Coming elections & party manifestos
NOW that elections are round the corner and political parties are preparing their manifestos to allure voters, I want to share with your readers what should be the real manifesto which favours the people instead of the ruling elite.
It should be a manifesto promising to change the law to severely punish those who make wrong statements while filing applications for employment, filing papers for elections with wrong information or raising false accusations to drag a person into litigation (the mother of all ills in our society).
It is my belief that if a political party does this, it would, in fact, serve the people and 90 per cent of our problems would be solved.
All political parties should promise that when serious allegations (case in a court of law or obvious evidence produced in public/media) are raised against its members (ministers/appointment-holders), they would resign and clear themselves first.
When and if cleared, they will be restored and the one raising the false allegation will be imprisoned for three to five years in the same judgment of a court or any other commission inquiring into the allegation.
Political parties should promise that their members would file genuine tax-returns which would be opened for scrutiny and may be challenged by any individual in a court of law etc. When and if proven guilty of not filing tax returns, the member will get punishment under the rule of law or if cleared, the accusing person will get three to five years’ jail term.
There should be a pledge in the manifesto promising to alter the laws that protect civil servants against the people. Political parties should also promise to depoliticise the police and bureaucracy.
There should be no individual postings except on the basis of merit and that too for a tenure of three years at the maximum.
This should be on rotation, once in rural and once in urban areas, restricting a posting for the second time at any station during the entire term of the service.
Political parties must guarantee that they would enforce education emergency and divert maximum funds to the education sector. They should promise that they would not stop development works of the previous government/party and would not divert the allocated funds for education for any other purpose.
Manifestoes of parties must also have provision for local bodies elections and works through local governments instead of parliamentarians, who must concentrate on good governance and law-making in people’s interests.
All parties should promise to hold genuine and across-the-board accountability of all, including politicians, bureaucracy (civil and armed forces) and other autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies.
The list is long but these are a few immediate steps to judge a party to vote for. Can anyone help me, please?
IN the past few decades a tendency has been observed in Pakistan for dogfights over issues trivial or important.
I fear that such a situation may develop over the formation of a caretaker government.
I suggest that the only way to avoid unsavoury controversies is to form a caretaker government of civil service heads of ministries. After elections have been held and a government formed, they would go back to their civil jobs and nobody would be any worse for it.
BIRJIS HASAN KHAN