own small businesses and, in thr process, also provide jobs to others.
“The youth needs to be honed with technical skills that would help them in finding far better and stable occupations,” Gigyani said, adding, freelancers’ output are immediate but less sustainable than entrepreneurship and a skillful youth.
Muhammad Rafiq, who completed his Master degree in social work two years ago, is still unemployed and on a continuous search for a job. Speaking to the Truth Tracker, Rafiq said that the government needs to create more jobs in the province. “I am searching here and there to find a job for the last two years but in vain.”
About call centers, Rafiq said it would be good if young people could find jobs through call centers but the government is yet to fulfill its promise of establishing one. “I think the government should make those promises which they have ability to keep, rather than hollow ones.”
Keeping in view the versions of officials, and independent observers, Truth Tracker reached the conclusion that PTI hasn’t fulfilled the promise of establishing 150,000 seat call centers. However they did, take steps for creating other opportunities for new jobs.