Pakistan

Pakistan: more arrests

Repression of opposition groups, including the socialist Labour Party, Pakistan continues. At the end of September ten members, including General Secretary Farooq Tariq, were arrested, at a protest against General Pervez Musharraf filing nomination papers for a second presidential term. They have been charged under Pakistan’s anti-terrorist laws!

Musharraf has been relected as Pakistan’s President after winning all but five of the votes cast in a joint Parliamentary and Provincial Assembly election. He would have won even if opposition groups had not boycotted the election.

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Pakistani socialist leader Farooq Tariq arrested - again!

From the Labour Party of Pakistan

Dear comrades!

Farooq Tariq, General Secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, along with ten party members, was arrested once again on Thursday (27 September 07), outside Lahore High Court, the third time in the last three months.

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Musharraf regime on the rocks

General Pervez Musharraf’s eight year grip on political power in Pakistan looks increasingly precarious. His desperation showed in his response to the return from exile of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this month. Sharif returned to challenge Musharraf and his cronies in elections due in November. He was deported hours after his plane touched down in Islamabad.

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Farooq Tariq released! News from Pakistan

From the Labour Party Pakistan, Tuesday 19 June 2007

Dear All!

Lahore: After 15 days of detention, Labour Party General Secretary General Farooq Tariq was released on Tuesday (19 June) from Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore.

Dozens of Party workers and members and some civil society activists received him warmly outside the jail. We are thankful to all comrades, friends and well wishers who extended support and solidarity to Farooq Tariq during his detention and launched struggle and campaigns for the release of LPP General Secretary.

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Pakistan: the struggle continues

BY Mike Rowley

Pakistan is going through a period of heightened struggle against the military-based government of Pervez Musharraf. The current struggles began in earnest on 14 May when a general strike shut down Pakistan’s major cities, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Quetta. This followed two days of protests, some of them violent, against the attempt by the government on 9th March to suspend Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who had ruled against it, on unspecified charges.

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Pakistani socialst leader freed

Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the socialist group Labour Party of Pakistan, has been released from prison following his detention without charge by Pakistani security forces. Released on 19 June after a 16-day detention, Tariq describes his imprisonment as “one the of worst jail experiences I’ve had during my 30 years of political activism”.

Tariq is also quick to point out that it was massive international pressure, not the benevolence of the government, which led to his release.

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Pakistani socialist leader arrested

From the Labour Party of Pakistan.

Lahore: Farooq Tariq, General Secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, was arrested on 5 June at his residence without warrants. On Thursday 7 June he was sent to Bahawalpur Jail after the issue of three-month detention order by the home secretary of Punjab. Farooq Tariq's detention is a part of recent state crack down on political activists and workers, against the backdrop of the lawyers' and media workers' movement against the Mushrraf regime.

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Pakistani workers’ leader freed

Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party of Pakistan, a significant revolutionary left group which opposes Pakistan’s military regime, its US backers and political Islam, was arrested for four days earlier this month.

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Farooq Tariq arrested

Letter from Labour Party Pakistan

The General Secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, comrade Farooq Tariq was arrested from his Lahore office by a heavy contingent of Punjab Police at 1:30 p.m on Friday 4 May. He has been taken to Garhi Shahu police station, Lahore, where he is being detained.

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Protests against Pakistan’s dictatorship

By Sacha Ismail

London and Washington's favourite military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, has been in power since 2000 and “constitutional” president of Pakistan since 2002. This year, he plans to have himself re-elected for another five term, and is determined to crush anyone who gets in his way.

The last month has seen a rising tide of protests sparked by Musharraf’s decision on 9 March to suspend Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, chief justice of Pakistan’s supreme court, and try him on charges of corruption.

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Workers news Round-up

South Africa

Hundreds of thousands of workers in South Africa supported a one-day general strike in protest against job losses on 18 May.

Three of AngloGold’s Vaal River mines were shut. Most workers were on strike at Harmony Gold’s big mines in the Free State. Two-thirds of the workforce stayed away from the Kloof mine. At the Beatrix mine in the Free State only one out of four shafts was operational.

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Workers' news round up

By Pablo Velasco

Pakistan

Six Pakistani left parties and groups have united to form Awami Jamhoori Tehreek (AJT — the People’s Democratic Movement), which has the potential to become the fifth-largest political group in Pakistan. The AJT aims to contest the 2007 elections.

The parties in the AJT are the National Workers’ Party (NWP), the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), Awami Tehreek (AT — People’s Movement), Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party (PMKP), Pakistan Mazdoor Mehaz (PMM — Workers Front) and Meraj Mohammed Khan Group (MMKG).

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Pakistan earthquake: Mobilise labour movement solidarity!

By Farooq Tariq, general secretary, Labour Party Pakistan

According to the latest official figures, over 53,000 are confirmed death after the 8 October earthquake. Unofficial figures for the death toll are over 100,000 and more seriously injured. Even after so many days of the most disastrous earthquake in Pakistan, there are areas that no one has yet reached to help the victims.

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Musharraf and his rivals

It is too early to know what effect the earthquake will have on the volatile political conditions inside Pakistan, but it is certain to exacerbate existing trends. Cathy Nugent reports

Before 9/11 Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, had supported the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, believing it could help Pakistan’s regional interests and be a bulwark against the other major regional power, India.

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Solidarity with Pakistani workers

According to socialists and trade unionists, current Pakistani government estimates of casualties (40,000) from the 9 October earthquake are far too low. The figure could rise to 100,000 or more. Kashmir is the worst affected area —70 percent of all housing was destroyed by the earthquake. Northern and tribal areas of Pakistan were also badly affected, but are so cut off from the rest of Pakistan no-one knows the scale of the deaths and destruction.

Reports of the appalling gaps in medical, food and other kinds of aid are all too accurate.

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Thousands killed by earthquake - and capitalism

The earthquake in Pakistan has killed 35,000 people, and made about two million homeless. Or rather, not just the earthquake. The earthquake, plus inequality, poverty, and undemocratic rule.

Earthquakes will destroy and kill however socialist we can make the world. But earthquakes which have been direct hits on big cities where many rich people live take a smaller toll.

The San Francisco earthquake of 1989 (7.1 on the Richter scale) cost 16 deaths. The Kobe (Japan) earthquake of 1995, measuring 7.2, cost 5,273.

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Pakistani workers fight privatisation

By Amina Saddiq

For three weeks in May and June Pakistan saw an upsurge in class struggle, with the military regime forced to seize physical control of the country’s state-owned telecom corporation and arrest over a thousand telecom workers in order to force through its privatisation plans. The Employees’ Union has now signed a deal with the government allowing privatisation to go ahead, but a rank and file organisation of telecom workers is still opposing the privatiation.

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Pakistani women organise

On 11 April a group of women organised a demonstration outside Pakistan’s national parliament. They were protesting against a violent attack on female runners a week earlier.

On 3 April groups of Pakistani Islamists threw petrol bombs near to a mini-marathon involving women runners. Feminist activists and democrats in Pakistan are increasingly dismayed by the government's inability and unwillingness to deal with violence and intimidation by the Islamists.

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The anti-imperialism of fools

The Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) has produce a withering attack on the fake “anti-imperialism” of Islamist forces across the globe. An article by Farooq Sulehria contains a sharp rejection of these forces. Although we disagree with the LPP’s views on some other “anti-imperialists” discussed in the article, we welcome their honest and uncompromising stance.

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Pakistan, Islamophobie: textes en francais

Le numéro 6-7 de la revue Ni patrie ni frontières vient de paraitre. On y trouve notamment des traductions en francais de l'article de Faryal Velmi (de l'AWL) sur le Parti de Travail de Pakistan et de l'article de Rumy Hasan sur l'Islamophobie. Tous disponsibles à mondialisme.org/nipatrienifrontieres.

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"When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty"

Faryal Velmi visited Pakistan recently and talked with Farooq Tariq and other activists of the Labour Party of Pakistan (LPP)

The LPP was established in 1997. With a Trotskyist-influenced leadership, the party has now around 2,000 members across Pakistan and is the main leftwing party in the country.

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Pakistan: first united sugar workers' union formed

Pakistan’s sugar mill workers founded the first united sugar mill union in May. A convention brought together over 100 delegates to form the Pakistan Sugar Mill Workers’ Federation.
Organising in the industry is difficult. Pakistan’s government is liberalising its economy through reductions in tariffs and other protective measures and the sugar industry will face both foreign investment and competition from imported sugar. The government is also introducing more anti-union laws.

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Pakistani Anti-War Committee set up

From Solidarity 3/21, 11 January 2003
At a meeting in December, activists from range of organisations, including the socialist Pakistan Labour Party, decided to set up an Anti War Committee in Pakistan.
The meeting was called partly in response to the domination of the religious fundamentalists in the opposition to American aggression. The same fundamentalists have at one time or another made alliances with US imperialism. The Committee wants to counter support for the fundamentalists.
A full report is available at
www.labourpakistan.org

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Kashmir goes to the polls

By Cathy Nugent

Tensions could rise again between Pakistan and India over the disputed territory of Kashmir, as elections for Kashmir's regional Assembly take place this month.

Four separate polls will be held between 16 September and 8 October. At the beginning of September jihadi-separatist groups killed civilians, police and government in several attacks - these groups are boycotting the elections as they - and other Kashmiri separatists - do not believe Kashmir should be part of the Indian Union. The jihadists are also threatening violence against people who do participate in the elections - although it is difficult to judge how serious the level of intimidation is.

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India-Pakistan peace movement launched

War between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory in Kashmir is still a possibility. India has been pressing for Pakistan to act against Kashmiri "militants" - the Pakistani trained and supported Islamic jihadi groups, one of which attacked the Indian Parliament in December 2001. A visit by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld backed up Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf's promise to act against the Islamists. India has now pulled back some of its war ships.

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Joint Peace Demonstrations in India and Pakistan

By Farooq Tariq
Responding to a call from the Left parties of Pakistan, the Communist Party of India (ML) Socialist Unity Center of India, CPIML(Red Flag), and CPIML (Unity Initiative) have agreed to organise peace demonstrations on 13th June.
It will be for the first time in the history of Pakistan and Indian Left parties that there will be rallies on the same day and on the same issue across Indian sub continent.

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India-Pakistan: no war! Self-determination for Kashmir!

By Cathy Nugent
The threat of war between Pakistan and India over disputed territory in Kashmir has been building since December 2001, when Kashmiri armed fighters attacked the Indian parliament, killing 14 people. At that time Indian government demanded the military government of General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan act decisively against Kashmiri "terrorists".

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