The purpose of this Manifesto is to inform the public about the aims and objectives of the Awami National Party (ANP) so that voters in the forthcoming General Elections will know clearly what the Party stands for. The manifesto does not purport to be a detailed programme of action. It seeks only to describe the spirit that motivates the Party and the overall principles that will govern its policies, should it be called upon to serve the people of Pakistan and of the entire Pukhtunkhwa in particular, either singly or in partnership with others.
The Manifesto is divided into the following parts:-
- External Affairs
- Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
The Awami National Party draws its inspiration from the example and teachings of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, affectionately known to his people as Baacha Khan. He spent his entire life in the struggle for freedom and justice. He and his Khudai Khidmatgars offered great sacrifices in the fight against colonialism, imperialism and all other forms of oppression. In a broader sense, Baacha Khan saw politics as the highest form of public service and often described himself as only a social worker. His objective was to liberate the masses of South Asia and, particularly, his own people, the Pukhtuns, from the shackles of ignorance and poverty, so that they could rise to their full potential.
In keeping with this spirit, the ANP, like its predecessors, the NAP (National Awami Party) and the NDP (National Democratic Party), looks upon politics primarily as a public service, particularly to the poor and the disadvantaged. Hence the Party is dedicated to the promotion of democracy and freedom, the eradication of poverty, the protection of human rights, the combating of extremism in all its forms and the creation of equal opportunities for all citizens. It firmly believes in peace and non-violence as the best way to resolve all issues. It is committed to securing for all the federating units of Pakistan their full political, social and economic rights as equal partners in the federation and their fair share in national progress and prosperity.
In the pursuit of these goals, the ANP is ready to work together with like-minded forces in Pakistan and to subscribe to partnerships with all peace loving countries of the world.
2.1 Political, Legal and Administrative
The ANP will strive for the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous, progressive and liberal society based on the following principles:-
- Democracy and the rule of law.
- Protection of the rights and identities of the peoples of all provinces of Pakistan and unrestricted freedom for the development of their cultures and languages. The so-called North West Frontier Province would be renamed as Pakhtunkhwa, according to the aspirations of the people and resolutions of the provincial assembly.
- No discrimination of any kind based on race, creed or gender. Every citizen of Pakistan shall have equal rights in the political, economic and social fields. Every citizen shall have the right to hold any public office and all discriminatory laws shall be repealed. The essence of security will be guaranteed among the religious and ethnic minorities.
- Freedom of association and of speech shall be guaranteed, as shall the freedom of the Press.
- Full provincial autonomy with the centre retaining control of defense, foreign affairs, currency, (communications and such other subjects which the federating units agree to.
- ANP will emphasize the maintenance of law and order so as to protect the security of citizens, which has been considerably endangered of late.
- Defence expenditure to be reduced to levels, which do not jeopardize the economic and social welfare of the people. Moreover the services of trained personnel of the armed forces like doctors, teachers, engineers, skilled and semi-skilled workers shall be utilized for productive purposes whenever and wherever required and these services shall be performed on a non-profit basis.
- Non-interference in politics by the armed forces and by the civil bureaucracy shall be guaranteed by appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
- The Federal Legislature shall continue to be bicameral as at present, but the powers of the Senate shall be enhanced so as to include initiation of money bills and approval of higher appointments.
- Administrative and judicial reforms shall be directed towards devising systems which meet the requirements of a democratic society but which also provide the citizen with security, speedy justice and honest, efficient and impartial service.
- Federal civil servants posted to the Province will be appointed with the consent of the Provincial government. The Provincial government will have complete control over all officials serving in the Province. At the Centre, efforts will be made to obtain for the Province its rightful share of appointments at all levels.
- The judiciary shall be separated from the executive except where there is a requirement for executive magistrates to carry out non-judicial functions. The judiciary shall have full financial autonomy.
- Parallel legal and quasi-legal systems will be abolished so as to ensure a uniform, integrated judicial system in the country.
- Effective laws shall be passed to prevent horse-trading and sale of loyalties among the elected representatives of the people.
- (Federating units which wish to reorganize on the basis of cultural, linguistic and geographical similarities shall be free to do so).
- A comprehensive package of economic, social and legal measures will be proposed to protect the interests of working and labor class.
- Efforts shall be made to narrow the difference in salaries between the highest and lowest paid government employees so as to reach an optimal ratio of 5:1 and salaries shall be indexed to the cost of living.ss
- Re-employment of retired government servants shall, as a rule, not be allowed. Where it is essential, in the public interest, written reasons shall be given and these shall be justiciable.
- Benefits, subsidies and privileges granted to former rulers of States, their dependents or other special classes of citizens shall be abolished.
- The elimination of bribery and corruption, black-marketing, smuggling and other social evils shall be given the top-most priority and a permanent, independent authority shall be established to enforce accountability’.
- The privacy of citizens in domestic matters and in communications shall be ensured. Wire-tapping, censorship, and entry into private premises without legal authority shall be prohibited.
The primary duty of the state is to provide a better life for the people. Political rights and freedoms have to be accompanied by advancement in the social and economic spheres. Poverty, disease and illiteracy have to be eliminated and social justice ensured. Towards these ends, the ANP will pursue socio-economic policies along the following lines:
- ANP will ensure that the 1991 decision of the Council of Common Interests in respect of hydel profits accruing to the province is implemented in letter and spirit.
- New oil and gas discoveries have been made in Pukhtunkhwa, so new royalty rates will be negotiated to generate more resources for the development of the Province. Gungari North Western Gas Company, with its headquarters in Pakhtunkhwa, shall be established on the lines of SSGPL and SNGPL.
- Provincial resources were reduced, when the Federal Government took away Cantonment property taxes from the province without relieving it of the responsibility for provision of infrastructure and services and the maintenance of law and order. The federation will be urged to pay for these services.
- The federation abolished octroi taxes on the promise of providing 2.5% of sales tax revenues to local governments. The province thus lost its claim against sales tax. It will therefore seek compensation under the new National Finance Commission Award (NFC).
- Many large organizations like the National Highway Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority and others were taken out of the purview of the National Economic Council. The result was that equity in distribution of funds and projects cannot now be maintained. ANP will seek the establishment of National forums to ensure equity in this regard.
- The ravages of the Afghan wars and the presence of Afghan refugees for more than two decades have damaged the entire Pukhtunkhwa’s natural resource base and infrastructure. ANP will strive for additional resources to offset these reverses.
Economic structure of the provincial economy
- ANP will shift the emphasis from public sector development towards a market approach and will involve the private sector in the overall process of economic development of the province. At the same time it will seek to ensure safety nets for low income groups.
- ANP will encourage and protect foreign investment and offer special incentives in this regard.
- ANP proposes that the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) concept should be implemented through provincial governments so that maximum benefits remain in the provinces.
- Agriculture accounts for 25% of the Pukhtunkhwa’s GDP. 47% of the Provinces’ labor force is employed in this sector and 70% of population subsists on agriculture. Hence, agricultural development will be a top priority. Similar initiatives will be made in other provinces, as well.
- Livestock is a major contributor in this sector with 12% share of the provincial GDP. ANP will give special attention to this sector because of its large scale impact on poverty reduction and growth.
- Poultry farming has made positive gains in Hazara. Similarly, the sale of dairy products and live animals for urban consumption are an additional source of income for the farmer. ANP will take measures to build on this strength.
- About 2.1 million hectares of pastureland is available throughout Pukhtunkhwa to support livestock and farming, this potential shall be exploited to the benefit of the farmers. The same will be done in other provinces, as well.
- Vast potential exists for diversification of agriculture into high value cash crops like fruits, vegetables and flowers as well as edible oil crops like olives. Incentives will be given to grow these commercially.
- Major reforms will be brought to develop forests because Pukhtunkhwa has 40% of Pakistan’s forestry cover.
- Pukhtunkhwa produces 49.8% of Pakistan’s maize and 71.9% of its tobacco. Downstream industries based on these products will be developed.
- ANP shall take measures to Provincialize the excise duty on tobacco.
- Failure to provide meaningful employment is a major cause of radicalization in Pakhtunkhwa. If youth are unable to find jobs they lose hope and many drift towards drugs and extremism. This cycle will be broken by providing employment targets for each year. All projects and programs shall be driven by this priority.
- Linked with this approach shall be the reform of education system so that skill development and vocational training starts at an early stage.
- Special attention will be paid to the problem of the educated unemployed. Facilities like internship, placement bureaus and advisory organizations will be provided to help them find jobs. The projects of self-employment would also be given priority.
- Large-scale industrial development in the province has been minimal and ANP will accelerate it. Investment will be promoted especially in industries based on oil and gas, because of recent discoveries in the province.
- Pukhtunkhwa has only 4.5% of the country’s small and medium industry which is a small percentage as compared to its population. Corrective measures will be taken to ensure that the province gets its rightful share of investment in this sector.
- Large scope exists in the extraction and polishing of marble, gemstones, and mineral processing. ANP will encourage investment in these industries.
- Special emphasis will be laid on food processing industry so as to increase the incomes of fruit and vegetable farmers.
Banking and investment
- ANP believes that financial services can play a major role in creating an infrastructure for growth in the province. New instruments will be developed to assist improvement of livelihoods through entrepreneurial development and special micro-credit schemes.
- ANP will pursue the allocation of a higher percentage of credit to the province. The province contributes about 11% of the total bank deposits, yet only 4% of the loans are disbursed in Pukhtunkhwa. This inequity will be corrected.
- ANP will undertake urban renovation by investing in utilities, modern communications, infrastructure, sewerage and waste management, urban roads, mass transit system, cheap and affordable housing.
- The State is obliged to provide free education up to primary level and at affordable cost thereafter.
- ANP will aim to allocate at least 6% of the GDP to education.
- ANP will work to eliminate dual system of education that protects and perpetuates class and feudal interests. It will work for a single system which meets International standards.
- ANP will ensure that the medium of instruction at the elementary level is in the mother tongue.
- ANP will strive to provide health facilities for all citizens. In this respect various options including insurance schemes, privatization etc. will be considered. ANP will aim to allocate at least 6 percent of the GDP to health.
- Health services will be decentralized to bring them to the door step.
- ANP will emphasize on child & mother care, provision of clean drinking water and preventive medicine.
- ANP will lay special emphasis on the protection of environment. Our wealth lies in our natural resources like forests, rivers etc. Indiscriminate deforestation and pollution of rivers will be strictly checked. Similarly, the problem of air pollution and disposal of industrial waste will be urgently addressed.
- ANP believes the natural market for Pukhtunkhwa is Afghanistan & the Central Asian Republics. Every measure will be taken to increase bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade links with them.
- ANP welcomes the concept of the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) and hopes for its early implementation as it will promote regional trade.
Hydel generation & Irrigation
- ANP will pursue the development of irrigation projects at the federal and provincial level to utilize about 2 MAF of water that is still available to it for development.
- ANP will continue to oppose projects which do not bring any economic benefit to the people of the province and which endanger the livelihoods, their lands and their environment.
- ANP will strive to make Power a provincial subject as it had been in the pre one unit period.
- Power is sold by WAPDA at a price, which is substantially higher than the cost of production. This vitiates the comparative advantage of the province, which is a major producer of hydel power. The distribution of electricity should remain with the Province.
- ANP will encourage investment in small run of the river hydel projects.
2.3 Women’s Rights and Empowerment
Pakistani women are trapped in a web of dependency and subordination due to their low social, economic, and political status. The majority of women suffer from all forms of poverty, discrimination and violence. There are inherent structural impediments that prevent and discourage women from participating in the decision making process and this perpetuates their disadvantaged status. Although Pakistan has made commitments at the National and International levels to ensure women’s rights, there is a wide gap between commitment and implementation.
The ANP is committed to gender equality. In light of its vision, constitution and policies, the party will work towards ensuring women’s rights and empowerment through the following:
Women’s Participation in Decision-making
The Party will strive for the following:
- Repeal all discriminatory laws and policies that infringe on the equal rights of women and their participation in decision making within the family, community and society.
- Promulgate legislation on domestic violence, honor killings, and trafficking of women, sexual harassment and assault.
- Comply with existing international conventions/instruments ratified by Pakistan addressing violence against women and ratify the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant instruments relating to trafficking of women and children and violence against women.
- Ensure a minimum of 33% quota for women at all levels of political, policy and decision-making positions and provide meaningful and necessary technical and financial support to enable them to participate.
- Ensure direct elections for women in all elected positions including reserved seats/quota, as the party believes that there is no substitute for direct elections.
- Ensure that no Laws, Regulations, Policy and Code of conduct prescribed and adopted by the state exclude and/or discriminate against women.
- Review and revise identification policies to ensure that citizens are identified by parentage and not spouse so that their national identity cards do not change with a change in marital status. Remove the need for a male guardian for adult women when applying for National Identity Cards.
- Awareness will be created about the importance of gender equality through education and media.
- ANP will work for improving access to employment opportunities for women at all levels.
Pakistan owes its importance in the world to a number of factors, not all of its own making. Its geo-strategic location is often cited as a primary one, but in fact, it is a mixed blessing. Pakistan borders on four countries, each of which has played or continues to pay a major part in international affairs. These countries are China, India, Iran and Afghanistan. Pakistan’s proximity to these States makes it a useful tool for powerful countries to exploit for their own global interests and, while this can be turned to advantage, it can also pose a threat to the country’s independence and freedom of action. In addition, Pakistan is the only nuclear power in the Islamic world. Given the present tensions in the world, this nuclear capability can present a grave threat to the country’s security rather than guarantee that security, which was the reason for going nuclear in the first place. The country’s foreign policy has, therefore, to be finely adjusted to guard against these dangers while, at the same time, it must serve to further the national interest in terms of economic and commercial progress. Keeping this in view, ANP will work for a Foreign Policy which contains the following elements:
- Friendly and peaceful relations with all countries, particularly with neighbours.
- Compliance with the Charter of the United Nations and full participation in all its developmental and peace-keeping activities. Similarly Pakistan should take part in the work of other international organizations of which it is a member. In particular, it should actively engage in international efforts to promote an equitable international order. It should also support international moves for arms reduction and abolition of nuclear weapons on a universal and non discriminatory basis.
- Promotion of the concept of a multi polar world which would avoid universal domination by one or two major powers.
- Use of diplomacy as a tool for promoting the country’s economic and trade interests, diversifying its market and attracting foreign investment.
- Special attention to be paid to relations with Afghanistan. In view of the commonalities in culture, faith, language and history between people of Pukhtunkhwa and those of Afghanistan, determined efforts shall be made to promote cooperation in every field including economic, commercial, educational and cultural. Bilateral relations shall be conducted strictly on the basis of sovereign equality and non interference in each other’s internal affairs.
- Similarly, establishment of peaceful, cooperative good neighbourly relations with India will be given high priority. All issues including Jammu and Kashmir would be solved through peaceful negotiations and open dialogue shall become the hallmark of bilateral relations.
- The traditional close relations with China will be maintained and further developed.
- Relations with all countries will be governed by the principles of sovereign equality and no outside pressure, whether overt or covert, would be allowed to influence Pakistan’s policies and actions, which would be based solely on the national interest.
- Relations with the United States will be cordial because Pakistan has much to gain from this. These relations will be characterized by dignity and self respect and must result in mutual benefit.
- For the same reasons, relations with the European Union will be further developed.
- Pakistan shall play a leading and constructive role in the Organization of Islamic Conference, SAARC and ECO.
- Special attention will be paid by our missions abroad to the problems of expatriate Pakistanis, particularly in the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia where there are many Pukhtun workers.
- Pakistan will encourage the seeking of political solutions to political problems rather than the use of force.
THE FEDERALLY ADMINISTERED TRIBAL AREAS
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (FATA) have an area of 27,000 square kilometers and a population of about 4 million. This region is administered by the President under Articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution. Pakistani laws are not applicable, the jurisdiction of the superior courts has not been extended and the inhabitants do not enjoy fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.
The tribes remain the victim of poverty and the lowest social indices in the country. The literacy rate is only 17% versus the national average of 45%. Female literacy is an abject 3% versus 32% for the rest of the country.
The region has suffered the most serious dislocation due to conditions in Afghanistan ever since 1979. Extremist elements have sought refuge in parts of FATA and have, unfortunately, succeeded in imposing themselves on the tribes in certain areas. Development work has virtually ceased, the administration has collapsed and the normal method of mediation through the jirga is not being utilized properly.
ANP proposes the following actions to reverse the present dangerous trends.
In order to finish the under-development and the violent nightmare of the tribesmen the government should take an early decision to merge these areas into Pukhtunkhwa under special provisions, which will ensure that;
- The Federal government will be urged to take an early decision to merge these areas with Pukhtunkhwa. If necessary special provisions will be made to ensure that the legal and administrative changes introduced will take due account of tribal traditions and culture.
- The tribal areas will have seats in the provincial assembly and the total number of seats will increase accordingly.
- As an immediate measure the FCR will be amended to provide human right protection as laid down in the Constitution. Other provisions of the FCR will also be amended to permit oversight by a special tribal bench of the Peshawar High Court.
- The Political Parties Act will be extended to FATA.
- Fully empowered local bodies with some modifications should be instituted for a meaningful participation of the tribesmen in all their affairs.
ANP proposes the following measures for immediate implementation if we wish to bring a peaceful and a positive change in FATA.
- Since there are no reliable statistics a detailed survey and investigation of the development potential of the area is essential.
- Pakistan has agreed to participate in the creation of “Reconstruction and Opportunity Zones” in Tribal areas, NWFP and Afghanistan, which would be tied to market quotas. ANP will work for its transparent and effective implementation.
- ANP endorses the principles of development outlined in the Sustainable Development Plan for FATA but proposes more active implementation through empowerment of local communities.
- Generally speaking ANP will follow the same development strategy for FATA as for the Province, though in some cases FATA may require special treatment because of its abject poverty and poor indices.