ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday unveiled the agenda it intends to implement in the country if elected to power after the upcoming general elections. “These 100 days reflect the path for which the country was made,” PTI Chairman Imran Khan told a ceremony organized to present the party’s reforms agenda, adding that the first 100 days of the PTI government will be reflective of the party’s ideology and policies. The 100-day plan presents the idea of generating 10 million jobs within five years. It aims to give complete autonomy to Southern Punjab. Some five million houses will be built under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme, according to the plan. The agenda also includes transformation in governance, revitalisation of economic growth and ensuring the country’s national security. Senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Jehangir Tareen, Asad Umar and Shireen Mazari outlined the party’s top priorities. Shah Mehmood Qureshi spoke mostly about regional disparities and presented the plan for the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a political reconciliatory process for Balochistan, as well as for the creation of South Punjab province on administrative grounds. “Southern Punjab is a province of 40 million people. Today this province stands marginalised … no devolution of power there. Power rests in the hands of a few. It is time to remove this feeling of deprivation in southern Punjab. This area is even bigger than the current province of KP … and we want to empower it with the rights it deserves,” he said. Qureshi said that FATA ‘s merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was Imran Khan’s top priority. “FATA reforms are a life-old dream of Imran Khan who has roamed all these areas on foot. PTI wants to bring prosperity to the people of these areas who have been deprived for decades. We will remove and abolish the oppressive system. We will launch a mega development plan with involvement of the federal government,” he said. “Right now, it is only the KP government which thinks about the people of FATA. We will engage all provinces to bring them into the mainstream and repeal the FCR with new laws in place after consultation with the local elders. Through a constitutional route, we want to extend the jurisdiction of our courts. We will create employment opportunities for the people in FATA,” he added. Qureshi said Balochistan is the future of Pakistan and a fundamental element of the CPEC project. “Those who have raised arms against the state because of grievances and deprivation … we will not marginalize them further, rather bring them back into the mainstream. We will champion reconciliation in Balochistan and empower the government to launch large-scale efforts for political reconciliation under Imran Khan’s leadership,” he said, adding PTI’s government would heal the wounds of Balochistan. About Karachi, Qureshi said the PTI intends to crack down on ‘qabza mafia’ in the metropolis. “The first priority will be to restore peace and stability in Karachi, and carry out development. PTI government will provide a complete transport system. We will bring an empowered local government system in Karachi,” he said. KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak recalled the party’s initiatives and reforms brought in its five-year stint in power in the province. He promised that important changes to education and health system in the country would be ensured along with an expansion in the social safety net. The Sehat Insaf Card, currently only restricted to KP, would be expanded to the entire country and a total of 8 million families would be provided with income support, up from 5.4million families today under the Benazir Income Support Programme. He said that the party would protect the rights of women and ensure their progress in society. He said that his party would ensure provision of clean drinking water and begin a tree-plantation campaign. Disqualified secretary general of the party Jehangir Tareen spoke about the agenda for improvements in agriculture. He said that the PTI would take emergency measures to make agriculture profitable for farmers. He promised financial help and better access to loans for farmers, while also promising to make the country self-sufficient in milk-related products. He noted that the country was far behind others in agricultural research and vowed to improve research in the sector to turn around the agro-economy. “More fruits and vegetable markets will be set up across Pakistan. We will impose an agriculture emergency to increase farmer profitability, reduce taxes on diesel, encourage a change in crop-mix, and optimize subsidy programs along with other initiatives,” he added. Unveiling the economic agenda, Asad Umar said that private sector would be encouraged to build five million new homes within the first 100 days of his party’s government under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme. “Let me make it clear that this will be done in the first 100 days by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Insha Allah.” “A competent FBR chairman will be named after introducing reforms in the organization. We have to end our dependence on thermal power. The biggest problem has been to import coal for power generation,” he said. Umar said that his party’s government would create 10 million new jobs in five years. “We have to reduce the burden of taxes on traders, businessmen and industrialists. Small industries cannot bear the burden of unfair system of taxation. Electricity and gas prices will be brought down. We will provide a level-playing field to traders, farmers, businessmen and industrialists,” he said. He announced that the government-owned guesthouses would be turned into hotels and made available for the public, and that four new tourist spots would be discovered within the first 100 days. “A ‘Council of Business Leaders’ would be created to improve Pakistan’s global business standing. ‘Pakistan Wealth Fund’ would be created to fund institutions such as the Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Steel Mills and power distribution companies to bring revolutionary changes in them,” he added. Shireen Mazari said that a national security organisation would be formed if PTI came to power. She promised improvements in economy through a reformed foreign policy and the creation of a detailed national security policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be strengthened by revamping its legal and institutional capabilities, Mazari announced. She said that the national security policy would focus on uncovering contact between active and inactive terrorists, ensure implementation of National Action Plan, curriculum reforms and bringing madressahs into the national mainstream. “A civilised society is not known by how many big houses are constructed in Defence Housing Authorities, or now in Bahria [Town], but how people in the slums live,” PTI chief Imran Khan, who spoke towards the end of the ceremony, said. Making multiple religious references in his address, Imran said that he envisions a Pakistan in which a leader is accountable even for the death of an animal. All policies under this 100-day agenda will look into how to make education, employment and other basic rights accessible to the common man, he said. The PTI chief said that temperatures in Pakistan were rising because of climate change which is a reality and that its effects can only be mitigated by planting more trees. He regretted that the party’s billion tree tsunami project in KP was criticised by the PML-N despite being acknowledged by international organisations. Stressing on improvements in governance and service delivery, he criticised the incumbent government for being in a hurry to inaugurate projects like Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore and the new Islamabad International Airport. “Have you ever seen Mahatir Mohammad or Nelson Mandela cutting ribbons?” he asked, adding that nation-building, not inauguration of some projects, is the real achievement. Published in Daily Times, May 21st 2018.