Jahangir Tareen’s party goes into poll mode with conciliatory tone

Published October 29, 2023
Jahangir Khan Tareen waves at a Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party rally in Jahanian tehsil of Khanewal district on Saturday. — Photo courtesy: Firdous Ashiq Awan/X
Jahangir Khan Tareen waves at a Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party rally in Jahanian tehsil of Khanewal district on Saturday. — Photo courtesy: Firdous Ashiq Awan/X

• IPP patron doesn’t see opposition parties as enemies
• Aleem Khan unveils ambitious manifesto envisaging free electricity, cheap petrol

LAHORE: The Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) announced an ambitious manifesto focusing on economic and social reforms and struck a reconciliatory tone as it held its maiden public rally on Saturday.

Addressing the rally in the Jahanian tehsil of Khanewal district, Jahangir Khan Tareen, once key PTI leader and now the IPP’s patron-in-chief, pointed out that he and some other party leaders were sidelined when PTI chief Imran Khan became the prime minister.

He said these leaders worked tirelessly to follow a dream of making ‘Naya Pakistan’ but could not do so, as the PTI gradually replaced its original team after assuming power and individuals who were unaware of the party’s vision took the helm.

The PTI had come together with a comprehensive plan to bring about economic improvement, promote industries to generate jobs and transform every sector of Pakistan, he said but regretted that the party had fallen into the hands of individuals who lacked a genuine concern for the country.

Mr Tareen said IPP members would now complete this dream of transforming Pakistan “into a beacon of progress on the world stage”.

He also emphasised that the IPP “believes in love, and we do not view opposition parties as enemies. They are fellow Pakistanis.”

The party’s Saturday rally was the first of seven it plans to hold in different cities of the province.

Party supporters reached the gathering’s venue — a cricket stadium — amid strict security measures, including 700 law enforcement officials and walkthrough gates.

The participants arrived from Lodhran, Bahawalpur, Mailsi, Khanewal, Shujabad, Qadirpur Ran and Makhdoom Rasheed.

Free electricity, cheap petrol

When he spoke, IPP President Aleem Khan detailed key manifesto promises, including a minimum wage of Rs50,000 for unskilled workers, free electricity for households consuming up to 300 units per month and for farmers cultivating up to 12 acres, interest-free business loans for young entrepreneurs, and ownership rights to people living in katchi abadies.

He emphasised the party’s commitment to establishing affordable housing, water filtration plants, and petrol for motorcyclists at half price.

“We want to develop Islamabad like hospitals in the backward areas of south Punjab. Our manifesto revolves around women’s emancipation,’’ Mr Khan said.

He also took a jab at the past administrations of the three largest political parties, suggesting they failed to bring any major change.

“The PML-N got seven governments in Punjab, PPP six in Sindh and PTI two in KP, but they all failed to improve the lives of the masses,” he said.

He also criticised Imran Khan for “not taking advantage of the capabilities” of some leaders and questioned the credentials of PTI leaders “for whom you people sacrificed Jahangir Tareen and me”.

“Where are Usman Buzdar and Mahmood Khan today?” he said, referring to chief ministers of Punjab and KP under PTI’s rule.

“Buzdar was the frontman of the PTI chief, who, after receiving the money, used it to transfer ahead,” he claimed.

“Jahangir Khan Tareen had decided to engage in politics for the sake of the people. But, whatever happened in the PTI was contrary to the pledges made when we joined the party,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2023

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