Design: Hussain Afzal
Design: Hussain Afzal

Parties and their manifestos: some have promised much, but most have not bothered at all

  • Major political entities are vying to capture attention of voters by presenting enticing promises and building a compelling narrative
Updated 26 Jan, 2024 01:45pm

As Pakistan’s political parties gear up for elections, their campaign strategies seem to be picking pace as well.

Major ones are vying to capture the attention of voters by presenting enticing promises and building a compelling narrative through their manifestos.

Ultimately, manifestos serve as guiding principles for political parties’ governance, and are seen as a window into their priorities if they come into power. They offer insight into a party’s vision for the future and provide voters with an understanding of what they can expect if that particular party wins the election.

Below are manifestos of some of the prominent ones to see what they intend to do if they win elections.

Pakistan Peoples Party

The PPP’s 10-point manifesto highlights their commitment to public welfare and improving the lives of citizens.

One of their key pledges is to increase salaries, providing financial relief to hardworking individuals. Additionally, they promise subsidies on electricity, aiming to alleviate the burden on households and businesses alike. However, with budget constraints, there are questions on the ability to finance these measures.

Education and healthcare are also at the forefront of PPP’s agenda. They vow to provide free education and establish a robust health system that ensures accessible medical services for all citizens. To further enhance social support systems, they plan to expand the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) by including agriculture workers and youth.

Recognising poverty as a pressing issue in society, PPP aims to launch a hunger eradication programme that tackles both poverty and inflation head-on. However, they emphasise that achieving these goals can only be possible through free and fair elections in the country.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz

It is noteworthy that despite the elections being just two weeks away, PML-N has yet to present its manifesto. However, the party’s campaign trail gives us a glimpse into its priorities and plans.

One of the key focuses of PML N’s campaign is highlighting the economic challenges faced by the country. They aim to offer an ambitious plan to revive the economy and tackle inflation head-on.

This indicates that they recognise the importance of addressing these pressing issues for overall national development and reviving the party’s electoral base that traditionally sees the party as a better hand in managing economic affairs.


JI has taken a proactive approach by presenting a detailed 52-page manifesto. Their agenda revolves around economic revival and growth. They propose revisiting contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) as part of their strategy to ensure energy sustainability and affordability. Burgeoning circular debt and high energy tariffs are on their minds.

Moreover, JI says it sees a prosperous future through its Vision 2050 initiative, which outlines long-term goals for various sectors of society. They also emphasise allocating a substantial budget for defense purposes while aiming to foster better relations with neighboring countries.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan

The TLP has recently unveiled a 25-point manifesto for the upcoming elections, marking a significant shift from its previous electoral stance in 2018. One of the notable changes in TLP’s approach is the introduction of a revised party flag, indicating a desire to broaden its appeal beyond traditional religious lines and connect with a wider range of voters.

In this manifesto, TLP promises to protect and uphold the rights of minorities and prioritise national development. The party pledges to equip the army with new weapons, ensuring that our defense forces are well-prepared to safeguard our nation’s security. Additionally, TLP aims to establish a local Panchayat system for the efficient delivery of justice at the grassroots level.

Another key highlight of their manifesto is their commitment to promoting the abolishment of Riba-based financial systems. This demonstrates TLP’s focus on economic reforms and addressing issues related to interest-based lending practices.

Furthermore, TLP aims to address foreign debt concerns by implementing effective strategies that ensure sustainable economic growth while reducing dependency on external borrowings.

With these promises and proposed changes, it is clear that TLP is making a concerted effort to evolve its political agenda and reach out to voters beyond their traditional religious appeal.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan 

The MQM-P covers a wide range of areas, including the economy, defense, internal security, agriculture, health, and education.

One of the key highlights of their manifesto is the party’s commitment to imposing a health and education emergency.

Recognizing the importance of these sectors in building a strong nation, the party plans to allocate significant resources and implement policies that will enhance access to quality healthcare and education for all citizens.

Furthermore, the MQM-P aims to embark on an ambitious urban development plan by building 100 new cities. This initiative, according to the party, not only promises to address issues related to overcrowding in existing metropolitan areas but also presents opportunities for economic growth and job creation.

In addition to these plans, the party has set an ambitious target of generating $100 billion in remittances. Remittances currently hover around $24 billion. By fostering an environment conducive to investment and trade, they aim to attract foreign capital while also supporting overseas Pakistanis in contributing towards the country’s economic development.

Lastly, environmental conservation is also high on their agenda as the party aims to increase forest cover by 8% within five years. This demonstrates their commitment to sustainable development and preserving Pakistan’s natural resources for future generations.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf 

PTI has not yet released its election manifesto, and it appears that it may not do so at all given that the party has been fighting on multiple fronts and lost its election symbol.

Nonetheless, the party’s campaign path indicates that it hopes to win over supporters by highlighting the alleged mistreatment it has endured at the hands of the current administration.

In addition, the party has promised to strengthen institutions, revive the country’s economic recovery, and implement an independent foreign policy.

Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party

The Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) states in its manifesto that empowering the people is central to the party’s vision. The party’s manifesto says that the leadership is dedicated to creating a true ‘Naya Pakistan’, a term initially espoused by the PTI founder, Imran Khan.

The party wants to alleviate poverty in Pakistan by elevating the middle class and lower classes and focusing on youth empowerment. Women’s empowerment and healthcare are also top priorities for the IPP.

The manifesto also emphasises the significance of defending minority rights, advancing local tourism and sports, and preserving the assets and rights of Pakistanis living abroad.

Over 150 registered parties running elections, but few have released manifestos

Out of the almost 150 registered political parties that are contesting the election, only a handful have released detailed manifestos.

The lack of interest shown by political parties in Pakistan toward releasing their manifestos raises questions about the importance they place on these documents.

It indicates that some political players view manifestos as mere formalities, rather than powerful tools that can win elections and sway voters in their favor.

However, it is crucial to recognise the significance of a well-crafted manifesto. A manifesto serves as a comprehensive outline of a party’s vision, policies, and proposed actions if elected into power.

It not only provides voters with an understanding of a party’s stance on key issues but also holds them accountable for their promises.


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