In view of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s ‘million-man march’, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) delayed on Sunday the announcement of its party manifesto, prior to the 2013 general elections, party sources said.
“It is unlikely that the manifesto would be unveiled prior to Dr Qadri’s long march,” sources in the party told The Express Tribune.
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had termed Dr Qadri’s arrival “a conspiracy”, and vowed to thwart every effort aimed at derailing democracy.
Even though Dr Qadri’s arrival brought the opposition and the government on the same page, PML-N has decided to delay the announcement of its manifesto, in the run-up to the general elections.
Experts within the party had been toiling night and day to meet the January 5 deadline, when a party convention was scheduled to take place in Islamabad to mark the anniversary of the creation of the Muslim League and to announce the manifesto.
According to sources, the party does not want its new manifesto to go unnoticed as the media’s attention, at this particular juncture, is on Dr Qadri and developments related to his long march.
Ahsan Iqbal’s version
Denying these claims, PML-N Deputy Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said, “No, party Chief Nawaz Sharif wanted a little more [time to] deliberate [over] a clearer road map for [addressing the] Karachi and Balochistan crisis.”
Ahsan, however, did not give a date as to when these deliberations will be completed and the party will formally declare its manifesto.
Sources also claim that the party was considering making amendments to the manifesto in the backdrop of recent political developments in the country, while others cite the translation of the manifesto into regional languages as the reason for delay.
In its new manifesto, the PML-N has paid special attention to the economy and judiciary.
In order to clear backlog and make the judicial system effective, the manifesto is likely to introduce a proposal, according to which courts would work in two shifts or that there would be separate courts working in the morning and evening.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2013.
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