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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Apr 24, 2013

JI vows to make Pakistan ?a self-reliant Islamic welfare state?

With
pledge to make Pakistan a sovereign and self-reliant Islamic welfare state in
line with Islamic principles, the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) has vowed to change and
revise the political system of country.

JI
Deputy Secretary General Dr Fareed Ahmed Paracha presented the party manifesto
for general debate on Tuesday at a seminar organised by the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI), according to a press release.

The
manifesto includes several determined objectives, including ending terrorism,
lawlessness, land reforms, unemployment, energy crises and overseas Pakistanis
political rights and inequitable distribution of wealth.

Paracha
was of the view that increasing the tax net can solve the problem of increasing
budget deficits. “After coming to power, the JI will ensure the availability of
daily use items along with their sustained prices for its full term in office,”
he said.

The
JI leader did not address how prices would be controlled.

He
said the JI will spend five percent of gross domestic product on education and
will focus on upgrading schools, promoting Urdu and local languages as primary
mediums of education, and will make English the second language.

Replying
to a question, the JI leader said, “JI is against terrorism and to cope with
this problem there is an immediate need for proper law and order reforms.” All
visas which have been issued without any security clearance will be cancelled
immediately,” he said.

“We
will also investigate past cases of terrorism in Pakistan and will ensure the
return of Dr Afia Siddiqui back to her motherland,” said Paracha. However, he
did not explain how this could be done.

On
the energy sector, the JI leader said the party would control line losses and
optimise the 22,000 megawatt electricity generating capacity with the help of
Iran and China. Reflecting upon the energy policy, he said that JI has planned
to make six big and 200 small dams all over the country.

On
women empowerment, the manifesto says the party would make divorce harder to
get, address problems with women’s rights to inheritance and ownership, and
address honour killings.

He
also talked about reforms in civil services, local government and police.

Mukhtar
Ahmed, a senior analyst said the JI manifesto is comprehensive and innovative,
but lamented that the party has not addressed the issue of sectarianism in its
manifesto.