Tag Archives: Pakistan

International May Day Greetings From Some Comrades Around The World

Solidarity from Pakistan

 

We workers of the Pakistan are part and parcel of international working class. We are enthusiastically engaged to bring equality and justice worldwide under the red banner of the revolutionary international communist Progressive Labor Party. We want to show our solidarity to the workers struggling against the evils of capitalism.

We must strive more effectively to get rid of exploitation, poverty, racism, nationalism and fundamentalism around the globe. Bosses are busy to kill the poor working class all over the world in the name of religion, nation and race but we workers must unite against these bosses to make an international communist revolution.

We are celebrating international May Day in very tough situations: under the terror of sectarianism, fanaticism, racism and nationalism. Like our other brothers and sisters struggling all over the world, we too are unafraid of capitalist horror.

Keep on moving on the road of revolution with full dedication, commitment and believe without any fear we will win — we will get rid of bosses and their bloody capitalist system. Long live communism, the international working class, and PLP!

 

Salutations from Haiti

Comrade workers!

The working class of Haiti salutes you on this May Day.

To change the world, to end the reign of the bosses, for the working class to get out from under slavery, communism must be triumphant. Yes, communism must triumph.

We, the working class, must work every day, for the Party of the international working class—the PLP—to seize power and end the dictatorship of the bosses.

We are the billions who live under capitalist misery. We are the billions who work in the bourgeois capitalist industries/factories.
We are the billions who have nothing under this capitalist system.

Comrade workers! We have the job of fighting for the solidarity of our class. We have to unite to fight the world created by the exploiters. We must stand together to build another world. We can no longer live to create profits for the bloodsucking bosses.

Comrades! There are many problems in the world. The capitalists are rivals in the fight to conquer the riches of the world. Workers, however, should not get involved in the fight between the exploiters. We must unite under the flag of our international revolutionary Party. The fight for the liberation of humanity is the fight of the workers.
The fight of the working class is our fight.

Comrade workers! Today is an occasion to reinforce our solidarity and to end capitalism. We are with you, every day and everywhere in the same struggle for our class. We are convinced that together, communism will be triumphant to end once and for all the inequalities, racism, sexism, and all the inhumanity that this system creates.
Long live the unity of the international working class, long live class struggle, long live the working class, long live May Day.

 

Solidarity from Palestine-Israel

 

We, the comrades in Palestine-Israel, send you these greetings to your Mayday march and dinner. While we are a small club, we march here in Palestine as well. PLP and friends be distributing a flyer titled “Why Communism?”

 If a Mayday march is going to be organized in East Jerusalem, we will be joining it as well. Here we are fighting against apartheid, fascism and racism, as well as their root: capitalism. We are active in a mass group, which is trying to build a mass movement against “the system” and calls for open rebellion. We are putting forward a clear anti-racist, pro-internationalist line and showing how the regime’s nationalism and racism serves only the rulers.

We are also active in a group for super-exploited contract workers, most of who are women. Last summer, we stood in solidarity with Palestinian and Jewish workers fighting for the release of political prisoners held by the fascist Israeli regime. At the weekly vigils, we are the only people calling for abolition of ALL occupation and ALL apartheid now, not merely the territories conquered in 1967, but also the ones stolen by Zionists in 1948.

From these struggles, we send you revolutionary greetings for May Day. We also send greetings for the 9th of May, the anniversary of the communist movement’s greatest achievement: the defeat of most of the European fascists, and especially the Nazis.

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Death To The Fascists! Power To The Workers!

Death to the Fascists! Power to the workers!

The only solution to fascism is Communist Revolution.The correct way to deal with the violent reactionary forces of organized fascism is through the organized violence of the working class united by revolutionary Communist politics. In the absence of such unity, any direct action against the fascists will not end fascism once and for all, though it may inhibit the rate at which fascism grows.

The working class in Greece has been under, arguably, the most direct assault by the forces of capital in the world.  It is bankers protecting their profits that are determining the attacks and directly instituting their rule over the state apparatus. Though other parts of the world have workers dealing with more repression, exploitation, and the direct violence of their own state apparatus, the international capitalists’ need for profit is directly controlling actual state.  It is now beholden to the direct rule of the Troika, the three bodies that fully represent the interests of Western Capital. If there were a sizable mass of people dedicated to Progressive Labor Party’s direct struggle for Communism and the dictatorship of the working class, then there’s a very good chance a revolutionary situation would develop, but, “Without the Party, there can be no revolution”.

A group that’s calling itself revolutionary has shot and killed a fascist member of The Neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn in retaliation for them killing an anti-fascist rapper. As far as we’re concerned, every time a fascist dies, a puppy is born, the world becomes a better place, and the fascists get the only thing they deserve: death. Direct violence against the fascists before they’re able to gain strength and state power is the correct method for dealing with them. Our criticism is simple. Is this an isolated event where an organization is substituting itself for the working class? Is this movement especially targeting racism, the Achilles heel of capitalism, and sexism? Is this an organization using direct revolutionary violence to challenge the capitalists for state power? Can the organization sustain the revolutionary struggle until the final battle with discipline and cohesion?

Lenin’s classic text “Left Wing Communism an Infantile Disorder” points out that first class consciousness, second deep links to the working class, and thirdly the correct political line are necessary, because in order to have the final “victory over the bourgeoisie (it) is impossible without a long, stubborn and desperate war of life and death, a war demanding perseverance, discipline, firmness, indomitableness, and unity of will.” Though PLP has many criticism of the text, it’s insistence on the fight for socialism for example, the essential aspects of it are still relevant.

The primary current of struggle in Greece is Anarchist. This ideology will not and cannot lead to the emancipation of the working class. It will not set up a class dictatorship that’s necessary to sustain the conquest and negation of Bourgeois political power, entitlement, racist and sexist ideology, and right. Though it is commendable to see fascists die by the armed working class taking direct action against them, PLP must take a principled Left position and point out that politics are primary. Without the correct political line, history has clearly illustrated that all the dead fascists in the world won’t lead to Communism. It is perfectly possible to defeat fascism without smashing capitalism, and capitalism can only be ended with a revolution directly for a Communist society.

A second example of the working class fighting fascism is a group of women in Kashmir fighting against Jihadist militants. Unfortunately, they are not struggling for Left ideas, let alone state power, but they are smashing sexist stereotypes of how women should behave in that area. Challenging the state itself to confront Pakistan’s proxy forces is inspiring to women all over the world.  PLP applauds these women who are willing to face death to fight fascism!

 

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Pakistan’s Sanitation Workers Fighting Bosses and Open to PL Ideas

PAKISTAN, May 13 — Sanitation workers are the most exploited workers in Pakistan. They live in miserable conditions with slave wages, no security, no pension and no benefits. Parents and children live together in small mud-made dwellings covered with leaves, with one room consisting of a kitchen, living and bedroom. Sanitation workers also suffer special prejudices — they are prohibited from eating or drinking with other people if they do not bring their own cups and dishes. Strikes have begun against these conditions.

They start work early morning and labor for 18 hours for slave wages, without proper equipment like gloves or boots. Permanent workers are paid only 5,000 Pakistani Rupees (PKR) (59 US$) per month; temporary workers get PKR 4,000 (47 US$). If they have an on-the-job accident, they cannot get medical treatment and can be fired anytime. Female domestic workers face violence and sexual attacks. There are no weekends or holidays in their lives —they live just to serve.

Many sanitation workers thus suffer from health problems produced by working conditions. Some suffer from blindness. Skin and breathing problems are very common but there is no free medical treatment or any other benefit. When sick they cannot remain in their small dwellings; if they do not work they cannot eat.

The sanitation workers are labeled “minorities.” Their “representatives” in parliament are the wealthy who never visit their dwellings. The religious institutions are also silent about these workers’ wretched exploitation. Both the politicians and religious officials just protect the interests of the rich bosses.

Organizing A Union to Fight Back

A small Pakistani town contains 220 families (about 2,000 people). Many have been attacked by landowners, chasing them from temporary living areas. About five years ago, the workers formed the Sanitation Workers Association (SWA). They began organizing strikes and sit-ins to get a piece of land on which to live. Despite brutal torture and starvation they maintained these strikes and won a 15×15-yard piece of land for each family. However, this land is about 1.6 miles away from the town and has no electricity, water or road, making it difficult to reach the town where they work. Of course, without water and electricity they cannot live there. They demanded infrastructure but the administration refused, saying the government has no money. We must organize strikes and militant actions against this special type of fascism.

After the October 2005 earthquake, the SWA won an allotment of 57 houses but these houses cannot resist severe weather, another example of the corruption of the politicians and authorities. Workers are organizing a strike against the district administration which is controlled by corrupt politicians.

PLP is struggling with these workers to understand that without smashing the exploitative capitalist system, workers cannot rid our class of this poverty and homelessness. A comrade and a few friends of the Party have distributed a leaflet linking this misery facing these sanitation workers to the need for a communist revolution to change the situation.

Such an international communist revolution is no easy task; it needs the firm commitment of workers to an international communist party, PLP

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PAKISTAN, May Day: Workers March Against Capitalism

PAKISTAN, May 1 — May Day was celebrated in its historic manner but now the working class here is full of fury. The May Day marches sent a loud and clear message to the Pakistani bosses that workers won’t stand for miserable conditions. These demonstrations proved that the working class is the strongest power in the world if it decides to fight.

This year workers’ chants were more radical, their slogans more revolutionary, filled with red ideas, signifying they know who’s responsible for all their hardships. The opportunist, fake-left trade unionists were surprised at this anger and realized they’re losing control. When one May Day procession was transformed into a huge meeting in one town, the sellout union “leaders” rushed to sit on the stage but a group of workers pulled them down, saying you have no right to sit there. These chairs are not for people like you with your expensive cars, homes and clothes; they’re for the workers wearing torn cloths, living in miserable conditions with worn hands from hard work and tiring labor.

Price hikes, unemployment, layoffs, closed plants, shortages of electricity and gas, rising poverty levels, terrorism, anti-worker laws, lack of the free medicines in government hospitals, lousy schools, the increasing gap between poor and rich, privatization, corruption, nepotism, target killings, racism and fascism — all this confirms that the bosses have nothing to offer us as they shift their bank accounts to Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.

Puppet trade unionists tortured airline workers on strike at Pakistan International Airline (PIA) but workers’ actions proved they can win despite this and state oppression, in PIA and on the Railways.

Electricity and gas shortages stem from corrupt government officials getting commissions from private contractors in exchange for privatization. They spend billions to import power plants but no electricity is included in a national grid. In most cities there’s no electricity for 12-18 hours. In villages it barely lasts for the blink of an eye. This affects the daily lives of all wage workers.

The May Day marches also signified that the political parties are just playing a shell game, while they exploit the workers, trying to keep the decaying capitalist system alive. Most are either capitalists or feudalists, both organizing cartels to increase prices; landlords increase rents while never increasing the workers’ wages. From this they reap trillions.

Our Party is still very small but communists are painstakingly committed to revolution, capable of organizing strikes, demonstrations, marches, shut-downs and sit-ins. On May Day, our comrades and friends succeeded in winning more and more workers to these celebrations. We made plans to increase participation, distribution of Party literature and what to discuss. In big and small cities we gave out the pamphlet “Why We Fight for Communism” and leaflets about May Day, related to the workers’ miserable conditions.

In our speeches, our comrade and friends explained our politics and gave reasons why we struggle directly for communism and why we need to build an international communist party. We showed how all other political parties support the imperialist drive for profits and how the politicians are mouthpieces of international fascist capitalism. In Pakistan the ruling class is hiking the electricity tariff, directed by the International Monetary Fund, while the World Bank has recommended termination of all subsidies won by the working class.

Comrades and friends also emphasized that the bosses are living in luxurious homes while workers have no shelter. Even dwellings made of mud and leaves are being demolished; landlords and the government prevent them from occupying the lands “that don’t belong to them.” Police attack workers forced to spend nights in parks and are accused as “terrorists” so accusers can get rewards. The rulers ride in bullet-proof cars under heavy police and army escort while workers are killed in terrorist attacks.

The different racist, nationalist and fundamentalist parties enable target killings of poor workers just because of their language, color or sect, even if they have no tie to any party — all this to create fear and to prove their power!

The bosses need cheap labor for maximum profits so they’re making education more expensive. Therefore, working-class children can’t go to school while bosses force them into child labor. Such children get 35¢ to 47¢ for 12 hours. This child labor helps the phony unionist-led NGOs get money from the International Labor Organization.

These fake trade unionists are a tool of different political parties; they use them to avoid strikes, sustain bad working conditions and low wages. We’ve got to get rid of these “pocket unions” to make any advances. Low wages, no insurance, long working hours, layoffs, no benefits, no security, and no pensions or any other assistance if injured or killed — all pushed by these opportunist and puppet unionists. We must organize ourselves under the true communist leadership of PLP to build a base in these small fights to be able to win workers to see the need for international communist revolution.

Our comrades’ speeches are warmly welcomed by the workers, to huge applause. Many workers rushed to our comrades to obtain their contact numbers soon after they finished the marches and speeches. During all these activities we make good contacts. Now it’s our task to convert these contacts into recruits to the rank-and-file of our Party. We are confident we can win millions of workers to struggle to establish a classless society under the red banner of our international revolutionary communist party — PLP

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Mumbai Massacre Heats Up India-Pakistan Dogfight

The Mumbai terrorist attack is being played as a religious holy war between Moslem and Hindu fundamentalism. But behind that lies what is killing millions of workers worldwide today: the dogfight among the world’s imperialists and their lackeys for control of the energy resources, pipelines (see below article) and the right to super-exploit workers.

In South Asia, this deadly mixture has brought two regional nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, to the brink of another war, and exposed the weaknesses of U.S. imperialism’s policy towards Afghanistan-Pakistan. “The crisis…fallout may… [expand] to include the United States, NATO, Afghanistan and Iran,” reports the NY Times (Week In Review, 12/7)

The U.S.-NATO Afghan war has had a devastating destabilizing effect on Pakistan (see CHALLENGE, 12/10). A fractured Pakistani ruling class is so divided that it cannot help U.S. imperialism’s design for the region. “A collapsing Pakistan, and with it the loss of any real border separating India from Pakistan, is India’s worst nightmare,” says Robert Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “Making matters worse, every time the United States launches an air attack into Pakistan from Afghanistan, it further destabilizes the Pakistani state.” NY Times, 12/8)

Any of the many factions of the Pakistani ruling class could had been behind the Mumbai massacre — which killed 192 people and injured hundreds more — as well as the recent bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Many in the ISI (Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence service) see India as the main enemy of Pakistan. Killing innocent people is business as usual for imperialism’s big bosses and their goons.

The Mumbai massacre has shaken India’s growing alliance with the U.S., enabling India’s old ally, Russia, to re-emerge. Following the Mumbai massacre, Russian president Medvedev visited India and not only made a deal to sell India 80 M1-17 helicopters but also got an extra $2.2 billion from India for an aircraft carrier.

Mumbai has not only led to Russian weapons’ sales to India but has now brought India’s bosses closer to the Russian position in Afghanistan.
During Medvedev’s visit, in a Joint Declaration, India and Russia shared their concern over the “deteriorating security situation” in Afghanistan and called for a “coherent and a united international commitment” to deal with the threats emanating from that country.

The implied criticism of the U.S.-led war is obvious as is the rejection of the U.S. strategy to retain the war as its exclusive domain. The Joint Declaration then says, “Both sides welcome Russia’s initiative to organize an international conference in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, involving its Member states and Observers.”

Both India and Russia are derailing the U.S.-Saudi plan to make a deal with some Taliban leaders at the expense of the former’s interests in energy-rich Central Asia.

This mixture of imperialist-capitalist rivalries and their use of religious fundamentalism is deadly for the region’s workers and their allies. The urban and rural workers and youth, from Kabul to Karachi to Mumbai, have a long history of fighting capitalism and imperialism. What’s needed is a revolutionary communist outlook to unite and destroy all the bosses and their various ideologies.J

Imperialists’ Battle Over Oil Pipelines Will Widen War

The Mumbai massacre (see above) highlights the rapid, blood-letting pace of the sharpening inter-imperialist rivalry for control of the Caspian region’s vast oil and gas resources and its strategic pipeline routes to world markets. This rivalry, intensified by the worldwide, deepening capitalist economic crisis, is leading eventually to World War III.

U.S. imperialism’s seven years of indescribable carnage in Afghanistan was originally intended as a quick military operation to secure pipeline routes for transporting Caspian region resources to the Indian Ocean Gwadar port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, by-passing Russia and Iran.

Now, with the U.S. bosses bogged down in two wars — and major ones with Iran, Russia and/or China looming — while facing one of the worst economic crises in their history, they’re desperately trying to stem their rapid decline and remain the number one imperialist power. Oil, despite its sharply lower price, is still crucial to this endeavor, as it is to Russia’s and China’s rise as rival super-powers.

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, HAVE THEM JOIN YOU

With the Russian victory in Georgia making it unfeasible to build new U.S. trans-Caspian pipelines, Afghanistan is again (short of invading Iran) the most realistic, practical route to transport Caspian energy to market, by-passing Russia and Iran.  That’s why the “U.S. is actively considering [peace] talks with elements of the Taliban….in a major policy shift that would have been unthinkable a few months ago.” (Wall Street Journal, 10/28/08)

The objective is to “pacify and stabilize” Afghanistan enough to guarantee safe transport of these resources, while occupying the country indefinitely. At a recent NATO meeting, “the alliance visualized a long haul in Afghanistan.” (Asia Times on-Line, 10/15/08)

U.S. bosses hope to have everything in place by 2013 when Kazakhstan oil, being developed by U.S. oil companies, will start flowing. With this outlet, U.S. imperialists hope to reverse Russia’s gains in the energy-rich ex-Soviet republics.

RUSSIA, CHINA, IRAN AND THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE

These plans directly threaten the geopolitical interests of Russia, China and Iran, so they’re pushing back. This fight will only lead to wider, and eventually global war.

Russian President Medvedev criticized the U.S. for creating chaos in Afghanistan. He called for a new pan-European security pact, saying NATO can’t ensure the continent’s security. He said the “United States’ desire to consolidate its global role” is unrealizable in a multi-polar world.

Defying Russia’s warning, U.S. imperialists arrogantly think they can unilaterally expel Russia and Iran from Afghanistan. But the Northern Alliance, Afghan President Karzai’s main base of support, is very dependent economically and militarily on Russia and China.

Iran also has close ties with former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, leader of the anti-Taliban coalition (Northern Alliance) in the 1990s. Kabul is courting Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a holy warrior who fought for the CIA against the Soviet army in Afghanistan. He leads the fastest-growing insurgent group in Afghanistan.

China, a major player in the region, opposes the U.S.-NATO permanent military presence in the area. Afghanistan is being courted by the SCO to become a member. The SCO is a regional organization created by Russia and China to stop U.S.-NATO expansion in the Caucuses-Caspian regions. Since 2004,

Karzai has been a guest of honor at all the SCO’s summit meetings.

U.S. bosses are also supporting the Balochistan secessionist movement, which could eventually break up Pakistan if it degenerates into a failed state or becomes too independent. This would both deny China access to alternative energy resources and transport routes, and provide U.S. bases to further encircle Russia and China militarily.

PLP condemns the terrorists behind the Mumbai attack, along with all the capitalists-imperialists and their religious fanatics terrorizing workers worldwide. Workers need the ideas in CHALLENGE to fight all the bosses and build a mass international revolutionary PLP to fight for a communist world, without any bosses and their mass terror.

Pakistan and China in U.S. Bosses’ Sights

U.S. actions in Afghanistan and the region are also aimed at preventing China from importing 80% of its oil by skirting the Strait of Malacca, a narrow passage-way which the U.S. can block in case of war.

For China, the closest and safest sources of energy are Iran and the Caspian region, by-passing the Malacca Strait. Thus, China has signed mega energy contracts with Turkmenistan and Iran, a country the U.S. strives to isolate.

China’s other alternate routes are Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan with prospective pipelines from there to China’s remote western regions; and the Myanmar’s Sittwe port from which it will build two 900-mile pipelines to its Yunnan province.

Other possible routes for China to bypass the Malacca Strait are in the Indian Ocean. Thus, the U.S., using pirates in the area as pretext, has sent warships to “patrol” it. The U.S. is also negotiating bases there to gain full control of the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas, and temporarily thwart all Chinese solutions to their Malacca dilemma.

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U.S. Bombs Pakistan, Escalating U.S. Afghan War for Oil

On October 24 a reported 10,000 Afghans chanting “Death to the barbarian Taliban and Americans” protested the Taliban’s execution of 26 young men. Claiming responsibility, a Taliban spokesman said they were Afghan security-force recruits. But a witness told Agence France Presse, “They were innocent civilians who wanted jobs…on their way to Iran.”

On November 5, U.S. warplanes, allegedly targeting Taliban, bombed an Afghan wedding party, killing 37 (including 23 children). A day later 30 more civilians died in another U.S. air attack.

The unprecedented size of the anti-Taliban rally reflects Afghans’ anger at the barbarity of both sides in a war in which they are increasingly the victims. A survey by The International Council on Security and Development found that six of ten Afghans want foreign troops out. Yet president-elect Barack Obama pledges to send 20,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

For Afghans, seven years of U.S.-NATO occupation has meant more deaths, and worsening economic conditions. In some areas, 80% live below the poverty line. One in five children dies before the age of five. Millions face famine the winter. Food prices have skyrocketed.

Afghanistan now produces 93% of the world’s heroin. Addiction is rising, even among women and children. Cheap and readily available heroin replaces costly medicine and is used as an antidote against despair. Tent cities ring the capital next to mansions built from narco-trafficking. Billions in foreign aid go to profiteers, not the needy.

In 2001, the U.S. returned Northern Alliance Fundamentalists to power — warlords and former jihadists who view women as domestic slaves and procreators. They’re now an 80% majority in parliament in the world’s most dangerous country for women. Gang rape, murder, abduction of girls and women go unpunished, as do killings of female teachers, activists and professionals. Women trying to escape violent husbands and families are jailed.

The Taliban’s growing military strength, its deployment of suicide bombers and roadside explosives, is leading to an increasingly dangerous battlefield for occupying forces, especially in southern and eastern Afghanistan where the Taliban fighting force swells when necessary with locals willing to fight for cash.

The Taliban are also fighting for political and economic power, challenging the U.S.-installed, puppet president, Hamid Karzai, and the warlords and drug czars in government positions whose access to international funds and resources has made them extremely wealthy.

A coalition of Karzai’s parliamentary rivals — the United National Front — want an international effort to settle the civil war. But the U.S. opposes this and, aided by the Saudis, is quietly working to include “moderate” Taliban in the Karzai government. Recently the heads of the CIA and ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency) met in Washington. They discussed isolating Pakistan’s “moderate” Taliban from the militants and Al Qaeda who are engaged in a brutal war with the Pakistani army in the tribal region that has left many dead and more than 300,000 homeless.

While talking “reconciliation,” the U.S. has been widening the war: 300 U.S. military advisors now train Pakistani counter-insurgency troops on U.S.-purchased land near Pakistan’s capital. Since July the U.S. military has bombed Pakistani locations where it claims Afghan Taliban have safe havens. Despite Pakistani government protests, the attacks continue, killing many civilians, escalating the conflict on both sides of the border and foreshadowing a break-up of the region into ethnic enclaves.

The U.S. calls its escalation a continuation of “the war on terror” but it’s really a dogfight with imperialist rivals, primarily Russia, but also China and Iran, for control of Central Asia’s oil and gas fields as well as enhancing the profits of its multi-national corporations.

Former Pakistan Army Chief, General Mirza Aslam Beg, suspects the U.S. wants to end Pakistani control of the tribal areas and Balouchistan, a Pakistani province bordering Iran and Afghanistan where the U.S. is secretly training Balouchistan separatists. The Taliban might then be offered a deal: an independent state carved from both sides of the Afghan/Pakistan border. Balouchistan would become a U.S client state and the U.S. would build a long-anticipated pipeline from Central Asia through a stabilized Afghanistan and Balouchistan to the Arabian Sea.

In the 1970s, there were country-wide uprisings by peasants and strikes by workers in government printing shops, textile mills, cement plants, mines, transportation and on construction sites. Many fought against the ruling class which used religion to oppress workers and peasants. Women were particularly exploited, virtual slaves to their husbands and families; they worked at home, on the land, and produced handicrafts for additional family income.

We in PLP are trying to learn from the achievements and mistakes of the old communist movement, in order to advance the struggle against all the imperialists and their cohorts (be they Jihadists, state-capitalists or free marketers). We call on the workers and peasants of Afghanistan, who had fought and still fight against the fundamentalists, drug warlords and various imperialist puppets like President Karzai, to join with us in rebuilding an international communist movement to smash capitalism in all its forms.

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Will U.S. Invade Pakistan?

PAKISTAN –– On September 14, Pakistan troops fired shots into the air to stop U.S. troops crossing into the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. A couple of weeks before, twenty Pakistani villagers, including women and children, were killed when the U.S. troops crossed the border from Afghanistan to supposedly attack Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry immediately condemned it as “a grave provocation.” Seven days later Bush announced U.S intentions to continue the raids — with or without the approval of the Pakistani government — and to send additional troops to Afghanistan (Obama and McCain  agree on expanding the war in this region.)   

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a 1,500-mile border, that 19th century British imperialists arbitrarily cut through mountainous land inhabited by Pashtuns. U.S. insistence that the Pakistan military crack down on the Taliban has caused a backlash against the army by Pakistani fundamentalists (often Pashtuns) and al Qaeda (foreign jihadists). The fierce confrontations have killed many civilians and left thousands homeless. In Afghanistan, the seven-year U.S.-NATO occupation has worsened conditions for the majority of Afghans. More than 1,000 civilians have been killed this year.  

The U.S. and its ally, India, claim that Pakistan is the center and cause of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, accusing members of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of helping the Taliban. This is the excuse for the recent U.S. invasion of Pakistani territory. The U.S. wants to replace its decades-long  indirect domination of Pakistan with direct military control. 
A 2005 report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council and the CIA, forecast a “Yugoslav-like fate.” for Pakistan. A former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK predicted that, “The central government’s control probably will be reduced to the Punjabi heartland and the economic hub of Karachi, by 2015.” (Times of India 13 Feb 2005). 
Breaking up Pakistan would facilitate U.S. exploitation of the vast energy reserves of the Caspian Sea region to the north. Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of Barak Obama’s foreign policy advisors wrote in 1990,  “The Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.”   U.S. oil companies plan to build pipelines to transport that oil and gas from the region through Afghanistan and Balochistan — a Pakistan province — to the Arabian Sea and so to markets in Europe and Asia. If the U.S. is unable to secure this pipeline, Russia — and China — may monopolize the Caspian oil fields.  The survival of the U.S. as a leading imperialist power depends on the  control of the world’s energy sources — a point emphasized this week as oil baron Cheney shuttled around the Caspian States meeting local rulers and representatives of Chevron and BP. As Brzezinski noted, “whoever controls Eurasia controls the world.”

The U. S. is now sponsoring India’s membership in NATO, which will add one more powerful U.S. ally to the growing circle around Russia. When the Indian army took part in NATO exercises in Arizona in August, Russia retaliated by announcing that its strategic bombers would patrol the Indian Ocean. The U.S. and India signed a nuclear arms agreement that, according to Administration officials, “seals a long-term strategic alliance between the two countries, which had tense relations during the Cold War.”  With a rapidly expanding capitalist economy, seeking new markets, trading partners and oil, India also has interests in the Caspian Sea reserves and has its own plans for pipelines from Iran, through Balochistan to India.  

Nationalism and religion are constantly being used by the ruling classes to divide workers and their allies. In Pakistan, India has joined with the U.S and Britain to covertly support and arm the separatist Balochistan Liberation Movement. In Indian-controlled Kashmir tension is growing between Muslim and Hindu, fundamentalists and secularists, and spreading to the border with Pakistan in the east.

The former Yugoslavia was broken up in part with the promotion of nationalism and the organization of separatist militias. For Yugoslavia’s working class the result was fascist/racist terror, bloody civil wars and atrocities. Revolutionary communists must show the Afghan, Pakistan, and Indian working class and its allies — Pashtuns, Balochis, Sindhis, Punjabis, Kashmiris, Hindus  — that nationalism is not the answer to their problems. That is the goal of the PLP in the region. Join us!

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Pakistan’s Workers Fight Havoc Wreaked by U.S./Local Rulers’ Attacks

After only five months, Pakistan’s new coalition government has sunk into a seemingly unstoppable political and economic crisis: rapidly-rising inflation, increasing challenges from Islamic extremists and U.S.-India condemnation of Pakistan as a very serious threat to capitalist world security.

On August 18, the latest in a long line of U.S.-backed military strong men, President Pervez Musharraf, stepped down rather than face impeachment. While commentators predict his resignation heralds a new era, the chaos continues: a suicide bombing kills 30; another leaves 70 dead; one coalition partner resigns from government; thousands flee their homes during the biggest battle of the “war on terror” between the Pakistani army and the Taliban; president-to-be Asif Ali Zardari, leader of the Pakistani People’s Party (PPP), declares, “The world is losing the war on terror.”

Meanwhile, working-class anger at the rising cost of living — wheat flour, a staple, increased 26% in one month and transportation 14%, following last year’s jump in consumer prices of almost 20% — government corruption and general insecurity led to nation-wide protests. In Karachi, Pakistan’s Telecommunication Company workers struck in May, taking over the company’s headquarters until July 28 when they won higher wages.

On-the-job actions erupt in textile factories, the cement industry, among teachers, hospital and other government departments as more workers demand wage increases to offset increased living costs. Critically affecting the government’s military plans, 3,000 Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (Defense Ministry) workers, paid on a daily basis, are demanding pay increases and permanent jobs, now given to relatives and friends of army officials.

The PPP-led government blames Musharraf’s nine-year dictatorship for worsening conditions, claiming he left a “mutilated” economy with a large trade deficit and a government budget deficit up 75%. But their “poor people’s budget” follows Musharraf’s policies that blatantly benefit Pakistan’s ruling class and the U.S., which is insisting on the deregulation of Pakistan’s economy. More privatization of public resources is planned, tax breaks on stock-market profits are extended two years and large tracts of land are reserved for foreign investors to develop agribusiness. Subsides for food, fuel oil, electricity and fertilizer are slashed over 25%.

With a nod to the painful poverty of its 168 million people — 70% exist on less than $2/day, 60 million are “food insecure” (according to a UN report) — the government trumpets its $507 million program to provide $15 per month, medical insurance and job training for 3.3 million desperately-poor families. This contrasts starkly with a military budget of $4.7 billion.

Since 2002 the army has also received $10 billion from the U.S. to fund Pakistan’s military participation in the “war on terror” against the Taliban in the tribal belt along the Afghan/Pakistani border. But despite these billions, the insurgency has grown and the U.S. believes that the funding — paid in cash — is going elsewhere. In Pakistan it’s no secret that it lines the pockets of top military officials, who use the war as a cash cow and want to keep it alive.

The root of Pakistan’s current problems is U.S. bosses’ need to use it as part of their goal of world domination. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter and his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, (now an Obama foreign policy advisor) devised the “Bear Trap,” a plot to defeat the U.S.’s main imperialist rival, the then Soviet Union, by drawing it into a war between the Afghan pro-Moscow government in Kabul and the wealthy landowners and religious zealots opposing it. The plan (in Brzezinski’s words, “to give the Soviet Union its Vietnam”), involved the creation, funding and training of an Afghan mujahaddin army in Pakistan.

This led to a 12-year jihad that became the U.S.’s largest covert action, (estimated cost, $40 billion (The Nation, 2/15/99) the bulk coming from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia). It inflicted religious intolerance on the secular societies of Pakistan and Afghanistan, perpetrated some of the most brutal acts of terrorism and became the breeding ground for the Taliban and the al Qaeda terrorist networks now operating in 80 countries.

Today the U.S. claims factions in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence are aiding the Taliban’s resurgence. But the latter’s strength is also growing because the Pakistani army is weakening. Soldiers see the officers’ corruption and plunder and are demoralized. Desertions are rising. Many rank-and-file soldiers are reluctant to fight in a war overwhelmingly targeting civilians. Bloody confrontations, like the recent one killing many civilians and making 300,000 homeless, strengthen the Taliban’s position.

“Why is our government bombing us from the air,” shouted one refugee. U.S. air strikes from over the border in Afghanistan or from secret CIA bases in Pakistan that kill more villagers than terrorists intensify the anger.

Caught between the army and the insurgents, people in the tribal areas are either coerced or voluntarily join with the Taliban. They do have an alternative: join with other workers in building PLP which is fighting the cause of all this misery, capitalism. J

(Next, Part II: India, the U.S. and inter-imperialist rivalry over Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan and the projected “balkanization” of Pakistan.)

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PLP Exposing Fake Leftists, Union ‘Leaders’ in Pakistan

This May Day gives us an audacity to fight against exploitation with full devotion, honesty, enthusiasm and bravery. The working class all over the world is very eager to get rid of capitalism but, for example in Pakistan, we’ve got to deal with the brutal living conditions that this system breeds, with union leaders who are in cahoots with the bosses and with fake-left leadership who lead us down the dead-end of state capitalism. None of these leaders want to change the world of capitalist oppression because they are puppets dancing in the hands of bosses by getting money and other personal advantages. They are created by the capitalists to keep poor workers away from their revolutionary struggle against exploitation, poverty, illiteracy and profit. We, as PL’ers, fight against all of these anti-working-class forces and struggle to bring true communist ideas to the masses of Pakistani workers.

Capitalist bosses have recruited gangsters and called them union leaders. Almost every so-called union leader is enjoying a luxurious life style: homes in posh areas, dinners at best restaurants, costly car, etc. Many ruling class parties have their own union bosses to protect their political interests and to keep the workers quiet against their policies. Trade unions in Pakistan Railways, Steel mill, PIA, Wapda, PTCL, Pakistan Hydro Electrical Board and many others are led by the bosses’ lieutenants.

While the union bosses get fat, the Pakistani working class faces miserable circumstances: high prices, low wages, poor working conditions, no job security, and many other social problems. This situation creates the conditions where workers are ready to get rid of this rotten system but they can’t find a way out because of puppet leadership!

The super-exploitation of Christians, women and children illustrates the genocidal situation that has been created for workers in Pakistan. Christians are common as sanitary workers who face some of the worst working and living conditions. Women workers are subject to rape by local bosses or landlords. Resistance means that the women can be accused of having an illicit relationship and subject to the barbaric sentence of stoning. The children of the working class face particularly terrible conditions. Most families cannot afford to send them to school so many send them to madrassas (free religious education providers) to get religious education, food and shelter. In many schools, the clerics feed the children the anti-working-class ideology of political Islam and convince them to protect local bosses’ interests by becoming “terrorists.” Child labor is also very common. Many children work in restaurants, hotels and factories where they face low wages, sexual abuse and torture.

In response to these horrible conditions, fake-leftist parties, chanting the slogan of state capitalism (socialism), are working to maintain capitalist oppression. No party is functioning for the working class — they prefer to get sympathies of “intellectuals” from upper class and hold conferences in five-star hotels with capitalist guests. They are encouraged to keep good relations with bosses in the better interest of their families; “after all it is due to these bosses they are getting something to keep their families alive.”
You cannot find people from the working class in their meetings — they don’t like to meet workers with torn clothes or dirty hands. They argue for national and people’s democratic revolution, socialism, international socialism, Trotskyism, nationalism, but not for communism! Nobody can hear a single world about communism from these fake leaders because they are afraid of it.

It exposes their purpose to work for capitalism by these fake -isms. But we understand their intention: to keep the working class away from any real revolutionary movement. They are here to spread the illusion that communism is dead and to protect the interests of bosses. Workers are fed up with these fake -isms that all lead back to capitalism. They need communist ideas to change their lives.

PLP’s voice is very loud and clear, its line is based on truth, honesty and experiences of great revolutionaries. It has strong power to attract sincere people and it gives courage to workers for changing the world of exploitation into equality, justice and prosperity. Communism is a truth that penetrates the hearts of the working class.

It is alive and still bringing workers under one red flag of PLP to make international communist revolution. When we greet workers with the line of our Party they are happy to join us and get rid of the fake-leftist trade unionists. We believe we will win millions of workers, students, soldiers and other oppressed and exploited people to get rid of imperialist wars, terrorism and exploitation.

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More May Day Reports from Around the World

OAXACA, MÉXICO
A PLP group participated in the annual May Day march held in downtown Oaxaca. Thousands marched, particularly teachers and farmworkers, showing their disgust with the government and the capitalist system it represents.
Our group distributed 600 flyers with our communist analysis of capitalist exploitation, and we put up 100 posters walls around the march reading “A system that creates inequality, wars, racism and exploitation must be destroyed.” We also distributed 50 copies of DESAFIO.
Our participation was modest, but we are already making plans to increase our efforts in future activities, including May Day 2009. The working class and its allies here, and worldwide, need a revolutionary alternative to a system which only breeds hunger, wars among drug cartels and a dim future for humanity.

PAKISTAN
Greetings from revolutionary communists in Pakistan. Our PLP group had a great May Day here, with comrades involved in many activities. Our communist ideas were well-received. We made new friends as more and more workers and their allies are becoming disillusioned with the fakers on the “left” who offer no solutions to a capitalist-imperialist system breeding endless wars for profits under the cover of religion, “democracy,” etc.

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