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During the buildup to Pakistan’s general election in February 2024, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) released its manifesto, which outlined a strategic plan for a “Shandaar Pakistan, Shandaar Mustaqbil” (Great Pakistan, Great Future), on a cloudy Sunday. By employing an attention-grabbing slogan and disseminating a document entitled “Freedom from a Troubled Past,” the political party delineated its ambitious aspirations for the country, encompassing extensive reforms in diverse sectors.
The manifesto, which was delivered by Barrister Gohar Khan, strongly identified with the PTI’s fundamental tenets of independence, transparency and fairness. This platform exhibited a positive outlook and a vision for the future, in striking contrast to the “bitter mood” that characterized other political campaigns.
Constitutional and Social Reforms
The PTI’s manifesto placed particular emphasis on constitutional and social reforms. It pledged to:
- Reduce the National Assembly term: In response to public demand for increased accountability, the PTI put forth the proposition of reducing the tenure of the National Assembly from five to four years. This measure would facilitate more frequent elections and maintain legislators in closer proximity to the electorate.
- Reform the Code of Criminal Procedure: With the objective of enhancing public safety, the political party pledged to implement a revised legal framework that would defend personal liberties and guarantee expeditious adjudication.
- Establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission: In recognition of historical inequities, the manifesto delineated strategies for the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission tasked with addressing grievances and mendiing societal wounds; this would facilitate reconciliation and advance the cause of progress.
- Empowerment of Women and Minorities: The PTI made a commitment to foster an inclusive Pakistan by advocating for greater female involvement in politics and the labor force, as well as safeguarding the rights of religious minorities and marginalized communities.
An Economy for the People
Economic revival was another cornerstone of the manifesto. The PTI championed a people-centric approach, promising to:
- Revamp the tax system: With the objective of promoting equity and enhancing financial gains, the political party suggested an expanded duty net featuring reduced rates, which would encourage adherence and encourage prudence.
- Support agriculture: The fiat, which forms the foundation of Pakistan’s frugality, proposed targeted subsidies for farmers, improved access to technology and requests, and investments in pastoral infrastructure.
- Promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs): Understanding the potential of SMEs as job creators, the PTI pledged to streamline regulations, facilitate access to finance, and create a supportive environment for their growth.
- Harness renewable energy: Committed to a sustainable future, the manifesto emphasized utilizing Pakistan’s abundant solar and wind resources, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and creating green jobs.
Education and Healthcare
The PTI acknowledged the significance of human development by prioritizing healthcare and education in its manifesto:
- Universal health coverage: The political party put forth a proposal for a universal health card scheme, which would guarantee affordable and enhanced medical facilities nationwide, with the aim of promoting equitable access to high-quality healthcare.
- Education reform: The manifesto advocated for a unified national education system that prioritized critical thinking, science, and technology while ensuring equal opportunities for all, with the ultimate goal of establishing a society founded on knowledge.
- Youth engagement: PTI, acknowledging the potential of young individuals, made a commitment to enhance their involvement in political and social progress activities by furnishing them with the necessary resources and a forum to influence forthcoming developments.
The manifesto of the PTI extended beyond mere assurances by delineating tangible measures to be executed and held responsible. The gathering pledged to:
- Transparency and public engagement: In pursuit of open governance, the manifesto endorsed the implementation of consistent progress reports, public consultations, and independent audits as means to uphold transparency and foster citizen confidence.
- Meritocratic governance: PTI, in an effort to eradicate corruption and nepotism, pledged to appoint officials on the basis of their competence and integrity, thereby constructing an effective and robust administrative system.
- Effective monitoring and evaluation: Acknowledging the significance of progress measurement, the manifesto delineated strategies for establishing resilient monitoring and evaluation systems to guarantee that commitments materialize into concrete outcomes.
A New Dawn for Pakistan
Although pragmatic, the PTI’s manifesto for the general election of 2024 was audacious. It deeply resonated with the nation’s aspirations for advancement, equity, and a more promising tomorrow. The party’s ability to fulfill its commitments is yet to be determined; however, the manifesto outlined a distinct outlook on transformation, urging Pakistanis to embrace potentialities and collaborate in constructing a “Shandaar Pakistan, Shandaar Mustaqbil.”