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The News

Published Date: Apr 3, 2013

Political parties ?have no deliverable action plan in their manifestoes?

political parties failed to become an institution largely due to continuous disruption
of the democratic system by military dictators and non-existent democratic
culture within political parties.

Institute Director Raza Rumi stated this while speaking at a seminar on
‘Relevance of manifesto in political dynamics of Pakistan: A discussion on
manifesto of Pakistan People’s Party’ organised by the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI).

one from the PPP spoke on the occasion. The event was first in a series of
bringing into discussion the manifestoes of mainstream political parties and
their impact on the electorates in the run up to the general elections. Rumi
expressed the hope that after first democratic transition, the political
parties would learn that the path to real democracy goes through democratisation
of their own rank and file. 

about the manifestoes presented by political parties in 2008, he said, most
parties missed out on engaging youth, which are currently half of the Pakistani

and development professional Musharraf Zaidi said that ZA Bhutto if alive today
would have been shocked to read the manifesto. He said that the PPP in its 2008
manifesto promised right to education for children from 5 to 16 years of age.
Unfortunately, after 5 years almost 25 million students are out of school. In
the latest manifesto, he said, the PPP promised to increase adult literacy rate
from 54% to 85%. He wondered how and from which head the PPP would procure
budget allocation to achieve its goal of 85% literacy in the country by 2018.

Executive Director Dr. Abid Q Suleri regretted that political parties
particularly those in the opposition failed to give shadow cabinet and belied
the notion that opposition is the government-in-waiting. He lamented that the
missing element in every party’s manifesto appeared to be a deliverable plan of
action as to how the party is going to implement one policy statement or the
other on important national issues.

Saeed Memon of the SDPI questioned the promises made in manifestos by various
parties and said there is acute need for analysing the policy failures or
policy successor of the past 5 years. Citing policy statement on the education
sector, he said, every party is now promising an increase in budget for
education to 4 per cent of GDP, which is exactly the same pledge they made five
years ago without achieving any goal.

said there is also a mismatch between voter’s preferences and promised
deliverables by political parties in their manifestos, hence, a lose-lose
situation for the social sectors, particularly education and health. He said
that PPP manifesto is silent on security issues.