It’s time for politicians to stop empty words and instead keep promises


 

It looks strange when an editorial writer ignores the major issues and focusses instead on apparently petty affairs. Ideally, Truth Tracker’s editorial for its current issue should have been about corruption cases against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children, Pakistan’s role in Saudi Arabia – Iran conflict or the expected resignation of General (Ret.) Raheel Sharif from the captaincy of the Saudi-led military alliance of 39 countries. Instead we have opted to focus again on the promises and manifestos of political parties.

The present federal and provincial governments have now completed four years in power. One year is left and Pakistan will go to the polls in 2018. For the past five years Truth Tracker has been tracking promises of three parties: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML), Pakistan Tehrik e Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP). PML holds the reins in Islamabad (federal government), Punjab and Balochistan (provincial governments), PTI runs the provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and PPP controls the provincial government in Sindh.

After continuous tracking of the promises made by the three parties, we at Truth Tracker have found that only 30 percent or less of the promises made in the manifestos of the three ruling parties have been fulfilled to date. The rest of the promises were either broken or compromised. This speaks to the parties’ lack of seriousness towards the people of Pakistan — they know Pakistanis will not hold them accountable and ask about these promises. And so the wheel goes around again and the parties will simply come up with new promises and again there will be no questions asked.

Recently, a member of the PPP’s Manifesto Committee for Election 2013, told Truth Tracker that the political parties in Pakistan don’t take the preparation of their manifestos seriously. They identify some of the major issues like the electricity crisis, law and order, etc., and knit promises around them while other promises are simply fillers to increase the volume of the manifesto.

This political leader’s next revelation was even more intriguing:  most promises are made without proper consideration and planning which means make a promise first and then plan. It indicates that political parties take their promises as meaningless words and manifestos as useless documents which essentially become invalid after they are elected.

The mainstream political parties of Pakistan must change their attitude towards their voters as well as their promises and manifestos for it is their democratic obligation to educate voters about the importance and sanctity of the manifestos which, while helping political leaders  reach the power corridors, end up becoming meaningless words with little to no truth attached.

These parties should therefore join hands with Truth Tracker, which despite having very little resources, stands for the cause of truth and promise tracking and accountability for the sake of the people of Pakistan.

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