Asia

More and more sections of the working class are coming out to protest for their demands as the economic crisis deepens in Pakistan. Last week saw huge protests of school teachers in Lahore against the privatization of schools. This week more protestors gathered in Lahore from various sections of society despite scorching heat and high temperatures of around forty-eight degrees celsius.

Privatization is top of the government’s agenda in Pakistan. All public sector institutions are being privatized rapidly, leading to unemployment of millions of workers. As a result, millions of families in Pakistan are being deprived of their small incomes and pushed further into poverty and misery. Along with that, the already shabby and dilapidated social infrastructure is being handed over to the vultures of private capital, who are tearing it apart, leaving the whole fabric of society in tatters.

On 27 April, the Baloch Students Organization (Pajjar) organized an event commemorating the 38th anniversary of the Saur Revolution of Afghanistan. The event was held in Baluchistan University. Besides students from the Baloch Students Organization, there were also students from the Pashtun Students Federation, the Baloch Action Committee along with progressive teachers, writers and intellectuals. All participants congratulated the BSO for organizing such an event.

On April 7th police brutally attacked protesting young doctors in Quetta, in which more than fifteen young doctors were severely injured and twenty arrested. Some of the injured doctors are in a serious condition and could lose their eyesight or become permanently paralyzed as a result of this attack.

On the morning of April 7th, 2016, comrade Abdul Hakam, a member of Militan Indonesia, the IMT section in Indonesia, was sent to jail for three months for his trade union activity. Hakam is a labour organizer for FSPBI-KASBI Gresik, one of a very few radical trade unions in Indonesia. Along with Agus Budiono, who is also from FSPBI-KASBI Gresik, he is charged under the “Unpleasant Act law” (Read Fight the Criminalization of Workers! Free Abdul Hakam and Agus Budiono). Their only crime is to be on the side of the workers.

On the evening of Sunday, 28 March, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a children’s park in Lahore. At least 72 deaths have so far been confirmed and more than 250 are reported injured. This is yet another in the series of terrorist attacks continuing in this “land of the pure” in recent years.

The workers of Pakistan International Airlines have been at the forefront of the class struggle over the last few months. Rob Sewell, the editor of Socialist Appeal, spoke to leading trade union activists at the Lahore airport about their recent battles.

Seventy students turned up to a lecture to listen to Rob Sewell, the editor of Socialist Appeal, speak on the subject of "What is Marxism?" at the Government College University in Lahore.

Yesterday the first meeting was held of the Coordinating Committee of the Pakistan IMT that was elected last weekend at the Unity Conference. The 19 members of the Committee represented every area of the country: Pashtoonkhwa, Kashmir, Islamabad, Taxila/Wah, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Dadu, Karachi and Balochistan.

The second day of the Unity Conference opened with recitals of revolutionary poetry and songs. The enthusiastic mood of yesterday was carried over into today’s session and if anything was even more exhilarating.

“The mood was electric. People were listening so attentively you could hear a pin drop. They were listening not only with their ears but with their heart and soul”. These words by one of the delegates at the Unity Conference express very well the mood of this important meeting, which marks a new beginning for the forces of Marxist Internationalism in Pakistan.

Youth from Jammu Kashmir National Student Federation (JKNSF), Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) and other youth organisations across Pakistan, show solidarity with the struggle of the studends of Jawaharlal Nehru University against the state.

The recent strike in Pakistan’s flag carrier airline, PIA, was a magnificent and extremely significant episode in the history of industrial struggles by the workers in this country’s history.

A total strike at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) started on February 2 nd after state forces opened fire on protesting workers killing at least two. Comrades of the PTUDC [Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign] all over the country had been intervening in the movement almost a month earlier with all the forces at their disposal. Here we provide reports of their intervention.

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