A discussion with Pakistani socialists AWL Wed, 01/18/2017 - 12:36

In December, Farooq Tariq, a leader of the Awami Workers’ Party in Pakistan, visited London, and during his visit talked with activists from Workers’ Liberty. Martin Thomas reports.

We started by saying we appreciated the strong socialist line he had taken against Islamic-fundamentalist politics in his speeches during his visit, but questioning the uncritical praise for Fidel Castro in AWP statements after Castro’s death on 25 November. Farooq replied straightforwardly that it was an AWP decision to be uncritical of Castro and Cuba. For that decision, he gave two reasons.

Kashmir repression boosts sectarianism Matthew Wed, 10/12/2016 - 10:56

On 8 July 2016, a young Kashmiri commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was killed by the Indian Army. The killing of Burhan Wani has become a symbol of Indian repression in Kashmir, the major Muslim-majority area kept by India in the 1947 India-Pakistan partition.

The HM receives much of its support from the Pakistan government and has strong links to the Pakistani secret service ISI and the Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. Unlike the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, HM is for Kashmiri secession to Pakistan and promotes the further Islamisation of Kashmir.

Abolish the death penalty! Matthew Wed, 07/27/2016 - 11:09

Saudi Arabia has executed 99 people during 2016, more than at the same point last year.

Crimes punishable by beheading, stoning or firing squad in Saudi include blasphemy, drug offences, adultery, murder, and “false prophecy.”

Excluding China – whose regime keeps the number of state killings a close secret – 90% of known executions during 2015 were carried out by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

A fighter for freedom Matthew Wed, 11/06/2013 - 13:44

When it was revealed on 11 October that Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl that captured the world’s imagination after being shot by a Taliban rifleman, was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it came as a relief.

Malala no doubt deserved it more than any other person in the world, but to tarnish her name by giving her the same prize given to such renowned peacemakers as Henry Kissinger and Menachem Begin would have been a disservice to everything she had stood for.

Capitalism: a murderous system Matthew Wed, 09/19/2012 - 11:41

At least 314 garment workers burned or suffocated to death in two factory fires in Pakistan on 12 September.

Twenty-five people died in a shoe factory in the city of Lahore, when chemicals caught alight; 289 died in a garment factory in Karachi.

In the Karachi fire, workers were trapped inside the burning building because exits had been locked and they could not open security grilles at the windows.

Pakistan: abolish the blasphemy law! Matthew Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:58

A young Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, has been arrested and her family placed under protective custody after a Muslim mob in a poor part of Islamabad threatened to set her alight for allegedly burning pages of the Koran.

International news in brief Matthew Wed, 04/18/2012 - 10:25

Islamist parties have taken to the streets to oppose the ratification of a law which would penalise domestic violence in Pakistan.

Women’s rights campaigners confronted the bigots outside parliament last week.

The Islamists’ arguments against the legislation include: preventing domestic violence is “Western”; and that the Bill is a copy of Indian legislation.

A spokesperson for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl said, “We will not let these senseless women, who depend on American dollars, to work against the Constitution and Islamic Shariah,”

A long way to go on gay rights Matthew Wed, 02/08/2012 - 10:38

According to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) seven majority Muslim countries still maintain the death penalty for homosexual activity.

They are Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen.

In northern Nigeria, where some states use Sharia law, homosexuality is also punishable by death.

In Iran gay men are normally arrested under other trumped up charges. But in September 2011 three men were executed for homosexuality.

No to political Islam! Solidarity with Pakistani secularists, socialists, workers and women

Submitted by AWL on 10 January, 2011 - 5:27

On Monday 5 January Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab (Pakistan's largest province) and a former Pakistani People's Party MP was shot 27 times by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad. Taseer was killed by Qadri because of his support for the reform of the long established blasphemy law which has led to people being incarcerated for insulting the prophet Muhammed.

Pakistan disaster - support the Labour Relief Campaign!

Submitted by AWL on 18 August, 2010 - 12:02

The number of people affected by the floods in Pakistan has now reached 20 million. More than 650,000 houses have collapsed, mainly in villages. Thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed, along with people's livestock, household goods, clothes, shoes and other essential items. Millions are without drinkable water, food, shelter and clothing. Diseases like flu, fever, diarrhea and cholera are spreading fast.