THOSE who claim to be working for change and who insist on being the alternative must aim high. And this is the impression the PTI’s election manifesto creates as the party renews the search for a welfare state according to its interpretation of the ideals set by the Quaid and Allama Iqbal. The party promises to work towards a uniform system of education, says it will transfer power to the grassroots within three months of being elected and overcome the crippling electricity shortage within three years. The PTI vows to create jobs, to establish Pakistan’s relations with the outside world on the basis of mutual respect and to ensure parliamentary oversight of the defence budget. It says it will pursue an indigenously evolved policy on the war on militancy and reiterates the stance of its chief on dialogue as the preferred means to engage with the militants. Among the more contentious issues, the manifesto pledges to impose a 15pc agriculture tax on landholdings exceeding 50 acres.

Launching the manifesto on Tuesday, Imran Khan must have felt the need to assure the people about his party’s and, more importantly, his own ability to deliver on these high promises. He sought to invoke examples of what he has achieved — the cancer hospital — comparing these with the failure of the PTI’s main opponents to build institutions. This may be an effective tactic given the evidence which indicates that a large number of Pakistanis are looking to establish new norms to save the system from dying. Still, while the manifesto gives a compact guideline for PTI workers to take to the voters, it will provide fodder to sceptics who have seen similar documents in the past leading to nothing significant. The agenda essentially requires not simply coming to power but doing so with a huge popular mandate. Take the promise of a uniform education system: for this to happen Imran Khan will have to live up to his prediction of sweeping the polls clean and proper.

More From This Section

More than money needed

IF it weren’t for the history and the present context, it would have been a grand announcement. Balochistan, Prime...

Measuring poverty

POLITICALLY, poverty has been a sensitive issue in Pakistan, as it has been in many other developing countries. It ...

Lure of the blue passport

PASSPORT and visa issues continue to occupy our leaders. The latest evidence of this came on Friday when members of...

Yet another chance

WITH the government determined to have a dialogue with the TTP come what may, the rest of the stakeholders have...

Comments are closed.

Comments (12)

Sagudda Baba
April 11, 2013 3:58 am
I wish Imran Khan every success. It's those who aim high and work steadfastly for their goals who succeed.
April 11, 2013 4:02 am
Very right. Though I support PTI, I think Imran Khan is making promises that would not get him any more votes today but may not be lived up to. Whether or not he will consider making a coalition government did not need being declared yet. Similarly, I don't know how many votes will he get for 'land reforms' and 'agricultural tax'. But it may cause some PTI voters to reconsider their choices
April 11, 2013 8:53 am
You have jumped on PTI's manifesto. How about an analysis of other major parties' manifesto also?
April 11, 2013 11:14 am
you do have to admit, Uniform education and 15% agri tax are things which Pakistan desperately needs but no one else talks about!
Ali Shah
April 11, 2013 11:37 am
These are some very desirable goals.....
Ali Shah
April 11, 2013 11:45 am
I absolutely loved PTI's manifesto.
Agha Ata (USA)
April 11, 2013 1:31 pm
Imran Khan you built one cancer hospital but you forgot the cancer of sectarianism. Jinnah dreamed of a secular country with equal rights for everybody. Jinnah wanted it that way and whats more? he would never have condoned blasphemy laws. You didn't promise anything to get rid of them, knowing well that no politician was strong enough to do so. Are you weak, too, in that respect like other politicians?
April 11, 2013 5:54 pm
I think PTI has put its best foot forward. Let's wish them the best. Cynicism has no end.
April 11, 2013 6:37 pm
I expected a much more fair analysis from Dawn. Not one mention of the detailed policy papers that form the basis of this Manifesto. Read the policy papers and you will find out how this Manifesto will be implemented. These are not just pie in the sky dreams. These are very viable and achievable goals. All the Best to PTI.
M. Asghar
April 11, 2013 6:57 pm
Before thinking of applying their good programme, the PTI have to wok hard on the ground to win the elections, particularly, in the country side,where the majority of the electorate live surrounded by a ferocious feudal environment. Send the youth there for a door to door canvassing for their case.
April 12, 2013 3:34 am
Let's not make a prophet out of Jinnah. Unlike a religion as Islam, Jinnah's words were not meant for the ummah, humans or for all times to come. He was the perfect man for his time and hats off to his intellect, discipline and courage. However, if we can improve upon his guidelines, than so we must. Surely, work like him, but improve upon him. You have an afterlife to worry about.
Junaid Hasmat
April 12, 2013 7:32 am
First desire then deserve. Ik desired and now he deserves too. My support for IK :)
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Front Page