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PTI beats PML-N in fulfilling manifesto promises in legislation

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Published: February 26, 2018 10:21 am

ISLAMABAD, February 26, 2018: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) enacted more laws during last five years to fulfill its manifesto promises than those passed by the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government in Punjab in the same period.

According to a comparison of official legislation data, PTI covered up two-third of its manifesto promises as far as legislation in the provincial assembly is concerned. On the other hand, PML-N government only managed to cover a third of its election manifesto promises through legislation in Punjab Assembly.

The data shows education remained the top priority for the Punjab legislator while KP assembly prioritized employment and welfare of civil servants in legislation.

The data of laws passed by KP and Punjab assemblies covering period between May 2013 and December 2017 was retrieved from websites of both assemblies which was later compared with the manifesto promises of both the political parties. It was observed that Punjab assembly passed 17 per cent of its total legislation (163 laws) on education subject while KP assembly passed 17 percent of its total legislation (172 laws) on employment and benefits for civil servants.

It is pertinent to mention here that despite being a third of Punjab Assembly’s size in terms of numbers, KP assembly passed more laws than Punjab assembly during the reporting period. Punjab Assembly has 371 members in the house as compared to 124 members of KP assembly.

Interestingly, KP assembly passed five laws on Perks and Privileges of its Members during the last five years. “They are more concerned about their own welfare rather than thinking about the interest of their voters,” says Ashfaq Ahmed a PTI voter from Nowshehra.  He expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of PTI lawmakers in provincial assembly.

Similarly, PTI government in KP failed to pass any laws on issues like tax reforms, criminal justice system and special persons rights despite hefty promises in election manifesto.

According to constitutional expert and former Chief Justice of Sindh High Court Justice (R) Wajihuddin Ahmed, politicians rarely fulfill their promises.

“If people get educated, aware and knowledgeable then who will be ruled by them [politicians]. Our society is a feudal society and here politicians do not make promises to fulfill them,” he said.

The comparison also shows that education remained among the top priorities for Punjab lawmakers while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the issue was given less importance by the legislators. Justice Wajihudin while explaining importance of education said that the foremost priority for legislation for any government in our kind of situations should be education because it is the only way to empower the public. “If you want to make strong structure and fiber of the state, you should promote education” he added. He further said that we are a third-world country and even primary and secondary level education should be the top priority for us. While commenting on the promulgation of education laws he said that we still are struggling with true implementation of 25A of the constitution.

While contacted, Muhammad Idrees, a member of KP Provincial assembly from PTI was of the view that his party had developed best policies for education and managed to enhance the capacity of teaching staff.

He added that the government has developed a great system for the promotion of quality education in KP. “There is no need for more legislation on education subject but to implement the already passed laws from the assembly in letter and spirit.”

On the other hand, PML-N categorically stated in their manifesto that it will enact law against forced conversion of religions when came to power but not a single law supporting this pledge is passed by the provincial assembly so far.

Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Provincial Minister while responding to a query about PML-N government’s failure towards fulfilling most of manifesto pledges said “we have worked in every sector and there are various subjects on which we do not need to enact laws. The administrative department can only amend rules and regulation to make them better. The real thing is that other provinces have passed laws and amend their rules and regulation but are struggling with implementation but PML-N is not facing such failure in Punjab.”  

Moreover, Punjab assembly failed to produce any laws on tax reforms and corruption and accountability. Both issues were among the promises of PML-N elections manifesto.

“A common person was not benefitted from the laws and policies of Punjab government at all” says Tahir Hussain, a PML-N voter from Murree. He complained about priorities of provincial government saying that voters are deprived of basic rights like bread and shelter. “We demand from the provincial government to fulfill its promises”, he added.

On the contrary, Mujtaba Shuja seemed satisfied with the overall performance of PML-N in Punjab assembly. He said “Punjab government has worked hard and delivered what was promised.”    

Governance, economy and local government were common priorities for law making for the Punjab and KP governments yet Punjab assembly’s performance remained higher than of KP assembly for passing laws on these subjects.

Elections Manifesto is considered a key document containing assurances and policies that meant to be implemented by the political parties when they get a chance to hold the highest office. Similarly, law making is the sole prerogative of assemblies, by which they make new policies to cater public issues.    

Justice Wajihudin listed education as the most important subject for law making for any legislature followed by empowering the local bodies, housing for needy people, health, environment protection, abolition of income disparities and land reforms.

The 16th Punjab assembly passed on average 33 bills per year while the 10th Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly remained slightly ahead with an average of 34 bills passed per year.

The Punjab assembly passed 163 government bills in five year. Surprisingly, out of eleven private bills introduced in Punjab assembly during its term, not a single bill was sailed. On the other hand, KP assembly passed as many as 172 bills including 143 government and 29 private member bills in its term so far.

Some important laws passed by Punjab assembly are the Punjab Women Protection Authority Bill, 2017, the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2014, the Punjab Fair Representation of Women Bill, 2014, the Punjab Local Government Bill, 2013, the Punjab Transparency and Right To Information Bill, 2013, the Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Bill, 2016, the Punjab Protection Of Women Against Violence Bill, 2015, the Punjab Vigilance Committees Bill, 2016 and the Punjab Marriage Functions Bill, 2015.

KP assembly also passed some important laws which are the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right To Public Services Bill, 2014, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regulatory Authority Bill, 2017, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Bill, 2013, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Bill, 2013, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Promotion, Protection and Enforcement of Human Rights Bill, 2014, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Free Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Bill, 2017, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill, 2015, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Communal Properties of Minorities Bill, 2014, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Citizens Bill, 2014, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women Bill, 2016, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Bill, 2017, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Bill, 2016, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prevention of Conflict of Interest Bill, 2016 and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission Bill.

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