rally against foreign debts.
had a very vibrant rally with a lot of slogans and with
full enthusiasm. The rally was organised to demand
cancellation of Pakistan debts and spending it on flood
affectees. The main Mall Road was blocked for over one
and half hour and the road saw many red
flags raising slogans against American imperialism, IMF,
World Bank and other financial institutions. One of the
main feature of the rally was participation of women and
young activists from different background.
There were several trade unions who had mobalised their
members to attend the rally, they include Rustam Suhrab
Cycle and Motor Cycle Workers Union CBA, Lahore Gymkhana
Workers Association, Railway Wokers Union, Itehad Carpet
Union, Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union. There were many
activists of Labour Party Pakistan and Workers Party
Pakistan and also some from Communist Mazdoor Kissan
Party. Progressive Youth front mobalised over 100 youth
from one area of Lahore and National Student Federation
also mobilized their members. Women Workers Help Line
and Labour Education Foundation worked very hard
to mobilized those in their out reach. The activists and
leaders National Trade Union Federation, Pakistan For
Palestine, CATDM Pakistan, Pakistan Kissan Rabita
Committee, Tehreek Istiqlal, Pakistan Trade Unions
Defense Campaign, Pakistan Institute of Secular
Studies and students of Lahore University of Management
were among others in the rally.
Abid Hasan Minto, president Workers Party Pakistan came
to share his voice against the repayments of foreign
debts. The rally started from GPO Chouck and ended at
Charing Cross on Mall Road. Asim Sajad Akhtar and Naeem
Shakir advocate from Workers Party Pakistan, Abdul
Khaliq Shah of CATDM, Bushra Khaliq secretary Women
Workers Help Line, Mohammed Naseeb of Lahore Gymkhana,
Azhar Siddique advocate, Sakhai Mohammed of Railway
Workers Union, Hanif Goraya of Tehreek Istiqlal and
myself spoke in the end of rally and vowed to continue
the struggle for cancellation of Pakistan foreign debt.
The speakers made it clear that the campaign will not
end and we demanded that government should not take any
more loans and say no to the repayments of the debts.
They were say that we have paid enough and we will not
pay more. They criticized the PPP government of assuring
the IMF that they will not go for debt cancellation.
"Pakistan has a very strong case for debt cancellation.
People of Pakistan are totally in favor of getting rid
of IMF and World Bank Loan. People are suffering from
the conditionalities of these financial institutions.
The new loan on the name of flood will put more burdens,
we need grants and aid and not loan" were some of the
main points of the speakers.
The rally was organised by Labour Relief Campaign in
association with Oxfam. Over 700 participated in the
rally on a Sunday afternoon.