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PPP unveiled party manifesto

29 June, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Thursday unveiled party’s manifesto ahead of the general elections scheduled for July 25.

Titled ‘BB ka wada nibhana hai, Pakistan bachana hai’ (We have to fulfill BB’s promise and save Pakistan), the manifesto promises to curtail hunger, rebuild the country’s economy and foster harmony between different institutions of the state.

“This election manifest to marks the beginning of my practical political life and I will like to present the solution to some grave issues facing the country at the moment,” Bilawal said while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday along with his father Asif Ali Zardari.”Everywhere in today’s Pakistan is a pileup of issues … we will present solutions to these problems,” he said.

The policy statement by Bilawal is guided by an extension of PPP’s original slogan: “Roti, kapra aur makaan; ilm, sehat, sab ko kaam” (Bread, clothing and shelter; education, health and jobs for everyone)

“Current economic situation in country is unstable and exclusionary … the parliament has been reduced to the status of a bystander and state institutions appear to be at loggerheads. There is a need to stop the drift that has resulted in the country being isolated in the world,” Bilawal said in his speech, adding, “We must get the government on a track that is modeled on serving the people.”

This is the 10th manifesto by the PPP during the last five decades. PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had unveiled the party’s first manifesto for General Election1970.Former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto had unveiled six party manifestos in her lifetime.

The PPP chairman said that under a pro-active foreign policy, his party would highlight the human rights abuses being committed by Indian forces in the Held Kashmir.”Foreign policy should be rooted in the economic diplomacy,” Bilawal said. “Unfortunately, the country had no foreign minister for as many as four years,” he lamented.

Bilawal said that the manifesto includes strengthening the basis of democracy in the country.”We will ensure harmony in the relationship between masses and state. We will withdraw all actions taken by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Gilgit Baltistan,” he said. “The process of reforms in democracy never stops. It’s a continuous process,” he added.

Bilawal said his party will continue struggling to establish a new province in southern Punjab. “We will include FATA in the national mainstream as soon as possible,” he pledged.

“PPP has focused on resolving issues relating to education and health and other basic necessities. We will focus on resolving two major issues perturbing the youth: unemployment and opportunities. Measures will have to be taken to give a boost to industrial progress and development. We will also evolve a zero-tax policy for the textile sector,” Bilawal said. “We will introduce measures to increase synergy between national institutions. Rulers need to ensure that there’s no exploitation of the weak and the marginalised. We will not compromise on national integrity,” he said, adding that PPP will make the rulers answerable to the masses.

Bilawal said that if the water issue is not timely addressed, it will turn into a very acute problem for the country. “We built small dams in Jamshoro to address the water issue in the district.” He said that if given power, the PPP would expand health facilities to every corner of the country. “We will introduce a family health programme.”

“PPP’s government introduced Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in order to alleviate poverty. BISP received international accolades and that’s why it still continues despite change of governments. Along the lines of BISP, the PPP will introduce the Benazir Kissan Card,” Bilawal said. “It is criminal how our agricultural sector is being absolutely ignored. Small farmers, who make up for about 95% of our agricultural sector, are being exploited. Benazir Kissan Card will ensure the rights of small farmers by introducing an insurance policy for their crops; subsidising electricity, fertilisers and pesticides; increasing the number of crops that are given a support price by the government; and giving farmers rights equivalent to that of the industrial workers,” he announced. “We will give rights to the woman workforce that makes a large part of our agricultural sector workforce in the rural areas. No other party has empowered women more than the PPP. We will continue to do so as we believe in equal rights for all,” he added.

The PPP chairman termed the PML-N’s foreign policy a disaster for the country. “From Salala to OBL to Mumbai attack, the PPP faced immense foreign policy challenges during its tenure and yet we managed to resolve them because we believe in a strong parliament. We discussed and decided all foreign policy issues in parliament, and that is how civilised democracies function,” he said. “We will bring foreign policy back to parliament,” he added.

Raising the slogan of ‘Band Karo Yeh Ihtehsaal’ (stop this exploitation), the PPP chairman said they will give voice to the voiceless. “PPP’s main concern is human rights. We are going to criminalise enforced disappearances. We will also criminalise torture and ensure that Pakistan as a state honours the international treaties and conventions,” he added.

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