Home Latest News PMLN Unveils Manifesto for 2024 Elections

PMLN Unveils Manifesto for 2024 Elections

Party leader Nawaz Sharif says he aims to solve the country’s problems if granted another chance in government

by Staff Report

Screengrab of PMLN’s manifesto launch ceremony

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Saturday finally unveiled its long-pending election manifesto, vowing to curb inflation, increase salaries, restore student unions, and empower women.

Launched with the slogan ‘Pakistan ko Nawaz do,’ the manifesto stresses that the PMLN would establish a Special Monitoring and Implementation Council to achieve its stated aims, with the body mandated to submit a quarterly performance report of the government to the prime minister.

Addressing media at its launch, PMLN leader Nawaz Sharif acknowledged that the biggest problem facing the country was the state of its economy. Criticizing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-government of 2018-2022, he maintained that it had “broken the poor’s back with inflation.” Lamenting that implementation was an altogether separate matter, he claimed some people didn’t even have a manifesto prior to the upcoming elections. Nevertheless, he stressed, he aimed to rid the country of all its prevailing problems.

Highlighting the country’s economic decline over the past 5 years—which included 16 months of the PDM government—Sharif said a tractor cost Rs. 900,000 during his 2013-17 tenure, while a car was worth Rs. 2 million. The same vehicle, he said, was now worth Rs. 10 million.

“The people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa should understand what kind of man they gave a chance to,” he said, referring to PTI founder Imran Khan, whose party ruled the province from 2013-23.

In a seeming rebuttal to claims from rivals that he would seek revenge if granted another chance in government, Sharif said his focus was on development, as he has always “done politics on principles.” He also reiterated claims that if his previous government were allowed to function without interference, the country’s state today would be significantly different.

The event was addressed by Senator Irfan Siddiqui, who served as chairman of the PMLN’s Manifesto Committee. He maintained the manifesto was carefully devised to ensure the PMLN could deliver on all its aims if it is elected into office. “Nawaz Sharif forbade showing false dreams in the manifesto,” he said, adding he was guided at every step of its formulation by the party leadership.

Regretting the delay in its launch, he said this was due to a desire to detail reforms. “At least 32 committees were formed to draft the manifesto, which also includes the party’s past performance,” he said.

Salient features

The 41-page manifesto unveiled by the PMLN caters to large segments of the population, covering a breadth of issues facing the country. Its aims include:

  • Providing interest-free loans to small farmers
  • Solarizing tubewells
  • Timely availability of fertilizers and pesticides at fair prices
  • A smog-free Pakistan
  • Curbs on crop burning
  • A ban on the use of animals as entertainment at political events
  • A raft of constitutional reforms, including restoring Articles 62 and 63 to their original forms and abolishment of the National Accountability Bureau
  • Devolution of relevant departments to local governments and empowering them to raise localized revenue
  • Reducing inflation to single digits; unemployment to less than 5%; achieving $2,000 per capita income; and attracting $40 billion in annual workers’ remittances
  • Increasing education spending to 4% of GDP, and funding for higher education to 0.5% of GDP
  • Expansion of targeted education subsidies and scholarships and provision of universal access to high-quality early childhood education
  • Establish medical and engineering colleges at the district level
  • Reduce electricity bills by 20-30% while increasing contribution of solar, Thar coal, hydroelectric, nuclear and wind energy
  • Eradicate circular debt and privatize distribution companies
  • Forge stronger ties with allied nations, focusing on economic linkages
  • Ensure free healthcare services for low- and middle-income households
  • Eliminate poliovirus by 2026
  • Boost I.T. exports to $20 billion in 5 years; designate 5 major cities as I.T. cities; and make Islamabad and all provincial capitals “WiFi” cities
  • Launch a new labor policy and recognize e-commerce workers as an industry
  • Establish national media and films university; expand PTV’s independence; launch children’s content division at PTV and Radio Pakistan
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy to terrorism; modernize the police; maintain responsible nuclear power status
  • Create a Global Energy Trading Firm; eradicate circular debt; deregulate gas distribution companies; allow third-party access to RLNG terminals
  • Provide reserved seats for overseas Pakistanis; efficient passport and NADRA-related services; online biometric verification
  • Reduce the population growth rate to sustainable levels and ensure access to essential reproductive health services
  • Protect minorities’ rights and tackle violence against them
  • Upgrade existing sports facilities and build new ones
  • Rebrand Pakistan’s tourism sector and develop new resorts
  • Boost export revenue to $60 billion annual within 5 years
  • Develop mass transit systems in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi and improve rural transport connectivity, while also integrating different modes of transport
  • Outsource management of international airports and rationalize open sky policy
  • Protect child rights, end child marriages; ensure equal opportunities for Transgenders; and expand old homes initiative
  • Ensure access to clean drinking water; complete Diamer-Bhasha Dam; launch awareness campaign for water conservation
  • Empower women by eliminating the gender pay gap; enforcing anti-dowry laws; incentivizing women employment
  • Enable youth representation in electoral politics; revive student unions; expand national youth laptop scheme

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