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Terrorism, Economy and More: Inside Election Manifestos of Pakistan's Top 3 Political Parties

The major political parties of Pakistan admitted that terrorism and radicalisation have isolated Pakistan globally, and pledged in their election manifesto to combat the scourges if they are voted to power in the July 25 general election.

Mayank Mohanti | News18.com

Updated:July 25, 2018, 11:59 PM IST
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Terrorism, Economy and More: Inside Election Manifestos of Pakistan's Top 3 Political Parties
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail
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New Delhi: The democracy in Pakistan is fairly secure — a 106 million-strong people are casting their ballot for a record third consecutive year.

The big-three political parties—the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)—largely tried to woo their electorates by positioning Pakistan as a transformational society and announcing multiple schemes to address the issues of food, health, education, environment and employment security.

With a greater focus on the social content in their election agenda, th00e major political parties in Pakistan embrace a market economy with a promise to support deregulation, privatisation and liberalisation at the basic level.

Imran Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician and chief of PTI, is attempting to win a majority in the 2018 Pakistan general election. The party has recognised the power of the ever deeper smartphone penetration and with the bountiful youth following it enjoys, it is mostly visible on social media with eradication of corruption as its theme.

Perceived to be on the right of both PPP and PML-N, the party, quite strangely, appears to be soft on religious militancy, archaic customs, the civil-military power balance and regional trade, but promises prompt delivery of justice and social services.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led PPP appears to be Left of the Centre on the basis of its past positioning and the current manifesto. The party pledges on an economy makeover that works for all people; to strengthen democracy by ensuring harmony between the public and state and to reclaim Pakistan’s place in the world by ridding all his countrymen from the fear of hunger, thirst and helplessness.

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif's manifesto, "Vote ko izzat do-khidmat ko vote do", which translates as "honor the vote, vote for performance" largely highlighted the party’s works in the last five years that it was in power. It further promises education, health and employment for the youth and an interest-free loan program to eliminate poverty by 2030.



Fight Against Terrorism and Radicalisation

The major political parties of Pakistan admitted that terrorism and radicalisation have isolated Pakistan globally, and pledged in their election manifesto to combat the scourges if they are voted to power in the July 25 general election.

Khan-led PTI said that it recognises the scourge of terrorism and its devastating effect on Pakistan and “stands committed to restoring the spirit of tolerance and acceptance amongst all the citizens of Pakistan.”

The PPP declared that despite all its sacrifices in the struggle against terrorism, Pakistan remains isolated in the global community, and is unable to project a positive image. “We will implement a comprehensive security strategy to prevent attacks on major urban centres in tandem with targeted military operations against all militant and terrorist outfits that challenge the writ of the state,” the party manifesto read.

The PML-N government led by Sharif hopes to adopt a multi-dimensional and holistic approach towards security by developing “mechanisms to defeat extremism, eliminate terrorism, build an impervious defence and create a shared vision of peace and prosperity across all stakeholders.”

Kashmir Largely Ignored

Kashmir, which has often influenced the politics in our neighbour country, has found little mention in the major political parties’ election manifesto.

The only promise to their electorates is to find a solution “within the parameters of the United Nation Security Council resolutions”.

Khan’s PTI, which is considered to incline more towards the Army having strong views on Kashmir, makes only two reference in the 58-page booklet, ‘Road to Naya Pakistan’—a call for lasting peace in the region and to resolve the issue within the “parameters of UNSC resolutions”.

PML-N manifesto expresses solidarity with the “oppressed people of Kashmir, Palestine and Rohingyas”, while PPP makes normalising relations with India a priority.
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