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Peshawar

June 20, 2018

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ANP unveils ambitious election manifesto

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious election manifesto that encompasses all aspects of statecraft, including security, health, education, economy, women empowerment and child rights and foreign affairs.

“The purpose of this manifesto is to inform the public about the aims and objectives of the ANP so that voters in the forthcoming general elections will know clearly what the party stands for,” the document stated.

Divided into three main parts — the preamble, internal affairs and external affairs, the manifesto highlighted almost every aspect of the internal and external affairs.

The internal affairs has sections and subsections, including peace and security, judicial and police reforms, human rights, provincial autonomy-strengthening implementation of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (former Fata agencies), social, economic and fiscal reforms, taxation and revenue and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The preamble stated that the party drew its inspiration from the teachings of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. With peace, non-violence and pluralism as his guiding principles, he spent his entire life in the unrelenting struggle for freedom and against all kinds of injustice, oppression and exploitation.

The party is dedicated to the promotion of democracy and freedom, provincial autonomy, the eradication of poverty and ignorance, the protection of fundamental human rights and liberties, and the fulfillment of genuine and legitimate aspirations of all groups and strata of the society particularly the weak, the disadvantaged and the dispossessed.

The overall goals and guiding principles of the manifesto have been explained, “ANP stands firmly against extremism and violence in all its forms and manifestations. It believes that dialogue is the best way to resolve bilateral and multilateral issues. ANP is committed to strengthening the democratic and political process, rule of law and access to justice.

It will strive for the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous, progressive and secular society.

The ANP is committed to equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, nationalities, groups irrespective of gender, religion, race, class and creed. All discriminatory laws shall be repealed. The essence of security will be guaranteed among women, elderly and people with disabilities, transgender, religious and ethnic minorities.

The ANP will ensure protection of rights, development and welfare of people with disabilities. ANP shall strive for their meaningful participation in decision making at all levels. It will make serious efforts to improve safety and accessibility in public and work places and will ensure implementation of existing quotas in letter and spirit.

The ANP opposes parochial interpretation of religion, traditions and customs. It is against xenophobia, religious extremism and terrorism that are pushing the country into isolation and a closed society.

The ANP upholds Bacha Khan’s discourse of human dignity, pluralism and indigenous wisdom and identity.

The ANP believes that every citizen shall have the right to hold any public office including the offices of the President and Prime Minister. ANP believes that every citizen of Pakistan shall have equal rights and opportunities in the political, economic and social sense.

The ANP is committed to Provincial Autonomy with the centre retaining control of defence, foreign affairs, currency, communications and such other subjects which the federating units agree to in the Council of Common Interests (CII). It will ensure full implementation of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, particularly with regards to oil, gas, water and power, energy, health and education.

The ANP will continue to build on policies of devolution of powers to the provinces and the districts. ANP will establish provincial higher education commissions and provincial finance commissions.

The ANP is committed to securing full political, social and economic rights for all the federating units of Pakistan as equal partners in the federation and their full share in the country’s progress and prosperity.

The ANP is committed to the protection of the rights and identities of the peoples of the four Provinces, Seraiki, Gilgit-Baltistan, ensuring unrestricted freedom for the development of their languages and cultures.

The ANP will continue its struggle to unite the Pakhtuns within Pakistan by removing the colonial divisions through constitutional amendments.

The ANP’s decades of struggle and sacrifices for the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been realised through the 31st Constitutional Amendment.

The party will continue its struggle to bring the newly merged districts on a par with the rest of the province and will leave no stone unturned to unite the Pakhtuns in Balochistan (southern Pakhtunkhwa) with Pakhtunkhwa.

The ANP will ensure that every penny of the development funds meant for the new districts merged with Pakhtunkhwa is spent there. We shall strive to divert even additional funds to bring the area at par with the rest of the province in terms of socio economic development. We intend to follow the example of the former West Germany that diverted more funds to the former East Germany from its own share in the interest of even development, social cohesion and integration.

It shall support efforts of the federating units which wish to reorganize on the basis of historic, cultural, linguistic and geographical similarities in accordance with the Constitution.

The ANP believes in fair and just distribution of water resources, particularly of the Indus River system.

It will continue to strongly oppose usurpation of water rights of the provinces, especially the lower riparian. ANP will work on a comprehensive policy for water conservation, storage and desalination.

The ANP considers local government an important tier of the democratic process and improving access and quality of services at the door steps. It will review, amend and strengthen the local government system and ensure increased participation of women, peasants/labour and religious minorities in the system.

The ANP believes in freedom of association and expression. It is committed to freedom of and right to information in letter and spirit.

The ANP shall strive for the abolishment of parallel legal and quasi-legal systems so as to ensure a uniform, integrated judicial system in the country.

The ANP believes in good governance, transparency and across the board accountability. It will strive to eliminate bribery and corruption at all levels. It will establish an autonomous commission for accountability with a constitutional cover.

The ANP is committed to significantly increasing tax to GDP ratio through economic policy reforms. It will widen direct tax base to reduce heavy dependence on regressive indirect taxes.

The ANP opposes any interference in politics by civil and military bureaucracy. It upholds the basic principle that all institutions shall work within their constitutional limits.

In the pursuit of these goals and principles, the ANP is ready to work together with likeminded forces in Pakistan.

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