Imran Khan unveils party manifesto, vows to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state

ISLAMABAD: PTI chief Imran Khan on Monday vowed to make a welfare state in Pakistan as he unveiled his party’s manifesto for the General Election 2018.

Addressing a ceremony in the federal capital, Imran said that before revealing the manifesto he wanted to stress that whoever forms the government after July 25 will have to face biggest economic challenge ever.

“The reason is obviously the debts, devaluation of rupee and failed policies, making poor the poorer,” he said.

Stressing on PTI’s ‘mission’ to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state, Imran said that his party will create a state in line with the principles that made the foundation of Medina — humanity and justice.

“The manifesto we present is no ‘easy-solution’. There are no easy solutions to Pakistan’s problems. We have to make major changes,” the PTI chief said.

The PTI chief further observed that the developed societies have a governance system that is based on justice and accountability. “That is what we are trying to replicate with this manifesto today,” he said.

“The capability of bureaucracy to deliver effectively has diminished over time. Our institutions have been ruined over time,” Imran said.

“The first challenge is unemployment and how to create jobs,” Imran said. “The manifesto also discusses how we will use agriculture to generate revenue. We will ensure farmers’ rights are not subjugated.”

He further said that if given a chance to form the government, PTI will offer business incentives to create employment that would lead to prosperity. “Our challenge is to create one crore jobs and five million homes in our five years term,” Imran said.

“Letting you know of main points of our manifesto. First is low-cost housing schemes. We will build 50,00,000 houses for the poor. This is going to be like our Billion Tree Tsunami,” the PTI chief told the media. Imran said that his party had held meetings with builders and was well aware of how the project will help the party in creating jobs.

Furthermore, Imran said that it is yet to be determined whether the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a game-changer or not.

“Small and medium enterprises (SME) are like the backbone of the country. We will facilitate young entrepreneurs by reducing the cost of doing business, which is currently the reason of red-tapism by Pakistani government sector,” noted Imran.

Speaking about the opportunities in tourism, the PTI chief said it was one of the biggest untapped industry in Pakistan. “Tourism is also one effective way to increase our foreign revenue and create jobs in remote areas,” said Imran.

“The next biggest challenge is the Federal Bureau of Revenue reforms. We need to make the FBR an institution to collect money to run the country,” he said. “We also plan to empower FBR, for if we are to gather money in Pakistan, we need to fix FBR.”

The PTI chief also said that his party plans to replicate hydel projects installed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “We will replicate those to create clean energy,” he said.

Discussing the party’s strategy for the agriculture sector, Imran said the PTI will create a mechanism to facilitate the poor farmers. “We will replace ‘mandi’ with special warehouses so that no farmers’ hard work goes in vain,” said Imran. “Reforming the agriculture and livestock system and making warehouses for storage are all part of the reforms. We will replace livestock with more effective and latest methods of farming.”

Imran also vowed to bring tax reforms that would bring a significant change in the taxpayer’s attitude toward paying the government and the country’s economy. “I believe this nation will give taxes once we assure them their tax will be spent on them. People at the moment think their money is spent on politicians’ lavish lifestyle,” said the PTI chief.

“Utilising the tax money on people, eliminating corruption are the crucial aspects and we’re going to reform the National Accountability Burea (NAB), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), and FBR for that purpose,” he said.

“Most importantly we will curb corruption. Corruption ruins the economy; we will empower NAB, SECP, FIA to curb corruption. Once that is done, only then we can spend on human development,” Imran said.