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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Imran’s manifesto revolution gaining speed

News Analysis |

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has finally presented its much-awaited manifesto ahead of the general elections, fragments of which have been shared over the course of Imran’s campaign. Pakistan is all set to hold the general elections on July 25.  Two mainstream political parties Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have already presented their manifestos and offered their intended political programs to lead the country if voted into power.

Since all three major political parties have been in power—PPP in Sindh, PTI in KPK and PML-N in Punjab and in center– from 2013 to 2017, it is therefore important to look at the carefully worded documents presented by these parties.

PTI has a good track record but the question is whether it is voted into power or not. Most importantly, will the party be able to deliver what it has just outlined and presented before the nation?

The PPP has named its manifesto, ‘BB ka Waada Nibhaana Hai Pakistan Bachana Hai‘ (We have to fulfill Benazir’s promise by saving Pakistan) and has assured to focus on improving the lives of people across the country. The party has stressed on improving education, health and economy to benefit the masses. This is not much different from what the party had said before the general elections held in 2008 and 2013 respectively. The PPP has ruled in the Center for five years and has been ruling in Sindh for the last 10 years.

The performance of PPP is dismaying and unsatisfactory, according to media reports and the residents of interior Sindh. Health, education and employment-opportunities remained almost the same, unsatisfactory. There might have been some changes at policy level but the party has failed to deliver at grass root level.

Read more: Imran’s manifesto politics must be replicated by other parties

The former ruling party, PML-N, has also failed to uplift the standard of life, meritocracy, independence of institution and a balanced approach towards civil-military relations. The education sector, health, and economy remained backward during the PML-N government. The focus was on publicity oriented projects to present a better image of Sharif brothers. The real development—human development—was nowhere to be seen in Punjab.

More importantly, both parties have failed to shape a narrative of Pakistan at the regional and global level to counter Indian propaganda against Pakistan. Pakistan’s failure to establish a powerful and convincing narrative has damaged the countries International profile. Similarly, both parties have evidently failed to settle down the ongoing disputes between the center and politically marginalized groups. It led to the politics of identity in Pakistan which made the process of national integration tough and inconclusive.

Since all three major political parties have been in power—PPP in Sindh, PTI in KPK and PML-N in Punjab and in center– from 2013 to 2017, it is therefore important to look at the carefully worded documents presented by these parties.

Whereas, PTI, first announced its 11 point agenda in the historic Minar-e-Pakistan rally, identifying the policy focus Imran’s government will carry forward is elected into parliament. Some would argue that it was Imran’s ‘11 point agenda’, that urged other party leaders to reveal their policy objectives during campaigns rather than same old emotional slurs, and insults to opposing party members.

PTI has compiled an official manifesto on July 8th. The manifesto is an interesting document which offers broad policy principles of the party and reflects the intentions of those who wrote it.

Read more: ‘Party ideology’ will matter on elections day, says Imran Khan

Unlike PML-N and PPP, the PTI has offered an interesting political framework to advance the party agenda on. The PTI would, said its chairman, strive to ensure ‘the establishment of Islamic welfare state’. An Islamic welfare state refers to a state based upon the ideals of Islam which strive to ensure a comprehensive socio-economic and socio-political framework to order the lives of people.

Islamic welfare state technically refers to the creation of a state which would ensure a comprehensive political framework where every individual would be provided with opportunities to express their full potential. Moreover, the PTI laid focus on strengthening institutions by making them autonomous and independent.

The party has said that police will be depoliticized like they did in KPK so that order and peace may be restored across the country. The documents also offer a space for the politically marginalized groups in Pakistan. “We will bring prominent changes to the administrative structure in Karachi; ensure successful completion of Fata’s merger with KP and will allocate specific funds for it; promote politics of understanding in Baluchistan; raise the movement of south Punjab province, and empower Gilgit Baltistan,” said Imran Khan.

More importantly, both parties have failed to shape a narrative of Pakistan at regional and global level to counter Indian propaganda against Pakistan. Pakistan’s failure to establish a powerful and convincing narrative has damaged the countries International profile.

PTI has also assured to reform economy to offer more employment opportunities to youth. “We will make Pakistan business-friendly and turn the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a game-changer by enhancing bilateral relations,” the PTI chief has said.

The most important point the PTI Chief has made is about his intention to safeguard Pakistan’s national interests and to present a better image of the country. Imran Khan has said that he would like to invite India to discuss issues related to terrorism, but, at the same time, Khan made it clear that he will focus on developing a strong narrative of Pakistan to cope with cyber warfare.

Read more: Maryam Nawaz has read ‘Volume X’ – Why hasn’t Imran Khan?

Apart from focusing on water preservation and reforming the education system, the PTI chief has also offered to upgrade and protect the environment by presenting his environmental policy. PTI head said that they would “plant 10 billion trees to tackle environmental changes.” The KPK government has recently planted around one billion trees in the province to safeguard the environment.

PTI has a good track record but the question is whether it is voted into power or not. Most importantly, will the party be able to deliver what it has just outlined and presented before the nation?