MQM will give relief to poor, tighten noose around rich
* Party vows in its manifesto to reduce oil prices, reduce taxes, recover written-off loans, tax agricultural income, resolve energy crisis, create jobs, raise education and health budget and scrutinise all secret funds
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Monday announced an ambitious election manifesto, vowing to cut fuel and other prices while imposing tax on agriculture.
The manifesto, titled “Empowering the People” promises tax cuts and the recovery of all written-off loans to the rich.
Announcing the election manifesto, Deputy Convener of MQM, Dr Farooq Sattar said the energy crisis and the issue of circular debt in the power sector would be resolved.
He said that incentives will be given for progress in the industrial sector in order to create maximum employment opportunities. Sattar said dual systems of education would be abolished and Urdu-medium institutions would be brought at par with English- medium institutions. He said Madaris (religious seminaries) would be brought in the mainstream system of education.
He said budgetary allocation for education would be raised from 2.2 per cent to 5 per cent of the GDP and an outlay of 20 per cent would be reserved for education in the provincial budget. The party promised free books, uniform and transportation facilities for school-going children.
Farooq Sattar said steps would be taken on war-footing to provide free and compulsory education to children from 5 to 16 years of age, in order to raise the national literacy rate.
He said that the budgetary allocation for providing better healthcare facilities would be increased from 0.6 per cent to 5 per cent of the GDP.
MQM promised that all secret funds at the disposal of president, prime minister, provincial chief ministers and ambassadors will be brought under public scrutiny through the Public Accounts Committee..
Farooq Sattar said the administrative working of PIA, PSO, Pakistan Railways, and PEPCO would be improved. Investment would be made in the microfinance sector in urban centres.
He said that low cost housing will be encouraged and investment will be made in the housing sector. Highlighting his party’s programme in agriculture sector, he said that agrarian reforms would be introduced and a limit will be placed on maximum land holdings of an individual. The surplus land would be distributed among landless peasants and farmers, he added.
Dr. Sattar said that a national terrorism policy will be formulated in consultation with elected representatives, police, bureaucracy and the armed forces for eliminating terrorism.
Speaking about the rights of women, children and religious minorities, he said that child labour will be abolished and strict legislation will be done against domestic violence.
Commenting on the energy sector, Dr. Farooq Sattar said that projects will be undertaken to ensure the supply of natural gas and electricity from Iran, Qatar and Central Asian Republics.
He said the foreign policy of the country will be free and sovereign. Friendly and cordial relations will be established with all countries particularly the neighbouring countries. All regional conflicts will be resolved through dialogue, he added. He said that the Kashmir dispute will be resolved through meaningful and genuine dialogue according to the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Sattar said that all political and religious parties announce their manifestos at the time of elections while making fancy promises.
“The real test begins after coming to power when the manifesto has to be implemented and promises made to the public have to be fulfilled,” he said.
He said that every party talks about the poor people but they have failed to work for the poor when in power.
“MQM is the only party that did not merely raise the slogan of empowering the poor people, it actually introduced a real revolution in the politics of the country by sending the educated people from poor and middle-class segment of the society to the Senate and the National and Provincial Assemblies,” asserted Sattar. app