PTI promises to do away with ‘bad past’ as it rolls out party manifesto

PTI promises to do away with 'bad past' as it rolls out party manifesto

ISLAMABAD, JAN 28 /DNA/ – As political parties gear up for the February 8 polls, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Sunday introduced its summarised election manifesto on Sunday, promising to do away with “bad past” if it’s voted into power next month.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, flanked by Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, presented a brief summary of the party’s election manifesto envisioning the country’s prosperous future as opposed to the bleak past.

The party’s motto for the 2024 elections is, “Great Pakistan, great future, and freedom from bad past,” the ex-chairman said.

The former ruling party move comes a day after its rivals Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also introduced their much-awaited election manifesto to woo more than 128 million voters who will be electing their representatives in less than two weeks.

The party has been facing multiple legal and political challenges after its “bat” symbol was revoked, owing to irregularities in intra-party polls, leaving it unable to contest in the upcoming general elections with a unified symbol — as its candidates are contesting the polls independently with distinct electoral symbols.

Furthermore, the PTI has been stuck in somewhat of a political quagmire owing to its senior leadership including founder Imran Khan and former vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi behind bars — a situation further exacerbated by an exodus of senior leaders who parted ways with the party following May 9 riots and those who are in hiding.

It is to be seen whether the PTI’s bid to salvage its election campaign, via the introduction of its manifesto, is fruitful despite the “leaderless” party securing major relief from the Supreme Court which allowed its former president Parvez Elahi and other leaders Umer Aslam, Major (retd) Tahir Sadiq, Sanam Javaid Khan, and Shaukat Basra to contest the upcoming general elections.

Lamenting on the party’s uphill electoral battle, Barrister Gohar stressed that they are not being allowed to run their election campaign.

Recalling the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja’s assurance of a level playing field, in response to the apex court’s orders, the lawyer called on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to address the hindrances faced by the party in its electioneering activities.

“We demand to be allowed equal opportunities as [both] citizens [of Pakistan] and a political party,” Gohar said, adding that the party has been deprived of the field, to present itself before the masses, to begin with.

“Our candidates stand with the party despite contesting the polls on independent symbols,” he noted.

Despite today’s announcement of its manifesto, the former ruling party is facing tough competition in light of the “Chuno Nai Soch Ko” (Choose new thinking) and “Pakistan Ko Nawaz Do” manifesto introduced by PPP and PML-N, respectively.