PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif unveiled his party’s much-anticipated election manifesto on Saturday, with the upcoming February 8 polls less than two weeks away.
Speaking at a party event in Lahore, he said that the PML-N’s manifesto has been prepared with “great efforts” and would be “fully implemented” if voted to power.
Nawaz termed the country’s economy as the most important aspect of the manifesto.
He termed it a “strange coincidence” that despite him being ousted as the prime minister in 2017 and “political vendettas” against the PML-N, his party members were once again “preparing to contest elections and presenting their manifesto”.
The former premier added that he neither intended to “express his grievances” nor was “in a mood to complain today”.
Nawaz said he hoped the people would read the manifesto, on which PML-N Shehbaz Sharif and party leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Irfan Siddiqui had already spoken before him.
In an indirect reference to ex-premier Imran Khan, he said, “If I was there in the previous government instead of the person who you saw, I would have never done what he did.”
While the former premier recalled the PML-N’s previous tenures, saying there was “no inflation” back then, the detailed manifesto was shared by the party on its official account on social media platform X.
If voted to power, the party vowed to provide the public with “cheap and increased electricity” as well as “speedy development”. Its promises include a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in power bills, a 15,000 megawatt-increase in electricity production and a 10,000MW production of solar energy.
Appeasing the youth, the party also vowed to ensure youth representation in national politics through parliament, and provincial and local governments.
The PML-N further aims to restore student unions, expand the National Youth Scheme, allocate funds for IT start-ups and increase youth entrepreneurship.
The manifesto also includes establishing “Pakistan’s first sports university” and “250 stadiums and academies” along with youth skills development“ and initiating a Scholarship Endowment Fund.
On the foreign policy front, the PML-N promises to send a “message of peace” to other countries, including India on the condition of reverting its August 2019 action on India-occupied Kashmir.
The manifesto also vows to combat the impacts of climate change and a “zero-tolerance policy” towards terrorism.
Other agendas on the PML-N’s table include a “secured water future” and “add life to the economy through exports”.
The party manifesto also aims to cater to overseas Pakistanis, stating that they will “rebuild Pakistan together”. Other points include “PML-N’s promise to the public: share in development” and a “plan to bring Constitutional, legal, judicial and administrative reforms”.
The party further intends to introduce a family planning program and bring education reforms, as well as “digital development”. It also aims to “merge various transport means”, bring sports reforms and “rebuild” tourism in Pakistan.
The PML-N’s manifesto includes combating violence against minorities, modernising agriculture and making women independent. The party also vows to introduce a new labour policy to ensure their rights.
The manifesto was unveiled after the party’s political rivals, especially PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, frequently assailed it for not disclosing its agenda despite the general elections being less than two weeks away.
“What kind of democracy and election is this where one party has a manifesto and another — which is pitting its nominee for the prime minister for the fourth time — says their [old] manifesto is [still] valid. They can’t even tell you that if they somehow get the chance again [to rule] for the fourth time, what they’ll do,” the PPP scion had said.
Manifesto designed to address challenges faced by masses: Maryam
PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz emphasised that the party’s manifesto had been crafted with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by the masses.
Addressing a rally in Abbottabad, she said the PML-N was committed to implement the outlined agenda if the party was voted to power.
Maryam insisted that Nawaz had a track record of fulfilling the promises he made to the nation. She highlighted Sharif’s commitment to addressing the needs of the youth, promising a transformative impact on the fate of every young individual if the PML-N was entrusted with power.
She shared that Nawaz had developed a comprehensive plan to ensure the provision of electricity to remote areas and generate employment opportunities for the youth.
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