Active Citizenship and Civic Engagement of University Students in Developing Democracy of Pakistan
Active Citizenship is an important and basic component of any public strategy, putting the emphasis on political and civic values in any democratic society. The major dimensions of active citizenship are defined through the Active Citizen Composite Index (ACCI). This index covers indicators of political, civic and community dimensions of any society. Since the younger generation in any society is considered to be thefuture of humanity so, the politico civic training of younger generation to play an active citizenship role in the society cannot be undervalued. Considering the importance of the issue this research tried to explore the extent of active citizenship in the younger generation of Pakistan. For this purpose, a survey was conducted of200 students studying at three universities in Karachi, the largest cosmopolitan city of Pakistan and 5th largest worldwide. The survey results showed that, in general, the role of iGeneration (age 18 to 25 years) of Pakistan as active citizen is not very encouraging. On the political dimension, this generation is not actively involved with political parties and is mostly limited to casting their vote. On the civic dimension, most of the students were not involved with the activities of civil society, except for little tendency for peaceful demonstrations and protests. On the community dimension a little inclination was found towards cultural activities but any active role or serious effort for community development was not evident. Considering the survey results, there is a strong feeling that this generation is not trained or tuned to play active citizenship role and it becomes the responsibility of the educational and social institutions to encourage and enlighten younger generation about the importance of the active citizenship role.