The central theme of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf’s (PTI) 2018 election manifesto is making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state. Whether PTI will succeed in establishing such a grandiose political order or not is incumbent upon the fact if PTI wins the election. While Imran is calling his party manifesto road towards a new Pakistan, comparing it with manifestoes of other parties can tell if he is speaking the truth.

Nevertheless, looking at the merits of the manifesto it can be said that the same issues that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have highlighted find mention in PTI’s manifesto. PTI’s manifesto chapter 2 talks of transforming the governance by focusing on accountability, establishing local governments, reforming the criminal justice system, however, it is also a bitter reality that despite in power in KP, the party failed in bringing any substantive transformation in the governance system of the province. Out of many sectors that needed the party’s attention the areas, which caught the attention of the authorities, included health and education. Nevertheless, it goes to PTI’s credit that it performed well in these two sectors, though there is a lot of room for further improvements.

One thing that is common in manifestoes of PTI and PML-N is analysis charts of their past performance in different sectors of governance. PML-N has edge over PTI because it has presented an evaluation of its performance not only Punjab but it was able to show its performance on a national level for it was sitting on the treasury benches. On the other hand, PTI has to work hard to convince people in other provinces of how their governance brought significant changes to the management of a province that was lagging behind others.

The party manifesto does give space to the creation of 10 million jobs for the youth of the country. It is appreciable that the party is talking about the youth bulge as youth consist of more than 60% of the country’s population. Channelising the energies of the youth in constructive and creative ideas is what the state should focus on. However, the manifesto fails in detailing the party’s plan on how these jobs will be created. Instead, the manifesto rests the bar of creating employment on the private sector. The team that has prepared the manifesto probably has no idea of the fact that the private sector is facing a multitude of challenges. Until and unless the state eradicates these challenges entrepreneurs and people owning capital will not invest in Pakistan.

A comparative study of manifestoes of the three major political parties shows that all of them have identifies similar issues that need the attention of the government. Now it is up to the people to decide which party has delivered on its previous manifesto.