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Published Date: Apr 1, 2013

SDPI organizes seminar on electoral manifestos of political parties

at a seminar on ‘Relevance of Manifesto in Political Dynamics of Pakistan’
termed the manifestos presented by political parties for general elections 2013
as exaggerated statements pertaining national issues and superficial as far the
question of their implementation is concerned. The seminar held here on Monday
under the aegis of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) was first in
the series of bringing into discussion the manifestos of mainstream political
parties and their impact on the electorates in the run up to the general
elections. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director,
Sustainable Development Policy Institute regretted that political parties
particularly those who were in the opposition failed to give shadow cabinet and
belied the notion of opposition is the government in waiting. According to him,
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. Asif Saeed Memon of SDPI stressed
for the need of analyzing the policy failures or policy successor of the past 5
years. He said that the promise of the political parties to increase in budget
for education to 4 percent of GDP is exactly the same pledge they made five
years ago without achieving any goal. He identified mismatch between voter’s
preferences and promised deliverables by political parties in their manifestos.
Raza Rumi, Director Jinnah Institute said after an historic completion of five
years by a democratically elected government and country’s edging closer to a
rare democratic transition, the next step is to move towards larger agenda of
political reforms. He was of the view that political parties have failed to
become institution largely due to continuous disruption of the democratic
system by military dictators and non-existent democratic culture within the
political parties. Mosharraf Zaidi, renowned analyst and development
professional discussed the relevance of manifestos with a focus on education.
He said PPP promised in its 2008 manifesto 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 PPP promised to increase adult
literacy rate from 54 % to 85%. He exclaimed as how and from which head the PPP
procured budget allocation to achieve its goal of 85 percent literacy in the
country by 2018. APP/Sahar/nsr