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Election 18

Election 2018: Demystifying the manifestos of PTI, PPP, PML-N!

KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan has come up with his party’s most-anticipated *manifesto entitled Road to Naya Pakistan for the forthcoming general election 2018 on Monday (today), claiming to turn Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state based on Madina model after coming into power. 

It is yet to be seen how the westernized cricketer of yesteryears and former son-in-law of billionaire Jewish Goldsmiths, comes to power by means of electables and emulates the Madina Model to create a New Pakistan.

Cynics go haywire observing his modus operandi … for instance, when Judiciary disqualified one of his billionaire financers Jahangir Tareen, the  New Pakistan’s Quaid unabashedly (towing the mauroosee siyasat line) allowed his son Ali Tareen contest the elections. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah too followed the same formula and gave tickets to those seths who were able to pay for the election expenses. Jinnah died in a marooned ambulance while those so-called electable dirty dozen are still bleeding the country.

The most significant points of PTI’s manifesto are as follows:

  • To make the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sovereign as to counter corruption;
  • To authorize the people and transmit the power to the village level;
  • To initiate a non-political and inclusive judicial model to make sure that Pakistanis get justice forthwith;
  • To bring eminent changes to the administrative structure in Karachi;
  • To ensure affluent completion of Fata’s merger with KP while providing specific funds for it;
  • To promote politics of understanding in Balochistan; raise the movement of south Punjab province, and empower Gilgit Baltistan;
  • To uplift the economy by providing 10 million jobs and promoting small-to-mid-level industries;
  • To make Pakistan a business hub and turn the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a game-changer by elevating bilateral relations;
  • To preserve water through building dams, resulting in making the agricultural industry profitable for the farmers;
  • To launch educational reforms in schools, religious seminaries, and vocational centers;
  • To defend national security and resist the terrorists’ narrative, human resources, finances and weaponry as to handle the internal threats the country goes through;
  • To curtail the proliferation of arms and ammunition at the international level by inviting India for strategic discussions;
  • To tackle environmental havoc by planting 10 billion trees.

PPP manifesto?

On the other hand, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – that has the honor of having an ex-Chairman who was nick-named Mr. 10% when Benazir Bhutto was alive – unveiled a detailed manifesto yet almost similar to the last two editions, claiming to provide the Pakistanis with opportunities.

The noteworthy points of PPP’s manifesto are:

  • To control water and energy scarcity;
  • To cease rising poverty;
  • To make labor policy reform;
  • To emancipate women;
  • To enhance the rule of law;
  • To develop the sector of Information Technology.

PML-N manifesto?

Whereas, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif – whose father’s small foundry yielded so much money that the Sharif clan boasts to be one of the richest in the region – exposed his manifesto while asserting that people will decide which party accomplished its 2013 manifesto.

Claiming that his party fulfilled the promises of ousting security concerns and power outage, he presented the following manifesto:

  • To safeguard socio-economic aspects;
  • To provide health and education facilities;
  • To empower the people;
  • To curb unemployment by allotting 100,000 jobs;
  • To complete the Diamer-Bhasha Dam to eliminate water scarcity;
  • To introduce low-cost housing schemes for the poor;
  • To improve security conditions across the state.

After comparing all the three manifestos presented by the prominent political parties, it has been observed that PPP and PML-N are going to contest the elections on the old copy/paste manifestos. However, PTI – seemingly with the unique pronunciamento – is likely to give tough time to opponents.

The former government vowed to correct the system visà-vis energy while developing infrastructure and law and order back in 2013. In actuality, the masses, to this date, suffer electricity scarcity of up to 18 hours of power outage per day.

Similarly, the economic hub Karachi faces the severest water scarcity of the history. As a matter of fact, those vicinities with water have contaminated water. Hence the nation is bound to buy bottled water, which cannot be afforded to underprivileged people. Thus, much of what was pledged did not even dispatch because of a corrupt system.

Development has only been made in the province of Punjab, leaving behind the other provinces. Many say that instead of equally distributing the funds all over Punjab, the lion’s share had been invested only on certain parts of Lahore (that too for the sake of kickbacks). Unfortunately, the recent rains had shown threadbare some negative aspects of whatever was done for the betterment of people or for the commission. Not to mention that PMLN failed to provide jobs to people during its five-year tenure. Augmenting inflation had made the people’s lives more miserable. Whatever has been done for improving health, education, and environment seems vague.

Coming towards PPP, in the past, it claimed that needy people would be provided a hundred thousand houses. Regrettably, all went in vain. They talked much about women empowerment, however, innumerable ladies are being raped, murdered and abused in Sindh to this day because again and again narrow-minded feudal and their offsprings are voted to the corridors of power. The women employees rates have been estimated low than their counterparts with 86 percent males and 14 percent females only.

Cynics, while comparing the latest manifesto with the past one, go haywire wondering how PPP will fortify IT here when the nation is sans bread, clothes, and homes, the long-lost slogan of PPP?

Juxtaposing PTI’s manifesto, it has been observed that changes are being made in KPK. The system of police is being transformed. Also, the government had planted one billion trees as to curb the impacts of global warming and natural disasters as Pakistan secures the seventh slot on the list of the states most likely to be influenced by global warming with one of the highest deforestation rates in Asia.

It is pertinent to mention here that our governments have been cutting a number of trees in the name of so-called developments, resulting into shrinking the country’s forests to less than three percent of its land area with some 40 percent of the remaining forests are in KPK. Besides, PPP and PMLN have not even discoursed much apropos saving milieu in their latest manifestos as if they, being oblivious with the deadly impacts of global warming, do not know what is happening around the globe.

Back then, PTI’s manifesto talked much about youth as the party claimed to provide them with jobs and better opportunities to acquire education. PTI developed schools with having about 40,000 more teachers, rebuilding institutions exploded by the Taliban and providing others with toilets and electricity. Teacher absenteeism has been reported reduced. The overall health sector is improved with providing better facilities of comprehensive health-insurance cards to poor families.

The most important development ever to happen in the history of Pakistan is to bring corrupt politicians to account and Khan has always been talking about this since 2013. Due to his immense efforts, a judicial commission had been formed to look into the Panama scandal.

Yet again in his yesterday’s address, Khan maintained that influential personalities from PPP are likely to go through the same consequences as PML-N soon. And right after 24 hours, the apex court referring to fake accounts case has ordered to place Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur’s names on Exit Control List (ECL).

On the ending note, it is pertinent to point it out her that merely the faces are changing but the politics are the same with bogus claims and promises here in Pakistan. The condition of government schools and other sectors predominantly health and public transport is getting fragile with the passage of time.

Status quo prevails for decades and common people are still sans basic necessities i.e. roti, kapra or makaan, potable water, electricity, and employment; in point of fact, the top ruling elite yet again is trying hard to usurp fountainhead of power by offering old wine in new bottles.

Hence, considering the manifestos, pundits at the helm of affairs are of the view that it is useless to rely on the fake promises of those, who could not deliver during their past tenures! Ironically, in the absence of better options, people will either remain at home or vote those who belong to their caste, creed, and belief.

*Manifesto is considered as a published declaration by which parties illustrate their intentions, views, and vision pertaining to national and public concerns including their motives and objectives that they plan to fulfill following assuming charge.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.