national committee met at Hyderabad (Sind) for two days on 27-28th
October 2001. 23 members of NC and 6 observers discussed the
present political and economical situation of Pakistan and
analyzed the effects of the imperialist war on Afghanistan on the
consciousness of the working class and its organizations. It also
discussed in detail the question of religious fundamentalism, its
nature, possible scenario of future and the danger of its growth
in Pakistan and internationally.
The NC also formulize LPP position on the present situation and
decided to challenge the danger of religious fundamentalism by
mobilizing the working masses into a peace movement linked with
the class struggle. It decided to organize broad base peace
movement across the country along with trade unions, peasants,
civil society organizations, left groups and individuals.
There will a peace rally at Hyderababd on 4th November, On 6th at
Islamabad with civil society organizations, 11th at Karachi. LPP
also decided to organize an LPP national peace rally on 29th
November at Lahore.
The LPP decided to leave ARD (Alliance for Restoration of
Democracy). The formal decision will be announced on 5th November
at press conferences to be held simultaneously at Lahore, Karachi
and Islamabad. The main reasons are the capitulation of the
bourgeoisie parties either to US imperialism or to the Talbaan.
Both trends would like to carry war. While, LPP would go for a
peace movement. The question of democracy is very much linked with
the question of peace. The ARD during last few months have become
more of a dead horse and did not implement its own decisions of
holding workers conventions and public meetings.
The NC also constituted committees to bring concrete proposals to
the next NC for the launching of a new peasant and a youth
organization. It also decided to organize the Women Workers Help
Line at national level with units in all
NC also decided to launch a weekly paper subscription drive for
the next two months. It has set up a target of a 1000 new
subscriber for the Weekly till 31st December 2001.
We are passing through a crucial juncture of Pakistan history. LPP
has and will oppose the American imperialist war on the poorest
countries of the world. The war is no solution and it is a
terrorist act against another terrorist act of those
responsible for 11th September events.
The American imperialism have killed innocent Afghanis and have
forced thousands to flee from their houses in most disgusting
There is no justification of this war on Afghanistan. The real
purpose of this war is to strengthen its hegemony on the world, to
control the markets of central Asia, to heal its wounded and
disgraced ego by the 11th September event and to promote the
war industry once again on an unprecedented level.
Imperialist war on Afghanistan with the full and active support of
the military regime of Pakistan has promoted the religious
fundamentalists forces on an unprecedented level. This has
endangered the existence of the Left forces inside
Afghanistan and Pakistan. The result will be more attacks on
minorities, Left forces, civil society organizations and trade
unions by the religious fanatics. We have already seen the
incident of Bahawalpur where unknown religious fanatics in an
indiscriminate shooting on a church on 28th October, have
massacred 16 Christians.
The religious fundamentalism will grow as political power in all
parts of Pakistan but more in Frontier and Baluchistan province.
It was observed by some comrades that many workers and ordinary
citizens of Pakistan are against American imperialism and not in
favor of the religious fundamentalists. But due to the gap and
without any other alternatives, this mood can go in favor of the
religious fanatics. The big attendance in the demonstrations in
Karachi for instance is not from the local population but of
refuges from Afghanistan and also the Pushtoon immigrants in the
city. Many students in the religious schools make the main part of
The anti wars movement in Pakistan unlike other countries in
Europe, India and in most countries of the world is led by the
religious extreme right wing. So for, most of the religious
students are taking place in the demonstration but they are
receiving more and more sympathies by the ordinary people who are
totally oppose to the American attacks on Afghanistan.
The real agenda of Pakistani religious fundamentalists is to
organize an Islamic coup and to take power in Pakistan. There is
less possibility of such a perspective, as most of the military
generals with the help of American imperialism will launch an all
out war against religious take over in Pakistan. This can only
happen if the Americans are defeated in Afghanistan and in a civil
war like situation in Pakistan, the military generals are
While opposing the imperialist war on Afghanistan, we will not
lend a single inch support for the fascist Talbaan regime. We will
support the progressive and left forces of Afghanistan. It did not
matter if they are very small and have no real say at present
Imperialist forces have created and organized the religious forces
but they have gone out of control of the imperialist The religious
fanatics have presented a real danger to the very existence of the
civilization and the concessions of the working class
internationally. They are the new types of fascists with medieval
thinking and practice. They must be opposed and no sympathy or any
kind of support or alliance should be made with these forces on
the name of combating imperialism.
The effect of Talbanisation in Pakistan is that many are arguing
to close down the TV. The TV cables are under threat as the
religious fanatics are forcing the cable operators not to show the
Indian or Western TV channels.
The fundamentalism can not be eliminated by the imperialist war on
Afghanistan. There is more possibility of Talbaan loosing its
power within a short period of time. But this will not mean an end
of these forces. This will lay down a basis for more suicidal
attacks and anarchy like situation in Afghanistan and in Pakistan
If Talbaan goes than this myth will also go that Allah is with
them and no one can defeat them. This will loosen the grip of the
religious fanatics’ Mujahidin propaganda. They were like money
plants but now have their own basis because of any
alternative on mass basis. Comrades feel that history is not with
religious fundamentalism. When Talbaan will loose power, so they
will loose much authority that has become an example for many
youth to follow.
We can not rule out the possibility of a limited nuclear attack by
the American imperialism in a bid to have a victory in a short
There will be no peace in Afghanistan even if the Talbaan are
defeated decisively. The American efforts in Afghanistan to bring
the Northern Alliance will polarize the Afghan situation more than
before. The religious forces are dominating the Northern Alliance.
But once victorious, they will no go against the US imperialism in
the immediate period. They will be more like Mujahidin supporting
the Americans in the eighties. But they will go in contradictions
with the US within a short period. We do not support the return of
King Zanier Shah as an alternative government. The Zahir Shah
return to power will be another set back for the Afghan masses, as
this government will be stooge government of Imperialism more than
the Northern Alliance.
LPP demands an immediate end of imperialist war on Afghanistan.
Because of these attacks, the fascist Talbaan government has
gained in the short period, the sympathies of the majority of
ordinary Muslims in Pakistan. The only way-out for Afghan
masses is to get rid of Talbaan in a revolutionary insurrection to
lay down the basis for a democratic socialist takes over. The Left
groups in Afghanistan must be supported and promoted by all the
international Socialist movement as an alternate to the American
imposed solution. LPP would go along the peace movement
internationally. It appeals to all the international Left movement
to take part actively in the anti war movement linked with the
anti globalization movement. But it should not support Talban and
any other religious fanatics groups. It should raise the plight of
the Afghan masses and put pressure on the UN and other relief
agencies to provide the emergency food supplies to Afghan people
through their own net work.
The economic crisis
The imperialist aid to Pakistan will not make any fundamental
changes in Pakistan economy. The loss is much greater than the aid
offered. The American imperialism at this recessionary period is
not in a position to offer the aid to Pakistan or to
Afghanistan after Talbaan. The US imperialism can not come up even
to the level of the aid in the eighties to Pakistan military
regime at the time. The aid has brought the hay days for the army
top generals, as they will be the real beneficiaries.
The loss to the export can be up to 50% of the total export of
Pakistan. It is estimated that the loss will be nearly 4 billion
US dollars this year. The main areas hit by this war is the
textile, carpets and sports goods. Many international orders have
been cancelled and there are no new orders or perspectives for new
investments. Many industries in Pakistan are closing down and many
related to the exports have closed down already. There are reports
of thousands of workers in the informal and formal sector loosing
their jobs because of this crisis.
In normal circumstances, the month of October and November are the
hay days for the export business. This is due to the rush of the
orders of Christmas shopping. But most of the orders are cancelled
and no new orders are coming in. These business orders now
have gone to India Bangladesh and other countries.
The Pakistan economy running on the instructions of IMF and World
Bank under military regime will be hit hard by this crisis. But
the workers in the shape of unemployment, price hike and new taxes
will pay the real price. The problem of Pakistan economy is its
incapacity to compete at the world market to enhance its export of
textile, carpets, rice and other export items. It is problem of
productivity and monitory solutions to this productive crisis will
bring new contradicts within the economy.
Another effect is the drastic reduction of the Pakistan
immigrant’s remittances. Middle East countries have altogether
stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis. Most of the airlines have
cancelled their flights to Pakistan thus bringing a sharp
crisis for air industry to Pakistan. There is no demand for
Pakistani labor any more anywhere.
Effect on Bourgeoisie political parties
The three weeks Afghan war and US imperialism inability to have a
major win have enhanced the popularity of the religious
fundamentalism. This meant less support for those bourgeoisie
parties who are supporting the military regime and the US
imperialism. For instance, Pakistan Peoples Party of Benazir
Bhotto is loosing its vote bank and at present is trying to make a
shift in its position to support the military regime openly. So is
the position of nationalist Awami National Party in NorthWest
Frontier Province. The Muslim League, the main Conservative Party,
is divided into two parts. The ex prime minister Nawaz Sharif
group after trailing behind the fundamentalists is now openly organizing
its own public meetings to support the Talbaan and to oppose the
US imperialism. These two main parties are the main losers of the
present crisis and the gain are made by the religious
fundamentalists Jamaat-I-Islami and
Jammiat Ulemai Islam.
The Future of military regime in Pakistan
The military regime has benefited from the present crisis in the
shape of economic relief for the time being. But it has lost more
social base to religious fundamentalist forces. There is growing
anger against the military regime at present. If Talbaan
loose power in a rather shorter period, then the military regime
can hold on the situation. They have more or less allowed the
demonstrations of the religious fanatics to take place. This is in
the false hope that it might fizzle out.
The military regime has adopted a duel policy towards terrorism.
It is opposing the terrorism of Talbaan that it has supported for
seven years but it is still declaring its support for Mujahidin, s
terrorist activities in the Indian held Kashmir. This can not last
long. The regime has to make its mind about Kashmir solutions
according to the wishes of the American ruling class. If it does
sticks to this present stance, there could be another military
coup in favor of the US imperialism and Musharaf might loose power
to another general.
It has happened in Pakistan with Zia in the eighties. After Geneva
Accord on Afghanistan in 1988 between the Americans and Soviet
Union to withdraw the forces from Afghanistan, the military
dictator at the time, General Zia did not accept that and wanted
an Islamic coup in Afghanistan. He sacked his hand picked Prime
Minister Jonejo on 29th May 1988. But in August 1988, Zia lost his
life in a plane crash in mysterious circumstances along with 10
top generals and also the American Ambassador in Pakistan.
Many Pakistani believe that it was the work of CIA to get rid of
Zia. Along these lines, Musharaf may loose power and his life if
he is insistence of Indian enmity that he has promoted for
If Musharaf survive this crisis that is more likely in short term
basis, he can continue as president for some years alongside with
a very dependent civil government. The military promise of
democracy road map for October 2002 depends on the outcome of
the present war. If Talbaan loose power, Musharaf may go for these
elections in October 2002.
This election can bring surprise results for the religious
fundamentalist. They were only 9% in the 1993 general elections.
They boycotted the 1997 general election. They made good results
of about 15% in the local bodies elections held during the
beginning of this year. But they may go up to 20% in the elections
thus holding a balance of power. In these circumstances, these
fundamentalists may join the civil government, more on Turkish
model. The civil government installed at the time with the help of
the military can come into contradictions with Musharaf. This
situation will result more of anarchy in the parliamentary field
but the political power of the military can remain the same.
That is dominant in the political field. Sharing of power by the
religious forces will reduce their popularity and thus opening a
new phase of growth for Marxist forces.
Labour Party Pakistan
Sufi Mansion, 7 Egerton Road Lahore, Pakistan
Tel/fax: 92 42 6303808
Moblile: 92 300 8411945