Saturday, 7 June 2008

Pakistan: Thousands demonstrate against price rises

by Tariq Mehmood Over 3,000 supporters of Labour Party Pakistan took part in a rally at Lahore against the ongoing neo-liberal policies of the present Pakistan People's Party government. They chanted slogans against price hikes, American imperialism and demanded an immediate end of policies dictated by imperialist companies and financial institutions. There were similar demonstration in 30 other cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Multan, Moro, Dault Pur and Layya. Labour Party Pakistan organized the demonstration and rallies with support from trade unions, social movements and peasant organizations as a day of national action against price hikes. They also demanded an immediate restoration of top judges and the resignation of general Musharaf. The Peshawar demonstration by LPP was broadcasted live by private television channel ARY World. Over 400 participated in the demonstration, including over 100 women. At Karachi, over 250 activists demonstrated at Regal Chouck. They were shouting slogans against American imperialism and its policies towards the colonial countries. At Islamabad, over 150 demonstrated at Aab Para Chouck against price hikes and demanded a living wage of at least 12,000 Rupees for all the workers. They demanded action against bosses who are attacking workers forming trade unions in different parts of the country. At Lahore, over 1,000 women participants led the demonstration, including the main leadership of Women Workers Help Line, a working class women's organization. The main Mall Road was blocked for over two hours as the rally passed thought his most busy and prestigious road. Thousands on both sides of the road cheered the demonstrators. This was the largest demonstration against price hikes so far in Pakistan by any political party. Mall Road was red with all the waving red flags for a long, long time. The demonstraters raised slogans in favour of Socialism, saying that Socialism is the only answer to the problems facing the working class. "Capitalism has failed in solving the basic problems of the masses. It is a message of consistent price hikes and unemployment. We have to change the system and develop a party able to prepare a Socialist revolution," declared Farooq Tariq while addressing the public rally at Lahore. "We demand a minimum wage of 12,000 rupees with an introduction of an unemployment benefit for all adult unemployed. We want an end to privatization and cancellation of the foreign debts. Reduce military expenditures and spent it on the people," Farooq Tariq said. He demanded action against the owner of New Khan private bus company who have sacked 80 workers for forming the first trade union in the company. Several trade union leaders including Moeen Nawaz Punno, Muhammed Yousaf Baluch, Bushra Khaliq, Azra Shad and Mehmood Butt also spoke at the occasion. Leaders of the lawyer's movement also addressed the rally, while activists of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party participated in the demonstration. There were many slogans directed against general Musharaf. All the main print and electronic media were present to record events. Labour Party Pakistan has announced a further demonstration this month along the same lines, and is taking an active part in the long march planned by the lawyers movement starting 10th June from Sukhar in Sind. Labor Party Pakistan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am afraid there will be a social explosion in Pakistan. At present families are committing suicide because they cannot see their children hungry. Every day the news media is highlighting suicides triggered by poverty.

During the years of military reign, billions of rupees of debts for billionaires were written off. Mainly politicians have been beneficiaries of these write-offs.

The American hold on Pakistan is so strong that all bureaucrats, Army generals and businessmen send their children to the US for education, while the poor public send their children to sub-standard schools in Pakistan.

There are 2,000 politcal families who are related to each other through marriage. Half of them are in opposition, the other half in government. So whoever comes to power, they are there to protect each other. This alliance against the common man is destroying the country.

If a common man's son earns a gold medal in his studies, the best job he can get is a clerk. A third class student who's the son of a bureaucrat or a Top Gun becomes a director. Here's a good example: Pakistan's president Mr Leghari went to America to attend the graduation of his son with a C grade, and on his return that young man became a federal minister. Can you imagine?

Pakistan is a country where poor people face serious problems. Three out of four are suffering from hepatitis B or C because of poor quality water, and millions of children are malnorished because of poor quality food, if they can get it.

Pakistan is country of sufferings. I dare not predict what is going to happen, but may God help the suffering class of Pakistan.