By Revolutionary Students Front (RSF)
On April 29, 2017 the condolence reference in the memory of Mashal khan was organized by Pakistan Trade Union Defence campaign (PTUDC), Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) and Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF), with Mashal Revolutionary Front and The Struggle in Press Club Peshawar. But before discussing the program it is important to have a detailed review of the events and to discuss the overall situation. On April 13, a 23 years old student of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan was brutally murdered on the false accusation of blasphemy. In the beginning, despite the sorrow and the grief in the hearts, the people could not do anything because of the fear of dark forces of society. This barbaric act was strongly condemned by progressive political and student organizations. Which created a stir in state and they arrested several culprits who were involved in the murder of Mashal Khan. Initially, the fundamentalist and reactionary student organizations, whose students were directly involved in the murder of Mashal Khan, didn’t react and became completely silent. But on the other side students from Karachi to Kashmir protested against his murder. And due to this, it gave strong motivation even to those people, who were afraid and didn’t even attend the funeral and final rite of Mashal. Hence, the people of Mashal’s village “Zaiyda” went to meet his [mashal] father and apologized and were also went at Mashal’s village for seeking the forgiveness. But after the death of Mashal Khan, as non-issues become the headlines of newspapers and the media, the fundamentalist groups in Punjab University Lahore and Mardan gathered and openly said that the same will happen with every sympathiser of Mashal Khan as it happened with Mashal Khan, himself. They even demanded the release of the murders of Mashal Khan.
The foundation of Mashal Revolutionary Front was locally laid to fight against this religious fascism. The leadership of front is from PTUDC, Pakhtoonkhwa Mili Awami Party and from other progressive parties. And under the same platform different seminars were organized, and the comrades from PTUDC are fighting side by side with the family of Mashal Khan on political ground and also for the litigation.
On April 27, under the same platform condolence reference of Mashal Khan was organized at Chakdara Fishing Hut. The state agencies on the basis of fabricated stories blocked all the routes leading to Chakdara Fishing Hut. They tried to spread fear among the people, but more than 200 people marched for miles to attended the program. Gufran Ahad from PTUDC and also Sheerin Yar addressed the crowd.
On April 28, condolence reference of Mashal Khan was organized in Dargai, on the same day religious fascist groups protested in Mardan and spread hatred and demanded the immediate release of the culprits, In the event, it was discussed that it is not possible to give justice to Mashal within the existing class based system. In fact, he was fighting against the same system. This system has never given justice to the oppressed masses. If we want justice for Mashal then the only way is to get rid of this exploitative class based system.
On April 29, 20 minutes before the beginning of the program in Peshawar press club, Jamat-e-Islami and other religious fascist groups protested against progressive voices. They vowed to eliminate every voice raised in the favor of Mashal Khan. Yet despite all the difficulties, comrades from Kashmir, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in the program. The situation was full of fear, and due to this parents warned their children to not to attend the program. In the present analysis of the situation, it could be said that the security forces were either involved or they were behind. In the banner on the stage a poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz was written while in the other banner beside it the portrait of Karl Marx was displayed, that same portrait was also hanging on the wall of his [Mashal’s] vandalized hostel cubicle. And that was the crime of Mashal Khan, that he was advocating his ideas and ideologies.
Dr. Lal Khan, editor of Asian Marxist Review and international secretary of PTUDC, well-known social activist and former professor Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad Dr. Farzana Bari , Dr. Said Alam Mehsood from Pakhtunkhwa Olesi Movement, Sangeen Bacha, Organiser Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) Pakhtunkhwa, Basharat Ali, President JKNSF addressed the program, While Gufran Ahad from PTUDC and member organising body of Mashal Revolutionary Front chaired the program.
Sangeen Bacha from RSF said that we will continue the struggle of Mashal Khan. Mashal Khan’s ideas were ideas of Marxism. His war was against the pervasive corruption of the university administration. And we will take these ideas to every layer of the society. We will avenge Mashal Khan with a victorious socialist revolution, and that will be the real tribute to Mashal Khan.
Bashart Ali President JKNSF said that like all other institutions the fundamentalist religious venom was also injected in educational institutions during the era of Zia-Ul_Haq and his successors. Today the real character of this system, it’s state and the politics is vivid by the murder of Mashal Khan. Mashal Khan was struggling for the rights of the students. Today Mashal is no more, but his ideas are immortal. The students want to carry forward the struggle of Mashal Khan. We only need to unite all the students.
Said Alam Mehsood from Paktoonkhwa Olesi Movement said that Pakistan is a complicated country and it’s a Mullah-Military alliance. Pakistan is like a graveyard and killing of innocent people is a norm of this country. Mashal Khan had exposed the reactionary and barbaric face of the state. Mashal was an intelligent student and he was a beacon of hope for oppressed students. He was exposing the corruption of university administration., and university administration prepared environment against Mashal khan. They are involved in the creation of a fake social media account on the name of Mashal Khan, and also called the religious fascist groups inside the university premises and he [Mashal] had been brutally silenced for speaking out the truth. We will fight for the justice.
Farzana Bari said that the murder of Mashal Khan has exposed the state policies. They have used blasphemy laws for their own interest. Freedom of expression is the basic right of every individual. And we should also think for the innocents languishing in jails under these baseless charges of blasphemy. Such type of events will take place until or unless religion is separated from the state. The ideas of Mashal Khan are our ideas, and that we need a united front against the reactionary tendencies.
Dr. Lal Khan said that we don’t need to mourn over the death of Mashal Khan but instead, Mashal is a beacon of hope in the world of darkness. In a market economy, everything is for sale, even judges, courts, journalism and as well as politics. Mashal cannot get justice in this market-based system. The Mullah of today are not like those from the past, but instead, the today’s Mullahs are rich by the blessings of black money. Religious fanaticism, terrorism and fundamentalism are the by-products of the black economy. There are no strong footings of religious fascism in Pakistani society. The struggle of Mashal has proved the media to be wrong that all the Pashtoons are fundamentalist and terrorist. State and religion cannot be separated in the current socio-economic system. India is a so-called secular state. Even there 109 people are murdered every day in the guise of religion. The basic point is that the current system is obsolete. Capitalism and religious fascism are two sides of the same coin. The true inventor of modern religious fascism and extremism is John Foster Dulles; he laid the foundations of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and JI in Pakistan and in other countries like Indonesia to crush the workers’ movements. Today, the remains of Zia can be seen in every political party of Pakistan, they also have the deep financial ties with black economy. Corporate media have never shown or written the truth. Today, Reactionary forces are everywhere, but they will not remain forever. And we should not forget that the 1968-69 revolution had shaken the fabric of the society. Today is definitely dark, but the darkest hours are the last hours of it. Justice for Mashal Khan is only possible through the socialist transformation of this society. After that Ghufran Ahad announced that the end of the program.