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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 715, 29 January 2024

PTI’s manifesto bats for a just and equitable Pakista



Inclusivity in the judiciary was another focal point for PTI

Dhriti Mukherjee  

In Focus
On 28 January, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) released its manifesto, titled ‘Shandaar Pakistan, Shandaar Mustaqbil aur Kharaab Maazi sey Chutkara [Glorious Pakistan, Glorious Future and Liberation from the Unpleasant Past].’The party promised legislative, social, and constitutional changes, through which it would address historical “blunders.” PTI Chairman, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, asserted: “Our manifesto is one nation, one law, and equality for all.” On the same day, PTI candidates and supporters staged protests in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.  The following are the core tenets of PTI’s manifesto:
1. Constitutional reforms and governance
One of the central pillars of PTI’s manifesto was a commitment to constitutional reforms aimed at shifting towards a more inclusive and representative parliamentary democracy. Gohar Ali Khan said that this would include measures such as the direct election of the prime minister and 50 per cent of the senators, and a reduction in the term of assemblies to four years and the term of the Senate to five years.
2. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
PTI’s manifesto introduced the concept of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as a mechanism “to address the injustices faced by the common man.” The aim is “to build a just and equitable future” and for that the TRC’s mandate is proposed to be beyond reconciliation. The TRC would have significant powers to administer redress for historical injustices and bring about a “change.” To do away with the “outdated” legislations, new laws would be introduced in accordance with ‘Riyasat-e-Madina’ (State of Madina).” Under this, everyone would be treated equally under one law.
3. Judicial inclusivity
Inclusivity in the judiciary was another focal point for PTI. The manifesto committed to diversifying the judiciary by appointing judges based on merit, diversity, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. The party also aims to increase the number of female judges to achieve gender balance in the judiciary.  PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan stressed the importance of a judiciary that reflects the diversity of the population. Further, PTI vowed to update laws so that they better address contemporary judicial issues. There was also an emphasis on ensuring accessible justice.
4.“Blueprint” for economic transformation
The manifesto placed focus on improving Pakistan’s economic health through short and long-term reforms. A few key propositions include ‘Parha Likha Pakistan, Hunarmand Pakistan’ [Educated Pakistan, Skilled Pakistan] in which importance would be given to the education of the youth, abolishment of the class system, and an increase in employment opportunities. Regarding bank reforms, Gohar Ali Khan stated that the State Bank of Pakistan would be made “independent” while tax brackets would be put in place to “give relief to the public and corporate sector.” Given that 70 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture, this sector along with renewable energy would be given additional importance. The manifesto also highlighted a balanced approach by making the “poorest of the poor as state responsibility” and simultaneously making sure not to “strangulate entrepreneurship.”
5. Foreign policy and regional engagement
PTI’s manifesto emphasized “peaceful coexistence” with all countries through ties built on the principle of equality, especially with neighbouring and regional nations. Gohar Ali Khan asserted that they would not let anyone “interfere with Pakistan’s internal affairs,” and that the central foreign policy principle would be “Pakistan First.”The promotion of “special relations” with Muslim countries and its “all-weather ally China” was also underscored. The manifesto affirmed that issues of Islamophobia would be taken to the global stage. Additionally, on the lines of “inclusive diplomacy and cooperation on shared challenges,” Pakistan under PTI would advocate for justice and equitable rights to the people of “oppressed nations” along with other Muslim countries.
 
References
Ikram Junaidi & Imtiaz Ali, “PTI unveils manifesto as police disperse several rallies,” Dawn, 29 January 2024
Faraz Khan & Javed Aziz Khan, “PTI unveils election manifesto,” The News International, 29 January 2024
PM to be elected ‘directly’ by people,” The Express Tribune, 28 January 2024
Crackdown on PTI rallies amid election trail,” The Express Tribune, 28 January 2024
Imran Adnan, “PTI announced public rallies in a lead-up to Feb 8 polls,” The Express Tribune, 28 January 2024

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