ISLAMABAD: The country’s two largest parties — Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) — on Monday mocked the 11-point programme unfol­ded by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to turn the country into a ‘Naya Pakistan’, terming the agenda mere rhetoric.

Calling the PTI’s power show in Lahore a “flop”, both parties were of the view that there was nothing new in the speech delivered by Mr Khan.

Talking to Dawn, PPP’s Punjab general secretary Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed criticised Mr Khan for not including labourers and minorities in his party’s programme and termed it an “agenda of some NGOs (non-governmental organisations)”.

“What kind of national agenda is this in which there is no mention of foreign, interior and defence policies?” asked Chaudhry Manzoor, adding that perhaps the PTI chief knew before time that he would not be allowed to enter the ‘others’ domain.

The PPP leader said the PTI had totally ignored the workers and labourers despite the fact that it had arranged the public meeting just a day before May Day.

“Like Ataullah Khan has been singing the same song for 35 years, Imran Khan has also been delivering the same speech for the last 22 years,” he added.

He alleged that the PTI had brought people to the public meeting in Lahore by using “official resources” of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. He claimed that the biggest public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan had been arranged by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and no one could break that record.

Expressing similar sentiments while speaking to Dawn, PML-N’s information secretary and federal minister for climate change Mushahidullah Khan said the PTI chairman should have implemented these 11 points in Khyber Pakhtun­khwa first if he wanted the people to believe him.

“It was a good variety show in which the people received good entertainment and nothing more,” the PML-N leader said, questioning as to why Mr Khan delivered speeches around midnight.

He claimed that the PTI had failed to break its own record as it could not manage to gather the people more than those who had gathered in October 2011 at the same place.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2018