Posts Tagged ‘All Pakistan Muslim League’
LAHORE: All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) President Pervez Musharraf announced on Sunday that he will come back to Pakistan in January 2012.
Addressing a videoconference in Lahore from London, APML President stated that the solution for Pakistan’s prevailing challenges do not lie in undemocratic initiatives and that military intervention into politics would be fatal for Pakistan and its people.
APML President asserted that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Army guarantee Pakistan’s solidarity and sovereignty and added that some elements were conspiring to defame the ISI and Pakistan’s security forces.
Commenting on the performance of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the current government, Musharraf said that both the leading political parties had been in power twice but had delivered nothing to the masses.
Musharraf urged that the people of Pakistan should cast their votes regardless of their caste and creed, linguistic, religious and provincial prejudices.
Endorsing the demand of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, Musharraf said that politicians should submit details of their assets.
“I will provide details of my assets on my arrival in Pakistan,” Musharraf reiterated.
The APML President also said that Pakistan was engulfed into crisis due to incompetent rulers and amidst these hard times, any institution of the country solely cannot steer the country out from the current crisis.
“I led Pakistan towards prosperity and stabilized the economy of the country during my regime and boosted the image of the country worldwide,” APML President said.
“I will soon be among my countrymen and the elements who levelled allegations against me should gather evidences, as they have failed to prove even a single corruption allegation against me”, Musharraf challenged.
APML President also said that only the people of Pakistan can bring change in the country.
Source: The Express Tribune
LONDON: Former president Pervez Musharraf will not return to Pakistan to comply with an arrest warrant issued by a court over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, his spokesman in London said Saturday.
“No, he won’t be going back for this hearing,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for ex-military ruler Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party, told AFP, adding that the warrant was “totally ridiculous.”
A Pakistani anti-terrorism court earlier Saturday ordered Musharraf, who is currently in self-imposed exile in London, to appear for a hearing on February 19 over claims about the assassination of ex-premier Bhutto in December 2007.
Pakistani prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said Musharraf was alleged to have been part of a “broad conspiracy” to have his political rival killed before elections but the exact nature of the charges was not clear.
Chaudhry said he had heard that Musharraf, who was president at the time of her death and who stepped down in 2008, was accused of failing to provide adequate security for Bhutto.
“How can the president of a country be made responsible for the non-provision of security? It’s totally ridiculous, you cannot pin criminal responsibility on a president for that,” Chaudhry said.
He accused Pakistan’s judiciary of becoming politicised following Musharraf’s dismissal of the country’s chief justice in 2007, which prompted a constitutional crisis that eventually led to his own resignation.
“It is unfortunate that the judges in Pakistan have literally become a political party,” he said.
“Pakistan’s courts are right now trying to politicise the situation and take on Mr Musharraf after he dismissed the chief justice.”Chaudhry insisted that Musharraf still planned to go back to Pakistan eventually to contest elections, adding: “His return to Pakistan will be a political decision.”– AFP
OKARA, Oct 31: The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) has demanded the apex court should take a suo motu notice of the murder threats being openly hurled at former president and army chief Gen Pervaiz Musharraf (retired).
The demand was made by APML leader Advocate Chaudhry Fawwad Hussain at a press conference held at the local press club on Sunday. Mr Hussain was in Okara to attend the Chehlum of former defence minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal.
Mr Hussain said if the judges of Supreme Court could meet in the middle of the night, reportedly reacting to some media reports, they should also take notice of the life threats being issued by late Akbar Bugti’s son Tallal Bugti against Musharraf.
He said Mian Azhar, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Ijazul Haq had joined the recently formed Muttahida Muslim League in a bid to obtain PML-N ticket in the next general election.
He said the APML would not join any alliance having PML-N as a member, adding that his party would issue a ‘white paper’ having detailed proof of Nawaz Sharif’s Rs78 billion properties in London.
He said the PPP and the PML-N had been staging a ‘fake fight’ but were virtually guarding each others interests. The parties were two sides of the same coin, he added.
Central leader of PML (Likeminded) Humayun Akhtar Khan also talked to journalists. He said Chaudhry brothers first met Pir Sahib Pagara, and on the other hand Chaudhry Parvez Elahi held a meeting with Babar Awan when the latter called on him, which showed their tilt towards the PPP.
To a question he said that he did not see mid-term election in near future, and added that if any change was to come, it must be in constitutional way.
By Kalyani Giri
HOUSTON: His inherent faith unmistakable, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf began his speech with a benediction to Allah. Then, dapper in a dark suit instead of his trademark general’s regalia, he announced the formation of his new political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), and delineated his strategy for a triumphant re-emergence in that country in time for the 2013 elections. Talking to a diverse audience at a luncheon hosted by the Asia Society at the Omni Hotel on October 19, the former military leader who is in the city this week to woo the support of the largely affluent local Pakistani American community, said that Pakistan did not lack resources or potential to stand on its own feet; rather, he said that it was consistent failure in leadership that had brought that country down.
“We need thought and action to unify bureaucracy, the military, and the people,” said Musharraf, who came into power in a non-violent military coup in 1999 and led Pakistan for eight years until he resigned under impeachment pressure in 2008. “When I come in with a mandate for the people, I can have the legitimacy that I did not previously have. Because I wore a uniform, the world saw me as a dictator, which I was not,” he added. He said that he was cognizant of the rocky uphill struggle to victory, if any, but hoped to win the trust of the people, particularly the youth of Pakistan who are mired in “despondency and hopelessness, and yearn for change”. And that change would be democracy, he added.
This week, Musharraf met with the community at private and public gatherings peppered all over this city. His itinerary also included visits with former US president George H. W. Bush, and local socialite, political activist, and former honorary consul general to Pakistan and Morocco, Joanne Herring, whose support he hoped to garner. Aside from financial backing for his campaign, he reiterated that the influential Pakistani community in the diaspora is a valuable resource in helping to get him back in office. He has been visiting many cities within the US and Canada that boast large Pakistani communities.
Yet Pakistan, reeling in the throes of crippling poverty, flood relief, an internal war against extremists, ineffective governance, and a host of other significant problems, may very well be a minefield to Musharraf who had already his shot at governance and failed. His re-entering public office in that embattled country seem at the very least, remote, as he has lost credibility and will have a challenge on hand convincing the people that he has the solutions to put the country back on track, observers say. During his presidency, through the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance he granted amnesty to politicians and bureaucrats accused of corruption and other crimes, another black mark against him. And adding to his woes are criminal cases initiated against him in Pakistani courts and the possibility of assassination if he returns to the country of his birth. Much of his jockeying to be in the running will have to be done long distance and by proxy.
Musharraf deems himself a “man of war but a man for peace” and sees his role as a crusader eradicating illiteracy and poverty. He wants to invest in the youth by providing them with vocational skills. He will work toward increasing export, fostering a stable socio-economic climate and controlling the fiscal deficit, he said.
Addressing the thorny issue of Afghanistan and the Taliban, Musharraf said that after 9/11, Pakistan was criticized for not doing enough in the war against terrorism.
“The misconception is that Pakistan is the problem. They may be coming into Pakistan, they have sanctuaries in Pakistan, but most are in Afghanistan,” he said. “Negative handling of Afghanistan began long before, in 1979 when the Soviets invaded and the world ignored the plight of 4 million refugees in that region. Now we cannot afford to quit before bringing a legitimate stable government to Afghanistan, or it will cost the world heavily,” he said.
In India, extremism among Muslim youth is on the rise and developing excessively, observed Musharraf.
“We need to adopt a holistic approach and neutralize the situation without breaking links with Indian Muslims,” he added.
India and Pakistan have been on a confrontation course for 60 years and extremists and terrorists are fueling dissent because they do not want peace between the two countries, he said.
“Punishing Pakistan with counter attacks are irresponsible and war will be inevitable. We must stop the hysteria and leaders on both sides must continue with cogent dialogue,” said Musharraf.
For Musharraf, politics is greater than self.
“For those that love Pakistan, we cannot let go because we will become international orphans and lose our identity. Only progress and development will ensure the wellbeing of my people of Pakistan,” he said.
When asked about Musharraf’s chances at the polls, well-known local businessman Ghulam Bombaywala smiled and said:
“You never know. It’s too early to predict.”
Source: Indo-American News
This, our Covenant is more than a hypocritical political party manifesto. It is very precious to us for we regard it as our Covenant with God and the people hablum minallah wa hablum min alnass “hold on to the rope of God and to the rope of the people “(Surah Aal e Imran). If you do you will not know failure. This is God’s Covenant with Man and Man’s Covenant with God and with his greatest creation, humanity or Al Naas.
We have been taking our country for granted. We forget that Pakistan is the most precious country in the world because it is the only country we have. We don’t realize that without it we would be international orphans, bereft of identity, without hope, shunned by all. It is our motherland and our stamp of identity. That is why Pakistan must come first.
Today our motherland is in danger and it is we her children who have put her in danger through our follies and foibles. She is asking us, her sons and daughters, to save her. That is the imperative upon us one and all. Everything else is secondary. She is in distress. “Save me “she is saying “save me from the rapacious few who are bringing me to death.” My dear compatriots and fellow patriots, the time to stand up and be counted has come. The time to put our lives on the line to cleanse our mother with our sweat and blood is upon us. It is this mother earth that we came from and it is to the bosom of this same mother earth that we will return. She is our ultimate mother. She must be cleansed and made into Pakistan in the true sense.
People strive to make states because they feel that they will achieve economic well being more easily under the new dispensation; that their life and liberty will be protected and their children and their children’s children will constantly improve economically, culturally, socially and politically and will enjoy all those freedoms that are their God-bestowed birthright. This belief in the State is what leads to long-term happiness. This is what provides homogeneity in diversity and gives citizens a stake in their country. This is from where Unity, Faith and Discipline come. This iswhat makes people live, fight and die for their country.
States in which citizens are unhappy fail and vanish into that limitless graveyard where many a state, civilization, empire and superpower lie buried and forgotten. Citizens become unhappy when the State fails to provide them economic wellbeing, protect their freedoms and liberty and make them feel as if they are being deprived of those very rights that they formed the state to protect. Then they lose their stake in it and the state becomes a failed state.
Pakistan was formed because the Muslims of the subcontinent feared that their God-given rights would not be protected under the inevitable Hindu majority. Having achieved our desired state, if we glance at the condition of our people today, the promised and anticipated delivery has not been forthcoming and they still yearn for their rights and for freedom from deprivation. The overwhelming majority of our people are poor. The rich, the powerful and the influential use the law to their advantage; its penalties are applied only on the poor. So also it is with all the benefits of freedom — only a small elite enjoy them while the poor majority wallows in inhuman misery, want and deprivation. Only this small elite has benefited from the fruits of freedom. We tried to change this rot during my governance between 1999 and 2008. We put the fear of ALLAH in the hearts and minds of the rich and powerful, we empowered the teeming masses to emancipate them financially, politically and administratively and we raised the prestige of Pakistan in the eyes of the world. We put Pakistan on an unprecedented upsurge and gave pride to the people. It is unfortunate that we are again on a downward nosedive. All the gains we made are no more. The majority is so busy trying to survive from morning to night, wondering how they will feed their children that they have little time to think or worry about anything else.
It is now time to redeem the pledge that the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah made to the people of Pakistan and ensure that the fruits of freedom are shared equitably by all. This is the least that we owe him, owe to our people and owe to our future generations.
Our social contract was to make Pakistan a state in which its citizens and their progeny could live as free and proud citizens with equal rights. Today, that social contract has all but evaporated due to the perfidy of successive rulers. Their prime aim has been self-aggrandizement and megalomania. Their level of loot was such that corruption soon descended into outright plunder. All while the people got poorer and unhappier. We have to realize that while we may have many enemies outside our borders, the greatest danger to us lies from within. Centrifugal forces are gaining strength, pulling us apart. The poor, the vast deprived multitudes that form the overwhelming majority of our population, are unhappy. We have to agree to a new social contract that keeps the original dream of our founding fathers alive and we have to do this very fast, before the Rubicon is crossed. This we can only do by following Allah’s injunction to make ourselves into the central, pivotal community that he calls ummatun wusata, a modern and progressive state, and a model for others to emulate.
Today our decline is so precipitous that we cannot delay the formation of a solid block of all patriotic Pakistanis under one umbrella to save Pakistan, to redeem our original pledge to ourselves and our nation and place our country on the path of progress and prosperity. The time has come to unite towards one single goal of “Pakistan First “. The time has come to unite the people of Pakistan towards that common goal. The time has come to unite in thought and action, political forces, the bureaucracy and the armed forces to save Pakistan and help move it forward.
Such a dynamic, unifying political force can only be created if we were to rekindle the unifying spirit of All India Muslim League that attracted Allama Iqbal, Quaid-e-Azam and many other great Muslim Leaders to create Pakistan. The time has come to unfurl a Muslim League umbrella for all. This umbrella now shall be All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). APML shall, Inshallah, be a party of national salvation reviving the lost spirit of the Quaid, unifying the people of Pakistan towards the end goal of realizing Quaid’s dream. So with the greatest humility and submission to Almighty Allah we follow his injunction: “ Let there arise out of you a brand of people inviting all to that which is good and enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity” (Surah Aal e Imran, ayat-104)
The APML has been formed to galvanize all Pakistanis regardless of political affiliation, sex, colour or creed to once again struggle to win back and preserve their freedom. Once again Pakistanis are being awakened to launch another freedom movement in their own land, to regain their independence from the overarching influence of a small power elite to only benefit themselves and their progeny, leaving millions of people to a fate of abject poverty, illiteracy, hunger and hopelessness.
Our call goes out to all those who are frustrated by the current pathetic situation of their country and want to make a difference.
Our appeal is to people across the broad spectrum of the Pakistani polity who are fed up with the alarming decline of their country in all spheres of life, by their loss of prestige, pride, confidence, sovereignty and independence.
We invite you to stop talking and start acting.
We invite you to stop reacting and become proactive.
We invite you to reclaim your self-esteem, your Khudi.
We invite you to turn your dreams into reality.
We invite you to turn idealism into action.
We invite you to reject being swept along by the forces of history made by others and start making your own history.
We invite all Pakistanis to start forging their own destiny. We invite you to take up the challenge of Allama Iqbal: Khudi ko kar buland itna, keh har taqdeer sey pehlay Khuda banday say khud pochay, batta tairi raza kya hai
Raise your self-esteem so high that before determining every fate ALLAH asks man, “Say, what is it that you wish.“
First and foremost, we have to craft a new social contract. In so doing we will take guidance from three documents.
1. Our guiding light will always be the Holy Quran, the immutable Word of Allah. If Pakistan is an Islamic Republic as our constitution says,then it naturally follows that our basic document from which everything flows has to be the Quran.
2. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947.
3. The original Objectives Resolution that was presented to the Constituent Assembly by our first prime minister, Shaheed-e- Millat Liaquat Ali Khan on April 12, 1949.
We stand for peace and reconciliation within our borders, with all our neighbours in the region and with all countries of the world. But a peace with honour and dignity, which we shall always uphold and preserve jealously. We believe in diverting all our energies towards national development and welfare of our people. We will strive towards harmonious relations with all on bilateral basis avoiding involvement in any interstate, ethnic or religious feuds. Peace with India will also be one of our prime foreign policy objectives. We will strive for resolution of all our disputes including Kashmir in a spirit of sincerity, mutual flexibility and courage in order to usher in a new era of socioeconomic development. We believe in making SAARC a more potent organization for South Asian intra- regional cooperation. We also would like to use our geostrategic location to facilitate inter-regional cooperation. On the international plane we will pursue the strategy of Enlightened Moderation for the socioeconomic development of the Muslim Umma and the resolution of all important international political disputes. Within this strategy we shall keep striving for the restructuring of the OIC to increase its effectiveness.
In our 1973 Constitution we already have a document of consensus. It is a good starting point that goes a long way towards arriving at a social contract. We will democratically enhance and modernize the constitution to reflect more faithfully the desires and aspirations of our people. More unity and harmony will be brought between the provinces to strengthen the federation.
a. With the wishes of the people we will address the issue of the creation of more provinces thereby reducing the structural irritants between the existing provinces. This we believe will be administratively most suitable and will also allow us to give maximum autonomy to the provinces.
b. Pakistan’s politics will be strongly anchored on real democratic principles. We will introduce and follow the true essence of democracy, shunning hereditary politics. Power will be devolved to the people at the grassroots level through an empowered Local Government system. The local governments at District, Tehsil and Union Council level will be given administrative, political and financial autononomy. To make them administratively self-contained we will create a district cadre within the Civil Services of Pakistan.
c. The government and governance in Pakistan is top-heavy, too centralized and sluggish in decision-making. We also spend over 30% of our budget on the cost of running the establishment. We need to correct this by cutting our establishment costs and increasing efficiency. This we will do through restructuring the government and the civil service to enhance merit and quality.
d. The concurrent list will be brought in harmony with the wishes of all provinces yet retaining the solidarity of Pakistan
e. We will improve our electoral system in order to meet Allah’s command to choose our leaders from the best among ourselves. As things stand right now elections do not lead to the emergence of the best. This deficiency in the quality of our legislature needs to be rectified.
f. The National Finance Commission Award will be looked into, to allow more economic viability to provinces yet allowing the centre enough financial independence for reinforcing socioeconomic development.
Our constitution already says that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic in which Islam is the state religion and where no law shall be made that is repugnant to Quran and Sunnah. It also states qualification and disqualifications for leadership under articles 62 and 63. However, we avoid implementing the more important social welfare aspects of Islam, which would justify our claim to being an Islamic Republic. We have not written in our constitution what is incumbent upon the state to do in order to be able to call itself Islamic. What are the Islamic duties of the state? How does it implement its Islamic ideology? We believe that it is the primary duty of the state to ensure that no segment of its population loses faith and their stake in the state. Thus we believe that it is the duty of the state to implement Huqooq Ul Ibad or the charter of the rights of Allah’s creation, the human being.
a. We firmly believe that all citizens are equal regardless of religion, caste, creed, ethnicity or language. It is the duty of the state to facilitate them in practicing their faith freely and without fear of transgression by others.
b. We believe in gender equality and will practice it in letter and spirit. We will strive against all forms of gender discrimination and will specially encourage female education. We will fight against socio-cultural injustices against women like honour killing, child marriages, marriage to the Holy Quran, karo-kari, wani, child abuse and sexual harassment. We stand for female emancipation following a three pronged approach:-
i. ii. iii.
Enhancing their political empowerment Enhancing their economic empowerment
Undoing laws and customs discriminating against women.
c. We will strive against exploitation of people through slavery, bonded labour and unjust use of labour in every form.
d. A state without adl is an abomination to Islam. Adl exists when
a society is balanced with no great difference between rich and poor, rulers and the ruled and where the people are genuinely empowered. A society based on egalitarianism and distributive justice where all its citizens are equal before the law regardless of status. Towards achieving this end:-
i. Judicial reforms will be carried out to consolidate the process of adl. The negative elements of bails and stay orders will be addressed and inordinate delays in trials, as also pendency of cases will be tackled.
ii. Easy access to justice will be ensured.
iii. Availability of cheap and speedy justice will be ensured. We will institute a system by which those who cannot afford a lawyer will be provided a good one by the state either free of cost or at a reasonable fee. To this end all lawyers, no matter how senior, shall have to take a certain number of cases of the poor and needy on behalf of the state.
e. We consider food, clean drinking water and energy to be man’s inalienable right :
i. To provide clean drinking water we shall create a very elaborate network of desalination, water filtration and reverse osmosis plants. We shall start by providing these down to the Union Council level and then move further down to each village level. Private philanthropists and entrepreneurs will be encouraged to help out in the respective regions.
ii. We shall establish kitchens that give free food to the poorest. For this we will co-opt the langar already running in various mosques and khanqahs of Sufi Saints. We will ask philanthropists to open langars or contribute generously towards the effort. Public sector funds will be used to reinforce genuine philanthropic efforts.
iii. We will outsource establishment of kitchens and water filtration plants as much as possible to private philanthropic organizations. Bait Ul Maal will be fully integrated in this national welfare activity.
iv. Electricity will be made available down to every village having 50 houses or more.
Nepotism and corruption have been the greatest ills afflicting our society and retarding performance. We will take all measures to root out corruption especially in government circles and among the rich and powerful. Our guiding principle in governance shall be merit and merit alone. There will be no nepotism or favouritism in any promotion or appointment. It is essential to raise the morale of the nation, restore lost self-confidence, faith and pride. This can only be done by giving the nation hope for a brighter future. We need to work with the media to spread optimism in the people. Together with “Pakistan First” we need to adopt another slogan: “Jaag Pakistani Jaag”.
Our concept of good governance shall be “To ensure security, progress and development of the state and welfare/well being of its people”.
The security of Pakistan will be guaranteed against external and internal threat. Towards this end:
a. The armed forces of Pakistan will be equipped and maintained at a level that they deter external aggression. Any adventurism against Pakistan will be thwarted.
b. We will fight terrorism everywhere in our land till we defeat it. For this purpose we will reduce our immediate dependence on the Army, strengthening the Police and more so the second line forces of Frontier Corps and Rangers.
c. Extremism in our society will be checked through a well
thought out and implemented domestic strategy. While our Islamic polity and credentials will be promoted, no space will be given to anyone or any organization spreading obscurantism in the masses.
d. Any attempts by any groups or individuals against the integrity of Pakistan will be crushed.
Progress and development of the state: The prosperity of the people of Pakistan is directly related and proportional to the development of the state. Therefore, the progress and development of Pakistan will be undertaken with a clear vision and strategy. The development strategy will focus on the following areas:-
a. Economy: We believe in “what is good for business is good for Pakistan”. No progress, no development in any sector is possible unless our economy is put on high growth. For this the cardinal requirement is to develop the trust, faith and confidence of Pakistanis and foreign well wishers, especially investors, in the government. Having achieved this we will follow the following broad guidelines as we successfully did between 1999 and 2008:-
i. An overall strategy of deregulation, liberalization, privatization and entrepreneurship will be implemented.
ii. GDP must grow by minimum 6% annually.
iii. Borrowing will be controlled, ensuring debt to GDP ratio never crosses 60%. We are determined to get out of the IMF debt trap again as we did during my governance.
iv. Fiscal deficit will be reduced through a substantial increase in revenue collection by broadening the tax collection base and reducing the number and level of taxes. We are determined to substantially enhance our tax to GDP ratio. Everyone will be brought into the tax net through electronic means opening a Data
Warehouse. Simultaneously we will reduce expenditure on running government by reducing ministries in the Centre dealing with provincial subjects.
v. Balance of payment deficit will be controlled through increasing our earnings in exports and foreign direct investment and reducing our expenditure on debt service liability.
vi. Inflation will be brought under control to check rising prices of consumer goods for the poor.
vii. Exports will be enhanced through market diversification and an industrial policy encouraging SMEs and product diversification.
viii. Investment will be drawn into Pakistan by providing an investor-friendly environment and improving law and order. We will give comfort to all investors through a continuity of our policies.
Ix. We consider population growth as a major cause of retarding economic development. We will adopt major population control measures to bring the growth down to 1.5% per annum.
b. Communication Infrastructure: Communication infrastructure linking Pakistan to other countries in the region, linking our provinces to each other and linking important places within provinces is essential for national integration and economic development. Pakistan’s geostrategic location linking West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia and China provides us the enviable position of acting as the trade and energy corridor for the entire region. We must therefore work towards extending our road and rail link into western China and Afghanistan facilitating linkages of Central Asian republics’ road/rail network to ours, thus fulfilling their much desired access to our sea ports of Karachi and Gwadar. This will facilitate inter-regional trade with its many advantages to Pakistan. Inter provincial, intra provincial and farm-to-market road connectivity will be enhanced particularly linking Balochistan and Gwadar port with the other three provinces. The entire railway system will be improved gradually to broad guage, then to standard guage. Gwadar Port will be connected to the main railway line. Gwadar Port will be extended and made into an 18 metre deep seaport. It will be developed into a major container terminal and ship repair facility.
c. Water Management: Water is a nation’s life. We are fortunate to have abundant water sources in the form of glacier water coming down our major rivers, monsoon rain water flowing down all minor and major water courses and sub soil water. But the demand for water – for human consumption, livestock and agriculture is enormous. We have to implement an effective water management regime to fully utilize all the available resources and optimize its availability to meet our growing demand. This requires :-
i. Enhancing water storage capacity through construction of maximum dams. Today, on the average 35 maf of water flows down unutilized into the sea. This is criminal. We must utilize all the glacier and monsoon water downflows.
ii. Maximum new canals will be made to carry all the harnessed water in dams to barren lands bringing maximum acreageunder irrigation.
iii. Rain water in Balochistan has tremendous utility potential if harnessed but unfortunately it all goes waste. We will build maximum delay action check dams to save water for human consumption and livestock.
iv. Preserving our existing irrigation water poses another challenge with a huge potential of increasing availability. Brick lining of water courses was initiated in 2003 and should be nearing completion. We will now go for brick lining of distributaries and canals to preserve our water against seepage waste thus ensuring availability at tail ends.
d. Agriculture: an agrarian economy, with about 70% of our population being rural, we will concentrate on maximizing our returns from agriculture. We will follow a self sufficient, import substitution and export oriented strategy. We spend about US$ 2 billion on import of edible oil. This amount must be saved by increasing our sunflower, canola and cotton seed production to be able to produce our own edible oil. Wheat, rice and cotton production must be maximized for self sufficiency and export. The three million acres of virgin land coming under cultivation through completion of new canals and dams will be made to follow this crop growing pattern.
e. Energy: We have to cater for our energy needs for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes. We have to generate electricity by the cheapest means. Fortunately we have abundance of sites for generating hydro electricity which is the cheapest. This potential must be fully tapped concentrating on major run of the river projects. Coal is another cheap source which needs to be tapped fully. The abundant coal reserves at Thar will be fully exploited. Possibilities of on-site gasification will be examined. Nuclear and alternate source of energy (wind and sun) will also be exploited. Unfortunately our known oil and gas reserves are limited. Their offshore and onshore exploration will be our focus. In the meantime, we must import gas from Iran, Qatar or Turkmenistan to cater for our industrial demand and requirements of running our thermal power plants. The overall energy strategy will be to increase hydro electricity, nuclear and alternate source of energy and reduce dependence on gas/oil thermal power.
f. Industry: expansion of our industrial base can be the driving force of our economic revival and employment generation. We will give special incentives including a one-window operation to give comfort to overseas Pakistanis for putting up industry in their home country. We will emulate the example of the highly successful Sunder industrial estate off Lahore to develop more estates with public-private partnership. Today, our industry is textile oriented with 60% of our exports being textile but only 6% of world trade is in textile while over 60% is heavy engineering and high technology. Although in the short term our focus will remain on textile, our long term strategy must be to diversify to enter the 60% market of high technology and heavy industry. To guard against concentration of big industrial houses we will spread wealth and jobs through growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We will introduce a culture of creating startups that focus on export-orientation and import substitution. We will strengthen capital formation by attracting venture capital and private equity funds to invest in Pakistan.
g. Environment: Environment preservation is an important world issue, to which we pay scant attention. Pakistan is suffering from a very fast pace of deforestation. This is occurring due to non-availability of fuel in our remote areas especially mountains. We will check illegal cutting of trees. Wherever trees have to be cut for development purposes at least double the numbers will be planted. We do not agree with environmentalists who believe in denying development for the sake of tree preservation. Water contamination is another critical area of neglect in Pakistan. We must tackle pollution of our rivers and sea water on an emergency basis. We will install water treatment plants for the purpose and institute regulatory controls over industrial effluent.
h. Terrorism and Extremism: We will show zero tolerance towards terrorism and extremism. Any talk of progress or development of Pakistan becomes irrelevant if we are unable to counter and defeat the scourge of terrorism and the increasing extremism in our society. We shall combat this menace with a well articulated strategy till we defeat it. We have to contend against four menaces within Pakistan: Al Qaida in Tribal Agencies, Taliban in Tribal Agencies, Talibanisation being spread by Taliban in the settled districts of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and even beyond and finally extremism in our society. The strategy to be followed against each will be:
i. Al Qaida They have to be eliminated with force. No foreigners have any right to use Pakistan’s territory for terrorist acts in Pakistan or elsewhere in the world.
ii. Taliban They are our own people but are religiously misguided. With them we will adopt a triple strategy of force, political dialogue and socio economic development. We believe that political deals with them should always be from a position of strength. They have to be dissuaded from going into Afghanistan or harboring any Afghan Taliban. Special funds for socioeconomic development will be allocated in pacified areas of Tribal Agencies.
iii. Talibanisation Spreading and forcing obscurantist Islamic views on the vastly moderate population will be checked. Force will be used against any violating individual or Tanzeem.
iv. Extremism in Society Extremism is a mind set and it exists in certain areas of Pakistan. It generally flourishes on account of poverty and illiteracy. The long term policy will be to educate the masses and reduce poverty. Other than that, we will follow a five point strategy of :
• Checking of misuse of mosques which promote militancy in any form and sectarian or religious hatred. Mosque’s Khateeb will not be allowed to deliver unchecked, offensive sermons inciting people to any kind of violence.
• Militant/ extremist religious organizations will be banned and their activities curbed. They will not be allowed to resurface under different names or Human Resource titles.
• All publications, books, magazines, posters, hand bills, wall chalking preaching militancy, arousing sectarian or religious hatred will be banned.
• Religious syllabus in schools will be kept under constant watch. All teachings inciting religious/sectarian hatred will be removed. Emphasis will be on Haqooq ul Ibad to improve national character and civic sense.
• No Madrassa will be allowed to be involved in militancy in any form. Talibs studying in Madrassas will be maistreamed into the society through teaching them all board subjects and making them take board exams thus qualifying them for board degrees. This way, their positive element of free boarding, lodging, food and education will be optimized and the negative aspects of unifocal religious approach alone will be eliminated.
Human resource: development will remain central to our philosophy and all our policies. We believe that development or progress of any society/state is directly proportional to the quality of its people. We, therefore, have to strategise human resource development and allocate maximum funds towards it. Private sector philanthropic activities will be reinforced wherever possible and with public/private cooperation in various sectors output/delivery to the people will be optimized.
a. Education: We will create an educated society. We will address education in a holistic manner, enhancing literacy level and improving primary, secondary and higher education. For better organizational efficiency we will devolve responsibility for primary/secondary education to Districts, college education to Provinces and university education to the Higher Education Commission. Special focus will be towards vocational training and skill development so that we emerge as a skilled force provider for the region and the world. Science and Engineering will remain the focus in higher education. The PhD programme targeting 1500 PhDs every year by 2015 will be revived as also the foreign universities arrangement of drawing high quality international universities into Pakistan. NGO’s and private individuals/organizations passionately involved in education will be financially reinforced. Quality education will be spread through public-private sector cooperation. The National commission on Human Development will be reinforced to spread adult literacy and universalizing education at Primary level. Allocation of funds towards education will be increased every year to reach 6% of GDP in 5 years.
b. Health: Maximum resources will be devoted to primary and secondary health care taking resources and facilities down to the grassroot level, reducing the load on tertiary health care. 60% of disease being water borne, we will open filtration plants down to Union Council level for providing safe drinking water. Selected NGOs and philanthropic organizations will be reinforced for expanding delivery to the common man. Every Basic Health Unit will be provided with a doctor. Every Tehsil/ District Hospital will have services of specialists available and will be equipped with required diagnostic medical equipment.
c. Population Control: Population explosion is sapping all our resources, putting pressure on our economy and over burdening all urban civic resources. It must be checked for better economic performance. The situation is worse when seen from the fact that while the educated and those who can afford are exercising population control, the poor and illiterate are growing unchecked. This is leading to a lowering of quality of population. We must arrest this tendency. Strong population control measures will be instituted. Religious scholars will be persuaded to issue fatwas in support of family planning.
d. Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation: Economic progress of the state is the basic tool of poverty alleviation.
Therefore, GDP must grow by at least 6% per annum. We will increase the earning capacity of the individuals and families through developing skills and creating more jobs. For this we will facilitate growth of private industrial sector to create maximum employment opportunities. Poverty resides in the rural uneducated unemployed, urban educated unemployed and urban uneducated unemployed. We will strike at the root of each one of those:
i. For the rural uneducated, unemployed agriculture, dairy, livestock and agro-based industry will be developed. For encouragement special incentives will be given in these areas. A white revolution in dairy will be brought about throughout Pakistan. We will improve the quality of livestock through spreading artificial insemination techniques and embryo transfer technology. Maximum state land will be allotted to poor landless cultivators. The maximum share of ZTBL loans will be given to small farmers requiring sums of less than two lacs. The revolving credit system for poor farmers, protecting them from the domination of middlemen, will be reinforced. For the poor population living on the coast of Balochistan and Sind, fisheries sector will be developed.
ii. For the urban educated unemployed, telecom and IT sectors will be promoted.
iii. For the urban uneducated unemployed, labour intensive activity of building, construction and infrastructure development will be promoted.
iv. Special schemes for employment generation will be imaginatively implemented.
v. Government land will be generously allocated to the landless. Cholistan Development Authority will be fully activated. New water schemes will be developed and land distributed among the poor.
vi. Micro financing will be encouraged and spread all over Pakistan for easy loans to the poor to start small businesses.
e. Targeted intervention: For the poorest segment of the population essential food items will be sold at reduced prices. A web of utility stores will be spread all over the country and special ration cards will be issued through the Bait Ul Maal.
Media: APML stands strongly in favour of the independence of the media, which will be maintained in letter and spirit. However, we have to create mutually agreed legal provisions for modulating independence with responsibility where national interest is involved.
Culture and heritage: The soft image of Pakistan will be publicized in Pakistan and spread throughout the world. We have a cultural heritage extending over 8000 years BC of which we ought to be proud. We are the cradle of Hinduism , Buddhism and Sikhism. Let this be known to all. We have a culture which is unique. We will encourage and promote our culture as we were doing between 1999 and 2008.
Sports: The people of Pakistan deserve a healthy diversion from the tensions of life. Sport provides the best recreational activity. We will encourage maximum sports activity, following a three-tiered approach in various sports. Competitions/championships will be held at District/ Provincial/ National level, school/college/university level and corporation level to improve quality and generate national interest.
Conclusion: We have full faith in the resilience, dynamism and enterprise of the people of Pakistan. By the grace of Allah, Pakistan is endowed with abundant water, fertile land, sources of energy, natural resources and dynamic human resource. There is no reason why we should not be able to stand on our own feet as a proud, forward looking and progressive state in the comity of nations.
Source: PM’s Facebook Page
Former president and ex-chief of Pakistan Army Pervez Musharraf has secured himself a launchpad for his return to the country from his exile in London a political party which is founded with the desire of bringing about “a great change”. “We are happy. There is still a lot of work to do, but we have the concept, the objectives and the will,” asserted retired General Rashid Qureshi, who was the military and presidential spokesperson for Musharraf and is now one of the “masterminds” behind the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).
The APML emulates the name of the historical Muslim party that played a decisive role in the independence of Pakistan in 1947, after decades of struggle for freedom from the dominion of British Empire.
The official launch of the party took place quietly in the southern metropolis of Karachi in June where its leaders announced that the party wants to be for “all Pakistanis” without distinction of religion, ethnicity or social class.
“The people of Pakistan are tired of the government’s incompetence. It is time for a great change,” Qureshi told EFE, and affirmed that the party “has already been registered” and hopes to establish headquarters in all the big cities and provincial councils.
According to a party source, the party has organised various events in other important places of Pakistan like Lahore and the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, since its launch in Karachi.
Some of its leaders are currently in Dubai to meet Musharraf and design a strategy for the new formation.
The source also revealed that this month there could be a launch of the party in London, but added that the final decision is yet to be taken and that it depends on the political situation in Pakistan.
The most notable thing about the new party is that its existence might be the preamble to the come back to the country of retired General Musharraf, who according to Qureshi “would return soon” to Pakistan to head the organisation and to contest the next elections.
“The date (of the return) is not yet decided. We keep informing him of the situation here. When he returns we’ll tell the people in advance,” said the spokesperson, who added that the APML “is working to guarantee his security”.
After nearly nine years in power, which he gained following a bloodless coup d’état, Musharraf found himself forced to give up the presidency of Pakistan in August 2008 to avoid the process of impeachment against him by parliament.
The former president stayed in the country for a while away from the front line but found himself hounded by a number of his old enemies among the political groups, the judiciary and civil society on account of his past manoeuvres when in power.
This made him leave Pakistan and go for pilgrimage to Makkah, and later serve as speaker at various conferences in the Middle East, Europe and the US, till he settled down in Britain.
Sources from different parties including the one that supported his mandate, the Muslim League-Q, showed their concern on whether the former general would dare to return in the present circumstances; while Musharraf has already announced that he would contest in the “next elections”.
In a recent video-conference, complete with a Pakistani flag, a bunch of red flowers, a thick book about Michelangelo and a collection of Mozart discs, he announced his decision to return to politics and was confident of obtaining the nation’s support.
His hope comes from the renewed rage that he has awakened through internet: his virtual page on Facebook, for example, has a significant figure of 218,071 followers, and that of the APML has added more than 1,500 in a few days.
“You are actually a real leader. We need you here,” writes an internet user in support of his return, among other comments.
Not very pleased with the prospect, the influential Pakistani daily “Dawn” expressed its doubts in a recent editorial whether “the self-proclaimed conquest of cyber-space really coincides with the reality” of an underdeveloped country.
“Musharraf has to be prepared to face possible judicial charges against him if he returns to Pakistan,” said the newspaper.
A Western diplomatic source described it as being a “positive” thing that a new political party led by Musharraf has been founded in a country which, after all, is considered a democracy.
“Obviously it is very likely that he would become de facto president and (his figure) represents a rupture in the democratic system, which has experienced frequent alterations in Pakistan,” said the source.
Spokesperson Qureshi admitted that some parties are hostile to Musharraf despite not being able to present “solid” accusations, and defended that the former general “is even more popular with the lower classes”.
Source: Hindustan Times