ISLAMABAD, April 9: With promises to put the country on a fast-track development in 100 days and curb corruption in 90 days, Pakistan Teheek-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan unveiled his party’s election manifesto for the general elections here on Tuesday.
Spelling out ambitious targets, Imran Khan said if his party was voted to power, it would end electricity loadshedding in two to three years, hold local government elections within three months and impose a range of taxes, including on agriculture.
In a charged environment where emotional party workers were clapping at regular intervals, Imran Khan once again claimed that PTI would sweep the elections and vowed to redeem all promises made during the campaign.
Attired in white shalwar-kameez, Imran Khan was accompanied by his party leaders Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Shafquat Tareen, Dr Shireen Mazari and others.
He said the PTI was the only political party in the country which possessed potential of expertise and that people had joined it for a cause and not for making money.
He criticised both the PPP and PML-N, saying despite having been given repeated chances they delivered nothing. Neither of them could talk of a single institution which could be quoted as an embodiment of their good governance, he said while talking about his Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre.
He said the PTI had fulfilled all of its promises, including holding of intra-party elections and bringing honest people in politics. He said 35 per cent of party tickets would be awarded to the youth.
The PTI chief said his party did not believe in political bribery and promised that if voted to power the PTI would make a short cabinet of only 17 people. He criticised previous governments and said in past ministries were distributed among allied parties in return of their political support.Highlighting main points of PTI’s election manifesto, Firdous Shamim Naqvi and Dr Shireen Mazari said the document was a consolidated form of the detailed policy papers which the party had released in the past.
National Interest: The manifesto has identified core national interests —territorial integrity and sovereignty, national cohesion, socio-economic development and resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
On external policies, the party believes in progressive détente with India, constructive relationship based on mutual respect with the US, further expanding strategic partnership with China, positive engagement with the Muslim world and greater role for the United Nations.
Internal Security: As repeatedly highlighted by Imran Khan, the PTI in its manifesto underlined its policy of disengage, isolate and eliminate terrorism.
According to the manifesto, the country at the moment is facing three strands of terrorism that have origins in Pakistan, but also have external linkages. These are sub-nationalists; religious extremists of two types — sectarian and war of terror related militancy; mafia terrorism, particularly in Karachi where political parties with armed groups as well as land mafias have spread terror.
Imran Khan said the PTI would not allow any political party to keep armed groups and provide complete security to the people by making national counter-terrorism authority effective.
The PTI would extricate the country from the US-led war on terror, which the party believed was main cause of terrorism in the country.
Defence: Defence and security policy would be made multi-dimensional to deal with the emerging nature of threats at multiple levels, especially the entangled internal-external dimension of the threat of terrorism. Besides rationalisation of defence spending and defence budget would be debated in the parliament.
Credibility of the strategic nuclear deterrence would be sustained.
National Emergency Declaration: To deal with the country’s pressing issues, the PTI would announce five-point emergency that would cover the field of energy, anti-corruption mechanism, public spending, revenue collection and human development.
In a nutshell, the PTI promised free primary healthcare, uniformed education system for all, equal opportunities, social justice, safety net for unemployed and a complete overhaul in all government departments.
According to political observers, the PTI’s manifesto looks good, but so do that of the PML-N, PPP and other parties. However, one of them said, giving a timeline to resolve burning issues showed the party’s confidence.
The PTI has released a detailed policy papers on industrial reforms, trade reforms, agrarian reforms, water security, housing sector, right to information, youth, overseas Pakistanis, transport, environment, gender, minorities, labour, people with disabilities and arts and culture.
A diplomat of a neighbouring country who was present on the occasion said Imran Khan was being projected as the future leader of Pakistan and he had come here to see what his party had planned for the future.