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Published Date: Apr 18, 2013

SDPI Press Release (April 18, 2013)

Presenting
party manifesto at a seminar, the JUI-F Deputy Secretary General Malik Sikandar
Khan has said that JUIF pledge to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.

He
was speaking at seminar on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) manifesto here on
Thursday. The event organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI) was sixth in series of seminars, planned to bring manifestos of
political parties into discussion and assess their impact on electorates in run
up to the general elections. Shakeel Ramay of SDPI moderated the proceedings
while Moazzam Bhatti presented introductory remarks.

Speaking
at the occasion, Malik Sikandar Khan said that their party would introduce
comprehensive changes in the system based on the Islamic laws, where state
would not only ensure the provision of basic needs to every citizen but their
safety, security and freedom would be protected as enshrined in the
constitution.

He
was of the view that whenever Islamic laws were implemented in true spirit, the
society made socio-economic and cultural progress. The welfare system was so strong
that in some cases, the people for giving Zakat were hard to find. Referring to
manifesto, he said that JUIF would increase worker salary equal to price of one
tola gold (14 grams).

He
said that JUIF believes in a strong system of accountability and if voted to
power, they would introduce merit in the affairs of civil service and strictly
comply with the rule of law. He said JUIF would give complete freedom to media
but media have to observe certain obligations.

Reflecting
upon the foreign policy, he said that they would establish good relations with
all the countries on the basis of equality. On education, he said that
party will make education compulsory up to Matric with gradual support at
higher levels. Minorities will also enjoy the right to establish their
religious education centres, he added. 

Giving
his remarks as a discussant, Saleem Safi, Analyst and Anchor Geo TV asked
political parties to not only come up with realistic manifestos but also give
due considerations to their implementation.  He said that JUIF manifesto
is a blend of religion, politics and societal needs. He also praised the party
for its broadminded approach in politics and said “ Many people can disagree to
JUIF politics but its ability to work with liberal parties is commendable
keeping in view the broadening divide between ‘right’ and ‘left’ in Pakistan.

Saleem
Safi said that social structure in Pakistan is on the verge of collapse hence
political parties, including JUIF must address the demand for ‘New Social
Contract‘ in their manifesto.  He also pointed towards the lack of
civil-military relations in JUIF manifesto.

Commenting
on compulsory training for Jihad for each citizen in manifesto, he said that
such considerations would create further chaos in the society. Talking on the
promise of abolishing interest based banking, he questioned that what homework
the party has done to replace the existing financial system. He also criticized
JUIF for its performance in MMA government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and said JUIF
was not able to deliver according to what they have mentioned in manifesto.

Political
Analyst Hassan Khan in his review of JUIF manifesto came up with interesting
finding that JUIF Urdu and English version has stark contrast where English
version is more enlightened and inclusive one, the Urdu version is more of a
conventional religious undertone addressing a particular audience in the
country. Citing example he said chapter on Sharia is missing in English version
whereas chapter on women was missing in urdu version. He however praised some
of the good mentions such as equal opportunities for education and livelihood
for all, introduction of merit based system in bureaucracy, independent foreign
policy, good relations with the neighbors.