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Pakistan

Pakistan: Social and economic crisis -- background and perspectives

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By Farooq Tariq

February 11, 2008 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Pakistan is once again in the grip of military rule. Since 1999, the military generals have taken over the state and have ruled in the name of a ``smooth transition to democracy''. Thirty-three years of Pakistan's more than 60 years of existence have been under direct military rule. That reveals the real state of democracy, peace and security in Pakistan.

To understand the shortcomings of the democratic system in, and governance of, Pakistan, one must see where the weaknesses are in the political structure of the country. To begin with, government power is concentrated in the hands of an elitist bureaucracy and an over-ambitious military. The deeply rooted dominant feudal system in most of Pakistan and the weak capitalist class shares a common interest with the army, that is to loot and plunder national assets under the rule of suppression.

The religious grip on the society has played an important part in sustaining the military rulers and the politics of suppression in the name of ``fate'' and god-given circumstances. The religious political parties have taken refuge under military rule directly, but after 9/11, the rules are changing. The traditional partnership of mullah and military is no longer the same and is breaking down under the pretext of the ``war on terror''.

Pakistan collapsing, Musharraf must go

By Farooq Tariq

January 18, 2008 -- Pakistan is on the fast track to collapse under the Pervez Musharraf dictatorship. The state is in immense crisis. The infrastructure, industrial and social, is in total chaos. The economic crisis is showing its muscles. Inflation is uncontrollable and unemployment is ever increasing.

The vast majority of ordinary people of Pakistan believe that Musharraf will never leave power alive: ``If he is not killed, he will kill us all one by one.'' He has become the most unpopular president of Pakistan. Musharraf is widely seen as a person who has orchestrated the murder of Benazir Bhutto. ``Qaatal Qaatal Musharraf Qaatal''(``Murderer the murderer, Musharraf the murderer'') was the main slogan of the mass reaction to Bhutto's assassination.

Pakistan: Refusing to break with feudal traditions

By Farooq Tariq
December 31, 2007 -- The appointment of Benazir Bhutto's son, 19-year-old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, as the new chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party is an attempt to keep the feudal traditions of politics alive in South Asia. The PPP Central Executive Committee unanimously approved the appointment of Bilawal Asif Zardari at its December 30 meeting at Nuedero Sind.

According to Benazir Bhutto's will, read out in the meeting, Asif Zardari, her husband, was to be appointed as PPP chair in her absence. However, Asif Zardari suggested his son as the new chair.

Unprecedented mass reaction to assassination of Benazir Bhutto

By Farooq Tariq
December 29, 2007 -- Pakistan has never seen so many people protesting in streets all over the country as been the case during the last two days. They were all united across Pakistan to condemn the brutal murder of Benazir Bhutto. The news was heard with a great shock and there was immediate mass anger that erupted in all parts of Pakistan. December 28 was the first day of a general strike called by many groups, ranging from political parties to various professional groups.

Most of election posters, banners, flags and billboards of the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLQ) were the first victim of the mass anger. The PMLQ is a creation of General Musharraf, created after 1999; a major split of Pakistan Muslim League. The rest is headed by Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister. PMLQ has been sharing power with Musharraf after 2002 and is comprised of the most corrupt feudals, capitalists, former army generals and black marketeers.

Call for a greater Left unity in Pakistan

By Farooq Tariq
There has been never any other better time in history of
Pakistan for greater left unity than the present time. There is a great urge among all the left and progressive forces to unite on one platform.

The left in Pakistan: a brief history

By Farooq Sulehria

Farooq Sulehria is a member of the Executive Committee of the Labour Party Pakistan and of the Editorial Board of Links.

Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan

By Farooq Sulehria

Pakistan is situated in a region where fundamentalism has been posed, of late, as one of the most threatening questions. The process initiated by the Islamic revolution in Iran has even been internationalised by the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan. At the same time, the rise of Hindu radicalism in India has further complicated the situation in Pakistan.

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