Bilawal makes a mark

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Zardari, who is spearheading election campaign of the party, on Thursday, presented party manifesto promising not only to save citizens from foreign invasion and internal violence but also from poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The manifesto is apparently an extension of the party’s original slogan of ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ as it is titled as “Roti, Kapra Aur Makaan—Ilm, Sehat, Sab Ko Kaam’ (Bread, Clothing and House—Education, Health and Jobs for Everyone).
Bilawal definitely made a mark as he pledged what people want any Government to do. He committed launch of ‘Bhook Mitao Programme’ under which deserving people would get special cards to get food free of cost from special stores so that people feel free of hunger and helplessness. The programme is apparently on the pattern of Benazir Income Support Programme under which cash amounts are provided to deserving families on a monthly basis. However, the programme could not make any visible impact on poverty alleviation because the stipend is very small and the amount could not help families to graduate out of poverty. Hunger mitigation programme has the potential to alleviate sufferings of people but there is need to launch programmes and policies that could help people stand on their own feet financially and economically. As PPP is unlikely to return to power at the Centre but there are bright chances that it would form the next government in Sindh where, hopefully, it would implement the programme especially in Thar region where women and children are dying due to hunger and malnutrition. In view of the gravity of the situation there, the party should have executed the programme there much earlier and demonstrated it to the whole of Pakistan as its success story for 2018 elections. The pledge to create ‘employment bureau’ reminds one of the similar bureaus {Placement Bureau} established by the party during BB era when there were accusations that jobs were not sold but auctioned. We also hope that the party would introduce Kisan Card and Apni Galyan Apna Ghar programme in Sindh.

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