Pakistan Reports

The Struggle’s Regional Congresses

By Awais Qarni

The Central Editorial Board of The Struggle in its meeting held in Lahore in March resolved to organize regional congresses of The Struggle supporters all over the Pakistan. We here are publishing a brief report from each regional congress.

Dadu Regional Congress

On April 01, 2016 Regional Congress of The Struggle was organized in Dadu press club. Activists, workers, students and youth from different institutions took part in the Congress. There were two sessions of the meeting. The first session was on the World and Pakistan perspective led by Lal Khan and chaired by Hanif Masrani. The second session was on Organization led by Ijaz Bhagio. Before the formal start of meeting Ijaz Bhagio welcomed all the comrades who participated from different areas and  Zia presented “Sindhi Ajrak” to Lal Khan.

Lal Khan in his lead off said world capitalism is facing its worst crisis and the burden of this crisis is being paid by working class in the shape of continues decline in living standard, uncontrollable unemployment, massive layoffs and unprecedented austerity cuts in welfare and national insurance benefits. History never witnessed such huge gap between wealth and poverty. One percent wealthy people own 99% of wealth and this massive inequality has led to massive deprivation and frustration among masses which needs a way out for a secure future. The only way out is Socialism, a system which is based on need as opposed to sheer greed and lust for profits. Socialism is no longer a dirty word and is under discussion among youth throughout the world. Two years ago mere mention of socialism was considered offensive and today the situation has fundamentally changed. We have witnessed a meteoric rise of the left wing reformist party Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, the surge of the left in Portugal and in the recent period an influx of thousands of workers, students and youth in the campaign of Bernie Sanders in America in the name of Socialism and a massive influx of workers and young people in the Labour Party in Britain in support of Jeremy Corbyn. When he raised the slogan of socialism the membership of Labour Party grew from 200,000 to 400,000. In addition over 200,000 people signed up as supporters. Jeremy Corbyn who was struggling to get on to the ballot for leadership of the labour Party ended up winning the contest by a thumping 62% vote. This is a start of a new epoch in itself. There are movements in the whole world and the success of a revolution depends only on the preparations of a revolutionary party. After Lal Khan’s lead off a lively discussion took place including lot of questions and contribution by Anwar Panwar and Saeed Khaskehli. Amjad Qambrani recited a revolutionary poem.

The second session was opened by Ijaz Bhagio on Organization. He also presented regional committee slate which was approved unanimously by members. Congress was concluded by singing Workers’ Internationale.

Hyderabad Regional Congress

On April 02, 2016 Regional Congress of The Struggle was held in Hyderabad. A large number of females, students, workers and comrades participated in it. Discussion was opened on International situation in congress. Session was chaired by Natho Mal and led by Lal Khan. World economic, political and social situation was the central theme of Lal Khan’s lead off at the congress. In addition the current political, economic and social conditions in Pakistan were outlined in detail by Lal Khan. He said every institute of Pakistan is drowned in corruption but state’s only role is to repress the working class. They brutally crush workers on small demonstration and on other hand we witnessed state backed pickets and protests of right wing parties like Imran khan or Tahir ul Qadri which were protected by police guards. The social conditions are becoming worse everywhere. Only a revolutionary Marxist organization can end all of these deprivation and oppression. After lead off questions were asked and Neelam, Lajwanti, Haji Shah and Vinod Kumar took part in the discussion. Rahul presented regional and area committee slate which was approved by members. Lal Khan summed up the debate and answered the questions. Congress concluded by singing Workers’ Internationale.

Karachi Regional Congress

Regional Congress of Karachi was held in Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) House on April o3, 2016. Whole membership of the Karachi region participated in the congress including contacts and sympathisers. Kanwal Anand opened the congress by reciting a revolutionary poem. Jannat Hussain chaired and Lal Khan Led off on National and International situation. Lal Khan discussed world situation and particularly the economic and political crisis being faced by the Indian, Chinese and European bourgeoisie. He also discussed Pakistan’s political situation and the multifarious divisions and conflicts within the state institutions and the elite’s desire and hunger for further loot and plunder in the guises of privatization. A historically belated and redundant ruling class cannot play any other role. Pakistani ruling class have only these options. It does not have the vision or the capacity to develop industrial capacity or develop physical and social infrastructure. The exploitation, repression and barbarism will prevail until working class throwaway this capitalist system in the leadership of a Leninist organization. After the lead off questions were asked and Babar Panwar, Hardil Kumar, Akbar Memon, Ameen Zada and Anwar Panwar made contributions in the session. And then Lal Khan answered the questions and summed up first session. Majid Memon led off second session i.e. Building of a Revolutionary Party. Haseeb Ahmad presented regional committee slate which was approved unanimously. Comrades from Pakistan Steel, PIA, KPT, Port Qasim, Fishery, Pakistan Post, Garments Workers, Show Makers, Workers Union Paramedical Staff and Doctors and Baking workers participated in congress. Congress concluded by singing Workers’ Internationale.

Lahore Regional Congress

On April 17, 2016 Regional Congress held in which more than 80 workers, youth and students from industrial and educational sector participated in Lahore. Comrades from Kasur, Patoki, Manga Mandi and Raiwind also participated in Congress.

Tahir Shabir recited a revolutionary poem at the start of the congress proceedings. The first session was a political discussion on the perspective for World and Pakistani revolution. Aman Ullah chaired this session and it was led by Lal Khan who presented a detailed analysis of economic crisis of capitalism around the globe and put light on political chaos, diplomatic conflicts and revolutionary movements in the world. Ilyas Khan, Shafeeq, Aitzaz Ibrahim, Imran Kamyana and Subhan Yusof made contributions in the session. Lal Khan summed up first session by answering the asked questions. Rizwan akhtar opened debate on second session, Building of a Revolutionary Party. Amir Kareem presented Lahore region’s general report and regional committee slate which was approved unanimously. Lal Khan summed up over all congress and it was concluded by singing Worker’s Internationale.

Kashmir Regional Congress

On April 23, 2016 over 500 activists filled a large hall in Rawalakot, in Pakistani held Kashmir for Kashmir Regional Congress. History never witnessed such a huge gathering of Marxists in Kashmir with bucket full enthusiasm for political discussion and direction. The Congress opened with each area entering the hall chanting slogans like Inqlaab Zindabad (Long Live Revolution), International Socialist Inqlaab Zindabad (Long live World Socialist Revolution). 517 activists registered for Kashmir Regional Congress and most of them (around 90%) were youth and students, a very fitting response to the harbingers of misery and doom. This was the first time ever in history of Pakistan and Kashmir in which that number of Marxists attended any regional event.

Due to limitation of time the congress agenda had two main areas for discussion. It began with a political leads off on World and Pakistan perspective led by Lal Khan. The lead off was followed by a very lively discussion from the floor. The second session was how to build and strengthen forces of Marxism in Kashmir. This session was led by Rashid Sheikh with contributions from comrades from different areas of Kashmir. A solidarity message from comrade Yousaf Tarigami, Leader of CPI(M) India and MPA from Indian-held Kashmir, was read to comrades in the hall. A new regional committee slate was presented which was approved by members unanimously. Congress concluded by singing the Internationale and chanting Slogans with never seen before excitement.

After the culmination of the Regional Congress a procession was rally was taken through the center of Rawalakot and a rally was held with demands to lift ban on student and trade unions, ending poverty, unemployment, and misery and brutality experienced by Kashmiri people under the yoke of capitalism.

North Punjab Regional Congress

On April 24, 2016 Regional congress of North Punjab was held in press club Rawalpindi. 130 comrades of Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), Jammu and Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) participated in this event from different parts of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Attock, Fateh Jang, Wah Cantonment, Chakwal and Abbottabad. There were also a large number of contacts from students and workers from different institutions of the region.

The Regional Congress began with a lead off on the perspective for Pakistani Revolution. This session was chaired by Asif Rasheed and led off by Lal Khan. Lal Khan began with an outline of the world economic crisis and its impacts on South Asia specifically on Pakistan. Lal Khan went in to detail how British imperialism engineered partition of the sub-continent leading to killing of over 2 million people predominantly children and women and migration of at least 10 million people from one region to another.  This partition on religious basis was for only one purpose and that was to deflate and derail the revolutionary movement that was engulfing India. This revolutionary movement began with the mutiny of sailors within the Indian navy and was followed by revulsion within the police, Indian National Army and it peaked with the entry of industrial workers from Indian Railways and Docks. Lal Khan explained revolutions have been erupting historically but they all did not have successful conclusion due to lack of a revolutionary party and leadership. He discussed the perspective of workers movement and the need of a Bolshevik organization for Socialist Revolution. After this questions were asked and many young comrades contributed in session also. Zafar explained the difficult road for building a revolutionary organization and problems that usually arises in the path of building this. Zafar presented new regional committee slate which was approved unanimously by members present at the congress. Lal Khan summed up the debate by answering questions and other points raised during the session. He concluded the meeting by saying that we are determinant and we will build the organization which makes sure the succession of socialism not only in Pakistan but also in South Asia. A socialism that begins in South Asia will not stop here but will spread like a fire throughout Asia leading to a World Socialist Federation. Congress concluded by singing Worker’s Internationale.

Peshawar Regional Congress/Saur Revolution Anniversary

On April 27, 2016 a seminar was organized in Peshawar Press Club by Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) and Wish Zulmi’an (student wing of Khalq Party) to celebrate the 38th anniversary of Afghanistan’s Saur Revolution. The topic of seminar was “Afghanistan: From Revolution to Counter- Revolution”. More than 120 comrades, workers, students and other progressive layers and political parties from different institutions of Peshawar and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa participated in this seminar. Comrade Ghufran Ahad chaired the seminar. Ijaz Mehmand, Syed Alam, Sarfraz Ahmad, Shahb Khatak, Jamal Khatak, Iftkhar Hussain from PPP, AWP, ANP and others took part in the discussion and explained the events and the results of Saur Revolution. Chief Guest of seminar Lal Khan in his detailed speech explained that the ruling elite had done everything to denounce Saur Revolution; although Saur Revolution was not a classical proletariat revolution but it was the most progressive step of this region that transformed the life of every single person in Afghanistan. He said as Marxist we fully support Saur Revolution and we will fight to defend it. He also discussed the US backed barbaric role of Pakistani establishment and Dollar Jihad to counter the revolution. In his conclusion he said, we will work for another Saur Revolution and Socialist Federation of this region that will erase all the fake boundaries. Seminar ended by chanting slogans.

Faisalabad Regional Congress

Faisalabad’s Regional Congress held on may 01, 2016 in Qaid-e-Azam Hall, district court Faisalabad. Congress was dedicated to the struggle of Chicago workers. Comrades from Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) participated in the event. Umar Rasheed performed the duties of stage secretary and Lal Khan was the chief guest of event.  Ashraf Khokhar from Paramedical staff, Muhammad Lateef from Labour Qaomi Movement, Sajjad Khan from Small Industry Union, Azhar Behzad from Punjab Teachers Union, Inam Khan from State Life Insurance co., Miyan Adil from PPP, Saif from PYA, Noman Zahid from PTUDC, Ahmad Mafaz and Aqsa were among the speakers. Ashiq Chudary was the president of the event. Speakers highlighted the role of workers’ struggle against the oppression of capitalism. Lal Khan discussed the historical background of Labour-Day in his speech. He also discussed the current condition and the struggle of workers in world. The exploitation of workers became worse than 1876 in third world countries, he added.After the congress a rally was organized against privatization and to pay tribute to the struggle of Chicago workers.

Multan Regional Congress

On Sunday Morning of May o8, 2016 Regional congress of Multan was held in Multan Tea House. Around 260 comrades from Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), WAPDA, Railways, OGDCL, Teachers Union, Power Loom Workers and Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) participated in this event from different parts of Multan, Shuja-Abad, D.G. Khan, Alipur, Khane-wal, Jampur, Rajanpur, Fazilpur, Muhammadpur, Layyah and surroundings. Multan congress was an internal activity and only members and close contacts participated. The Multan Regional Congress had two sessions. First session was on World & Pakistan Perspective. This session was led by Lal Khan and chaired by young energetic comrade Nadir Gopang from Multan. Lal Khan opened the session with a detailed explanation of world economic crisis and its impact on politics, states and society. He also discussed current Middle East crisis and its impact on Pakistan.

After lead off questions were asked by comrades and contributions delivered by Alyas Khan, Qamar uz Zaman Khan, Ismat Perveen, Sardar Rauf Lund, Haider Abbas Gardezi and Imran Kamayana. Some comrades recited revolutionary poems in contributions. The next session was on Organization. This session was chaired by Nadeem Pasha and led off by Imran Kamayana. He discussed the role of a Marxist-Leninist organization in this epoch. After lead off new regional committee slate was presented and this was approved unanimously by members. Congress ended with Workers’ Internationale anthem and chanting slogans with a never seen before energy and spark.

Baluchistan Regional Congress

On  May 14, 2016 supporters of The Struggle in Baluchistan organised their Regional Congress in Quetta. The congress of Baluchistan has a historical importance in every term. The geopolitical position of Baluchistan is such that it has global strategic importance for every imperialist country. The land of Baluchistan is currently gripped with proxy wars between multitudes of imperialist nations with conflicting interests. There is a proxy war going on between US and China, US and Russia, Russia and China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, India and Pakistan and many more imperialists interventions and designs. Baluchistan is also facing a burning and acute national question which has been simmering since 1948. Due to this national question the Pakistani state has carried out brutal state repression in the province on numerous occasions including full scale military operations. Abductions, kidnappings and visits by the dark forces of the state during the middle of the night often results in large number of Baluch youth and students going missing and their mutilated bodies surfacing later. In such harsh conditions the revolutionary politics requires theoretical and objective clarity, correct tactics and a lot of courage with consistency. The success of Baluchistan regional congress proved the organizational work positively. It was the most successful congress ever held in Baluchistan.

Baluchistan Regional Congress was attended by over 250 comrades from Baluch Student Organisation (BSO), Pakhtoon Student Federation (PSF), Para-Medical staff, Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) and different student organizations, trade unions participated in Congress. The Hall capacity was insufficient and many comrades had to stand inside and outside the hall. The session was chaired by Nazar Mangel and Lal Khan led off on World & Pakistan perspective. In his Lead off Lal Khan outlined economic, political and social characteristics of capitalism and how capitalist crisis is taking its toll working population with increasing unemployment and poverty globally. Many new left and right wing parties are emerging on the political sphere in different parts of the world. He also discussed China’s economic condition and Pak-China Economic Corridor.

After lead off questions were asked and comrades contributed in this session. BSO’s vice chairman Aziz Baloch, Mujeeb Ullah from PSF azad, Professor Ahmad Khan, Para-Medical Staff Federation’s  general secretary Waheed Baloch, Manzoor Baloch from Murk Employees Union, Raheem from NADRA Employees Union and  female comrade Tehzeeb took part and enrich the discussion. Master Zafar and Mohsin Fugaar recited revolutionary poems.

Lal Khan discussed questions and summed-up the congress. In conclusion he said Durand Line and Red-Cliff Line are structured to divide the working class and a successful Socialist Revolution will erase all these artificial borders and unite all workers in a volunteer Socialist Federation of South Asia in first and then on world scale. Congress ended by singing Workers’ Internationale.