MQM wants to turn Pakistan into welfare state: Farooq Sattar

Published: April 1, 2013
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Farooq Sattar. PHOTO: APP

Farooq Sattar. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: Announcing the party manifesto for the upcoming elections, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) expressed a desire to turn Pakistan into a welfare state.

This was stated by MQM’s Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar at a press conference in Karachi on Monday.

Sattar said that his party wanted to empower the public.

“Our slogan, ‘Ba Ikhtiar Awaam’ [empowering the public], expresses our vision,” Sattar said.

He further emphasised the importance of local autonomy and termed it essential for a welfare state.

The MQM’s manifesto focused on social, economic and human development.

‘Education for all’

The MQM promised to upgrade the government institutes to the level of private schools.

“We do not wish to end the private school system but we need to decrease the disparity between the two [government and private] systems,” Sattar said.

Enrollment drives, ‘learn and earn’ schemes, teacher training, community service and educating community to prevent school drop-outs were part of the agenda.

‘Health for all’

“Preventive health and primary health will be our main focus because prevention is better than cure,” the deputy convener expressed.

The MQM will increase the health budget by five per cent and introduce health insurance schemes for the entire country, he further promised.

Sattar also focused on the affordability of medicines and maintaining the ratio between paramedical staff and doctors.

“Medicines should be affordable for all. We can import them from neighbouring countries on lower prices,” Sattar provided a solution.

The party promised a ‘Health and Education Reform Centre’ which would be independent from any political interference.

Economic stability

The MQM claimed they would increase investment opportunities in Pakistan by facilitating investors through one-window operation.

“We will provide them [investors] land from industrial zones and reduce cost of doing business. Pakistan has the highest ‘cost of doing business’ in the region,” Sattar revealed.

MQM is all set to introduce micro financing following the model presented by Professor Younus Grameen (belonging to Bangladesh) and introduce agriculture tax.

Power crisis

The manifesto aimed to reduce utility bills by 20 to 40 per cent. According to the MQM, the reduction is possible if indirect taxes and levies on these utilities are removed.

The manifesto also addressed the issue of circular debt as this is the main reason for rise in the electricity bills.

“If we solve the circular debt issue then the electricity shortage can be reduced by 70 per cent,” he claimed.

Efficient management will be employed for Pepco and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra). The MQM will also ensure effective utilisation of natural gas and build projects like the Iran and Pakistan gas pipeline, he added.

In the end, Sattar promised the MQM would ensure overseas voters are able to cast their votes without any difficulty in future elections.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Rana
    Apr 1, 2013 - 6:13PM

    Just as they have turned Karachi welfare city. This time, My vote is for PTI

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  • SJung
    Apr 1, 2013 - 6:39PM

    Everyone wants to make Pakistan into a welfare state, I wonder how will they finance it? Western economic giants, such as the UK, Canada, France and other EU countries, spend a vast majority of their budget on social welfare, more so than on any other part of the budget. So I really question the feasibility of a welfare system in Pakistan.

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  • Kawesh
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:03PM

    Thanks for borrowing an idea from PTI………
    We can see how much welfare state Karachi is…..!!!!!!

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  • Opinion
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:07PM

    It is already welfare state for all criminals Parties (all parties of Pakistan)and people and other nations…….
    from the time of birth of Pakistan people of this country are doing welfare work to flourish the parties and their families and still continue…..

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  • Ali (Texas)
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:16PM

    …and what about telling us about the past 5 years of MQM in the government?….have they turned anything into anything?….

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  • Sajjad Ahmed
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:35PM

    Hahahaa ………..

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  • DIXIT
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:40PM

    A pathetic attempt to copy PTI !

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  • AmmarSarcasm
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:43PM

    What! why they don’t have slogans like end of corruption in 90 days and end of load shading in 30 days ????
    Their proposal is rejected by awam being not too idealistic!

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  • AA
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:44PM

    When I read the party manifestos, my immediate reaction is like ===>>Bwaahahahaha

    MQM made everyone april fool

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  • Hasan Abdul
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:50PM

    And that folks is the joke of the Year!

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  • Tahir Khan
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:00PM

    He probably should give some insight as how he plan to generate the revenue to run a welfare state. A welfare state runs on taxes collected by the state. Did you answer the question first as to why would anyone pay taxes to corrupt governments ?

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  • Sarah
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:33PM

    Ok. Too Late. I have already made my mind for the CHANGE.
    Sorry buddy, you came toooo5 late.

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  • shahid
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:52PM

    @Tahir Khan:
    Pakistan has enough resources just stop corruption.Imagine what could have been done by the looted 18,000 billion rupees by politicians and bureucrats.

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  • fus
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:17PM

    Kids before making childish comments it will not hurt to look at some facts.One country that has most potential of generating revenue is Pakistan. Only 250000 people pay tax. Undocumented economy is very strong, except for MQM and PTI who else is willing to Tax Landlords and industrialist. It is all about will to go after Tax defaulters. Secondly Karachi got a face lift in last 30 years during MQM local govt. so come out of your hatred and start using your brain. For PTI trolls, I will ask you when PTI will make alliance with MQM after election.

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  • UFF
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:23PM

    Someone got bored in London, looked outside the window, and said “why not, lets do this in Karachi”.

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  • Apr 1, 2013 - 9:41PM

    @SJung:
    It doesn’t take much money to provide free education and health care. Sri Lanka is a poor country that does that quite successfully. It has a literacy rate in excess of 90% and access to health care is so widespread that it has an ageing population.

    More than money there has to be political will and honest workers.

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  • Apr 1, 2013 - 9:46PM

    Without a doubt Pakistan is one of the richest countries of the world. Only problem is most of the countries wealth is stolen by the corrupt in key position for decades. There is possibly billions sitting outside Pakistan in indirect names, accounts, trusts which needs to be tracked, identified and brought back. It will be hard but not impossible to succeed in brinbging most of this stolen wealth back. All I can say is those that carry anything unearned carry curse on themselves or their families. They just don’t see it that way.

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  • SM
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:47PM

    I see the welfare city that is Karachi.

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  • Apr 1, 2013 - 10:07PM

    Only MQM can bring revolutionary development, anyone who refutes that is not being truthful.

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  • HYPOCRIT
    Apr 1, 2013 - 10:32PM

    @The Only Normal Person He
    what a load of hogwash

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  • Eyes Wide Shut
    Apr 1, 2013 - 10:45PM

    Sorry, this time my vote is for PTI!

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  • UK
    Apr 1, 2013 - 10:48PM

    @fus:

    “For PTI trolls, I will ask you when PTI will make alliance with MQM after election.”

    So you are predicting that PTI is going to win next elections??? Because MQM makes alliance with who ever wins.

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  • Jamshed
    Apr 2, 2013 - 12:27AM

    @Pervaiz Lodhie:
    “Without a doubt Pakistan is one of the richest countries of the world”.

    What do you have to back that assertion? I have a compost pit in my back garden and that does not add to my “assets” or does not make me rich in any way. With the debt Pakistan has incurred courtesy of the PPP coalition government, it will be a while before Pakistan even gets back to zero – if it can at all.

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  • What
    Apr 2, 2013 - 12:58AM

    PPP has ran on this slogan since 1970’s, how uneducated are youRecommend

  • fus
    Apr 2, 2013 - 1:21AM

    @UK, my friend, I will vote for MQM but I hope PTI also get most of the seats, hopefully more than 60 in NA, and majority in Punjab and KPK. In Sind it will be hard. Most of the people comment against MQM out of hatred without understanding polictics of Karachi or Sind. So far the only available options had been PPP or PML(N), this time if it is PTI then we would actually see how MQM perform with a party that has quite a few common traits. The only thing that bother me of PTI is their dependency on JI.

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  • I. Ahmed
    Apr 2, 2013 - 3:15AM

    A party that rules the city has nothing about security and lawlessness in its manifesto. They cannot achieve the ‘social welfare’ status without peace in the city.
    Considering they thrive on chaos and insecurity in Karachi, one should not expect them to be talking about that!

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  • MS
    Apr 2, 2013 - 3:21AM

    @ peeps criticizing karachi halat….how about i throw swarming bees in your house and see how you maintain order.
    MQM has done more positive when in power than any other political given the same. FACT

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  • Navaid
    Apr 2, 2013 - 8:53AM

    Will vote for MQM as always !

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  • Falcon
    Apr 2, 2013 - 9:12AM

    @fus:
    My father used to live in Karach before the proverbial ‘face-lifting’ by MQM and found it to be a much more pleasant and safe place to live. No matter how much face lifting MQM does, unless it seriously addresses the security issue, things simply can not improve in Karachi. As of 2008 wikileaks report, MQM’s active and reserve militants are greater in number than Karachi’s police force; that itself should give you an idea of where we are heading. Secondly, if you ever get a chance, do read late Parveen Rehman’s thoughts on the entanglement of crime, business, and politics in Karachi.

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  • Omer
    Apr 2, 2013 - 9:15AM

    @Kawesh:
    karachi is not a country

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  • bilafond
    Apr 2, 2013 - 10:10AM

    So they want us to live more in this welfare state condition .. by joining PPP again – who knows

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