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Awami Workers Party (Pakistan)

(Updated July 26) Asia-Pacific socialists: 'Stop Israel's war crimes in Gaza!'

To add your group's name to the list of signatories please email PSM International Bureau.

Joint statement by Asia-Pacific left organisations

July 14, 2014 -- Socialist Alliance, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the past week, Israeli military forces have escalated their offensive on the Gaza Strip. Israeli warplanes have increasingly targeted houses, civilian-populated areas and civilian facilities in the Gaza strip. Israeli warplanes have destroyed a number of houses while their residents were inside, without any prior warnings, killing and wounding many Palestinian civilians.

The Israeli government has cynically exploited the killing of three Israeli youth and used this to whip up a racist hysteria against Palestinians and the Hamas government in Gaza. It has done this without producing any evidence about who was responsible for those killings. A campaign of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians has been incited and one Palestinian boy has been tortured and burnt to death. Now even more indiscriminate retribution has been inflicted on the civilian residents of Gaza. Collective punishment is a violation of international humanitarian law.

(Updated June 22) Asia-Pacific socialists: 'No US sanctions against Venezuela'

Venezuelan workers of the state-owned oil company PDVSA denounce US sanctions against their firm.

End United States’ interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela!

No sanctions against Venezuelan citizens!

June 17, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We, the undersigned parties and organisations in the Asia region, condemn the moves by the United States government to impose sanctions on Venezuelan citizens it deems to have “abused human rights”.

The US House of Representatives’ May 28m 2014, vote for such sanctions is a violation of the right of all nations to sovereignty and self-determination.

The bill is not motivated by a desire to end supposed human rights abuses in Venezuela. Rather, it seeks to support the openly stated aims of Venezuela's right-wing opposition to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. This is revealed by the bill's authorisation of millions of dollars of increased funding to opposition organisations in Venezuela – the same groups responsible for a wave of violence within Venezuela this year that has left at least 40 dead and hundreds injured.

(Updated April 25) Mass protests sweep Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan

Baba Jan, a popular leader of the struggle who was jailed and tortured by Pakistani authorities until 2013, leads a April 19 protest rally in Aliabad, Hunza Valley, in support of the charter of demands of the Awami Action Committee. This photo and those below from PYF Gilgit Baltistan Facebook page.

UPDATE (April 24): Syed Asad Hasan, Green Left Weekly's on-the-spot informant in Gilgit shares a strong frustration felt by the thousands still occupying the city's Gadi Bagh square:

“Throughout today some 10,000 people would have taken part in the sit-in. The sit-in has been going since April 15 and there is another big occupation going on in the city of Skardu. Yet there has been no Pakistani TV coverage of this protest. And very little other media coverage.

“The chief secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha, the head of the local government bureaucracy, has been fired as he was the person who signed the order to end the wheat subsidy. But this part of a pass-the-blame game that the Pakistani federal government and the local puppet government of Gilgit Baltistan are continuing to play.

“The people are shaking the authorities but they are trying to keep this quiet. But the protesters spirit is very strong and the occupation is continuing.”

* * *

Farooq Tariq, Awami Workers Party: 'Left unity a precious gain amid right-wing advances in Pakistan'

Farooq Tariq

April 10, 2014 -- Socialist Alliance/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One of the international guests at the 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance, to be held in Sydney June 7-9, 2014, will be Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in Pakistan. Conference organiser and Green Left Weekly correspondent Peter Boyle interviewed Tariq on April 10. He will speak on "The struggle for democracy and justice in Pakistan" on June 7 at the Addison Road Community Centre, Marrickville, Sydney.

Get your ticket here.

* * *

It has been nearly a year and a half since the Awami Workers Party was formed out of a merger of the Awami Party Pakistan, the Labour Party Pakistan and the Worker’s Party Pakistan. How is this united party going today?

Venezuela: (Updated March 17) Asia-Pacific socialists pledge continuing solidarity with revolution

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email: international@socialist-alliance.org

March 11, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialists in Asia-Pacific pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.

March 5 marked one year since the death of Venezuela's president and revolutionary Hugo Chavez. An outspoken fighter for the oppressed in Venezuela and Latin America, the loss of Chavez is still felt keenly by socialists and anti-imperialists globally.

But the Bolivarian revolution that Chavez led is a mass movement of millions of people that lives on in the barrios and workplaces in Venezuela. This process, led by the government of President Nicolas Maduro, is facing fresh attacks by right-wing forces backed by the United States.

The recent violent protests by a minority that has repeatedly been defeated at the ballot box has caused widespread destruction and terror. Along with at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries, public buildings and government-run, pro-poor social missions have been attacked by opposition protesters, at the estimated cost of up to 10 million bolivars.

The international media has presented this fascist violence as a peaceful democracy struggle that has been repressed by a dictatorial Maduro government. This turns reality on its head.

Nepal elections: Defeat for Maoists, gains for a united left

Despite all the ideological weaknesses, the left in Nepal remains a mass force that is not seen in any other country of the region.

By Farooq Tariq

November 28, 2013 -- Viewpoint (Pakistan) -- I was present as an International Observer to the November 19 general elections in Nepal, invited by the National Election Observation Committee (NEOC). Polling was unexpectedly peaceful. Interestingly enough only 226 out of the 601 Constituent Assembly seats are directly elected. That is, the majority of seats are elected through a proportional voting system.

More than 70 per cent of Nepal’s eligible voters participated in the November 19 vote despite an election boycott and transportation strike by a coalition of 33 parties, led by the CPN-Maoist. It is clear that the boycott strategy failed.

Just eight days after the election -- when I am writing these lines -- we can begin to view the shape of the new assembly. What is shocking is that right-wing forces have been able to advance despite the fact that three main communist parties -- Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist, United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and CPN-Maoist -- still remain a major force in Nepal and enjoy the sympathy of the majority.

Photo story: Awami Workers Party leads demonstration against land grabs and evictions

By Farooq Tariq

October 3, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Awami Workers Party (AWP) organised a rally in Islamabad for land rights and against the eviction of Katchi Abadies dwellers. More than 2000 marched from Aab Para Chouck to national parliament in Islamabad, a distance of 4 kilometres.

There was great enthusiasm and a lot of revolutionary slogans were raised. More than 400 women were part of the rally and they were mostly carrying the red flags of the AWP.

The rally was led by the leadership of the AWP including Abid Hasan Minto, president; Fanoos Gujjar, chairperson; Asim Sajad Akhta, general secretary of the AWP Punjab; Dr Farzana Bari, women's secretary AWP; Alia Anir Ali, general secretary of the National Students Federation; and Farooq Tariq.

The All Pakistan Karchi Abadies Alliance was part of the rally and women, children and men came from all parts of the poor areas of Islamabad.

The rally condemned the PMLN government and demanded an end to evictions. It demanded effective land reforms and declared that they are not unIslamic. Participants demanded land rights for tenants and for the landless peasantry and raised slogans against land grabs.

It was one of the largest mobilisations of the AWP this year in Islamabad. Those in power must be very upset to see a wave of red flags in the hands of the working class.

Pakistan 'anti-terrorism' court jails left-wing activists for 10 years for protesting

Baba Jan addressing displaced villagers in Hunza Valley in 2010.

By Haseeb ur Rahman

September 21, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In January 2010, a terrible disaster unfolded in the Hunza Valley in Gilgit Baltistan (a formerly self-governing territory occupied by Pakistan since 1948) when a massive landslide blocked the Hunza River and formed a gigantic 19 kilometre-wide lake that submerged four villages. Some 25 people lost their lives and 6000 people were displaced.

These internally displaced people (IDPs) were moved to the towns of Gilgit and Hunza. Pakistan's PM and other officials visited the IDPs in Hunza and promised compensation. When, more than a year later, people took to the streets in protest for not getting the promised compensation, the police killed a man and his son in broad daylight by opening fire on the peaceful protest. A riot followed.

In that riot, 25 demonstrators were injured. When Progressive Youth Front leader Baba Jan and his comrades protested against this brutality, they were also arrested. Most of those arrested were released soon after but Baba Jan along with four of his companions were kept. They were tortured and beaten up brutally.

Following an international solidarity campaign, Baba Jan was released after a year in detention but his companions were kept in jail.

Syria: Pakistan socialists condemn the impending US-led bombing

[For more left statements on the crisis in Syria, and more coverage, click HERE.]

September 6, 2013 -- Statement by the Awami Workers Party, Pakistan

We condemn the impending us bombing of Syria and the hypocrisy of the Pakistani government -- including the armed forces -- which claim to be against such aggression but themselves pander to the dictates of imperialist powers. We similarly reject the claims of right-wing parties that are parading themselves as committed anti-imperialists, both in Pakistan and around the Muslim world. In fact such parties have enjoyed a consensual relationship with imperialist powers and ruling classes in Muslim countries to the detriment of the left.

It is now a well-established fact that the Americans and NATO have been patronising the worst jihadi elements in Syria to destabilise the Assad regime, and have now resolved to follow this up with air strikes across that country. Such antics prove that imperialist powers, no matter what rhetoric they employ, are committed only to their narrow geostrategic interests and will ally with whomever will serve these interests. Only in a world free from imperialism in all its forms can there be substantive democracy and freedom from oppression and want.

Pakistán: La derecha barre en las elecciones

Farooq Tariq.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3352.]

Por Farooq Tariq

26/05/13 -- Sinpermiso.info -- La derecha barrió como una ola en las elecciones generales del 11 de mayo en Pakistán. A nivel federal, la conservadora Liga Musulmana de Pakistán-Nawaz (PML-N) formará gobierno después de haber ganado el 35% de los votos.

El partido del ex capitán del equipo de cricket de Pakistán, Imran Khan, Pakistán Tehreek Insaaf, ocupó el segundo lugar con el 19% de los votos y sorprendió a muchos. El Partido del Pueblo de Pakistán (PPP), que ha estado en el poder durante los últimos cinco años, quedó en tercer lugar con sólo el 15%, pero gracias a la provincia de Sindh, donde fue capaz de recuperar la mayor parte de sus votos.

Farooq Tariq: Pakistan's right-wing and religious parties sweep election

The Awami Workers Party's Farooq Tariq on the campaign trail.

By Farooq Tariq

May 20, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- A right-wing wave swept Pakistan in the May 11 general elections. At the federal level, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) will form the government having won 35% of the vote.

Former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf, came second with 19% of the vote and surprised many. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the ruling party for the past five years, came third with only 15% ― thanks to Sindh where it was able to fetch most of its votes.

Almost 62% of total votes went to right-wing and religious parties, for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Although the religious parties were not united in a single platform, the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) still won 10 seats nationally. It also won 22% of the votes in Baluchistan and 1% in Khaiber Pukhtoon Khawa province, the two provinces bordering Afghanistan.

The right

Australia: Socialist Alliance 9th national conference, Geelong, January 18-20, 2013

The ninth national conference of the Socialist Alliance will be held in Geelong (Victoria), from January 18-20, 2013. It is open to all Socialist Alliance members and invited guests.

The national conference is our highest decision-making body, and delegates are elected from each branch to participate and vote at the conference on a number of resolutions on international and Australian politics and campaigns, party building and the plans of the Socialist Alliance for the coming year. The conference also considers any proposed changes to the Constitution and elects the incoming national executive and national office bearers.

Special international guest from Pakistan

Alia Amirali, the general secretary of Pakistan's National Student Federation (Punjab) and a member of the newly formed Awami Workers' Party (the product of the biggest left regroupment in that country), will be the special international guest speaker at the conference. She has some very important experiences to share, as this interview shows.

¿Socialismo del Siglo 21 en Pakistán?

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3089.]

El 11 de Noviembre nacerá un nuevo partido de la izquierda marxista en Pakistán. Un proceso novedoso de fusión de tres partidos de carácter marxista. Hace mucho que no se produce una experiencia así, sino lo contrario, divisiones y sectarismos.

Por Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

9 de Noviembre de 2012 -- La Aurora -- El artículo que presentamos invita a reflexionar sobre el proceso de fusión de los 3 partidos, sobre el papel que están jugando las jóvenes generaciones en esta lucha por la unidad, sobre el papel de las mujeres, sobre los retos de la izquierda revolucionaria ante la globalización económica, los nuevos auges de las religiones y sectas y muchas otras cuestiones. Sin duda hay aspectos específicamente asiática y pakistaní. Pero también hay en esas reflexiones la parte global, mundial, útil para toda la izquierda en cualquier parte del mundo, particularmente la marxista.

Tres partidos de la izquierda se unen para formar el Partido de los Trabajadores Awami.

Pakistan: Left parties unite to form Awami Workers Party; 21st century socialism in Pakistan?

By the Awami Workers Party

Islamabad, November 2, 2012 – Three leftist parties, Awami Party Pakistan, Labour Party Pakistan and Worker’s Party Pakistan, will formally merge into a new party called the Awami Workers Party on November 11 as a first step towards building an alternative to the status quo which has brought Pakistani state and society to the brink of collapse. This was stated by leaders of the three parties at a press conference held on Friday at the Islamabad Hotel.

Speaking to reporters, Workers Party leader Abid Hasan Minto said that the institutions of the state are fragmenting, and often completely at odds with one another. Democratic institutions remain weak and underdeveloped in comparison to the military establishment and civil bureaucracy. The increasingly untenable situation in Balochistan indicates a wider crisis of the federation, thus confirming that our ruling class has learnt little from the secession of east Pakistan in 1971. Finally, the state continues to maintain a confrontational and interventionist posture vis a vis neighbouring countries, which serves only to isolate Pakistan and exacerbate internal divisions.

Pakistan: Social and economic crisis -- background and perspectives

Click for more on Pakistan.

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''.

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