ISLAMABAD — The Australian Government is supporting a program to assist disaffected and vulnerable Pakistani youth to reintegrate into their communities following their release from prison, Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson announced here.

Ms Adamson said that under an agreement signed today between PAIMAN Alumni Trust and the Australian Government, PAIMAN would deliver a one-year program to provide counselling, mentoring and training to disaffected youth including current and former prisoners.

The program would assist former prisoners and youth currently in prison to rehabilitate and learn life skills which would help them once they returned to their communities. The program would also provide the mothers of youths who had been in prison with training in life skills and economic empowerment to enable them to help their children reintegrate into their families and local communities. Mothers’ groups would be formed to facilitate cooperation and ongoing links between the mothers of former prisoners and encourage them to create a more positive, inclusive community environment.

The program will focus on communities affected by decades of militancy and violence and will include community peace building activities that engage local women, civil society members, administrative officials and community members. The Australian Government values organisations such as PAIMAN Alumni Trust that are providing opportunities for greater gender equality, and creating empowerment for women, which helps preserve peace and stability. This reinforces our commitment to United Nations Security Council 1325 which ensure that women have a central place in international peace and security efforts.

Ms Adamson thanked Executive Director of PAIMAN Alumni Trust, Mossarat Qadeem, for undertaking the program. “This is vitally important work which will help create environments in communities conducive to rehabilitation and reintegration of youth in Pakistan through the empowerment of women, community outreach and increased communal dialogue,” Ms Adamson said.