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Labour Party Pakistan starts Inkaar Tehreek (No Movement)

People of Lahore not to pay the new bus fares

Despite heavy raining, LPP activists gathered in front of a private bus stand at Railway Station Lahore area to protest the recent raise in Lahore bus fares. They appealed to the people of Lahore not to pay the revised bus fares. They demanded an immediate withdrawal of the increased oil prices. Many travelers joined the very live demonstration and agreed with the demand.... more




Four Days of activism on Global Week of Action vs Debt. 

October 14 will be the “Shout out for Pakistan Day”

The Tanga activism

Labour Relief Campaign is organizing four days of activism in Lahore in association with Oxfam from today 11th October till 14 October against Pakistan debts on the call of several international organizations including Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), Jubilee South European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), CADTM International, Jubilee USA Network, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Debt and Development Coalition Ireland,  South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines (FDC), Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Equity and Justice Working Group- Bangladesh (EquityBd), SUPRO Bangladesh, Koalisi Anti-Utang Indonesia (KAU), Institute for Essential Services Reform Indonesia (IESR), Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization Malaysia (MSN), Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN), LDC Watch and  Migrant Forum Asia (MFA).

                                      Tanga March 1st Day

At 3pm today three tangas (horse ridden carts) will move around with Lahore distributing leaflets demanding Pakistan to say no to foreign debts and asking the International financial institutions to drop Pakistan debt. Please find enclosed an appeal by LRC, Labour relief Campaign is a network of 8 social and political organization of Pakistan that include National Trade Union Federation, Women Workers Help Line, Progressive Youth Front, Labour Party Pakistan, Pakistan For Palestine, CADTM Pakistan, Labour Education Foundation and Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee. The tangas will be decorated with banners and over 100,000 leaflets will be distributed among the ordinary citizens of Lahore. This is an effort to put pressure on the Pakistan government to change its present economic policies and do more for flood affetees.

If you are in Lahore and want to be part of the campaign, please contact us via email or Mobile: 0300 8411945

Drop Pakistan Debt Now!

Pakistan is facing the worst-ever natural disaster of its history. About 20 million people are displaced due to recent devastation caused by the angry floods. The communication infrastructure has been totally ruined; roads, bridges and railway tracks have been destroyed. The economic loss runs in billions of dollars. Flood hit people are in dire need of basic amenities; shelter, medicines, clothes, proper food and healthy environment etc. Pakistan is in real and worst human and economic crisis.

The country’s already creaky economy has been pushed to the verge of ruin by this calamity. With foreign aid only trickling in, the impoverished country has been forced to take out further loans while pleading for outstanding ones to be restructured.

The current external debt of Pakistan stands at $ 55 billion. That figure will jump to $73 billion in 2015-16, as debts that were rescheduled after 9/11, in exchange for Pakistan's co-operation in the "war on terror", will come back into action. Besides this, Pakistan is paying over $ 3 billion on debt servicing every year on average. As far the FY 2010, this amount is over $ 5 billion, which Pakistan will be paying to its creditors amid 20 million people crying for most urgent basic needs; food, clothes, shelter, health and education.

Moreover, strict conditions under SBA agreement with IMF are adversely impacting the lives of the working classes in Pakistan. These conditions include reducing budget deficits, eliminating fuel and electricity subsidies and increasing indirect taxation. The international institutional including World Bank and ADB had offered $3 billion in new loans to Pakistan to withstand the disaster, rather than giving grant-aid. This will only add to Pakistan's enormous and unsustainable debt of $ 55 billion debt.

Pakistan's debt repayments already amount to three times what the government spends on healthcare - in a country where 38% of under 5-year-olds are underweight, only 54% of people are literate, and 60% live below the poverty line. 

Thus under the present circumstances, it is almost impossible for the government of Pakistan to meet the basic requirements of its millions of displaced people as the international response to Pakistan is far less than the Tsunami and Haiti disasters — the world community has only provided $229 million to Pakistan so far. This translates into $16.16 for each affected Pakistani person as compared to $1,087 every affected person in Haiti and $1,249 per affected person in the Indian Ocean tsunami.

The total number of people affected by the floods (20 million) exceeds the combined total in three recent mega disasters—the Haiti earthquake, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.

The devastating floods hit the debt-ridden Pakistan at a time when it is already facing the music of joining US-led war on terrorism.  Struck by this double penalty, the country is rendered unable to cope with this horrific calamity and its long term impacts on economy.

It is pertinent to mention that major portion of Pakistan foreign debts was obtained during the dictatorial regimes—the martial law regimes of General Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, General Ziaul Haq and Gen. Musharraf. About 80 % of the total foreign debt was contracted during dictatorial and autocratic regimes.

The people of Pakistan did not benefit from the foreign loans provided to General Ziaul Haq and which were provided by Western countries only after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The loans were spent on building the ‘infrastructure’ for running the Afghan Jehad.

In most of the cases, these loans were spent against the wishes of the people and benefited only a specific segment of society. This debt is illegitimate and is not binding on the people of Pakistan and the current democratically elected government has legitimate right to refuse these loans.

Where debt campaigners in Pakistan are demanding its government to refuse foreign debt payment, we urge debt campaigners in North to put pressures on the Northern creditors, governments and international institutions to affect an immediate freeze on Pakistan's debt repayments. We also urge the lenders to extend Pakistan grants, rather than loans, which are essential for Pakistan to develop the means to withstand such disasters in future.

It is nothing short of criminal that a country as poor as Pakistan is bled of resources every year to repay borrowers who extended unjust loans to that country over decades. It is vital that desperately needed emergency aid is not effectively swallowed up in debt repayments and a freeze on such payments must be called immediately.

If Pakistan is to build up the infrastructure to withstand such appalling disasters in future it must be freed from its debt trap. A debt audit is needed - and those debts found to be unjust and unbeneficial must be cancelled immediately to give the country a fresh start. Most certainly supposedly anti-poverty institutions and IFIs should not be making Pakistan's debts even worse.

The anti-Debt Campaign in Pakistan calls on the Northern government and IFIs to:

1.    Cancel all foreign debts of Pakistan, owed to bilateral and multilateral creditors.

2.    Immediate freeze on foreign debt repayments of Pakistan.

3.    Immediate halt to structural adjustment program and IMF-led economic reforms

3.    Ensure that emergency disaster-related assistance be in the form of grants instead of loans. 

4.   Lead efforts to establish up-front funding for climate change-related disaster preparation. With early warning systems, risk analysis and preparation, Pakistan could have reduced the damage caused. 




  Say no to foreign debt: Labour Relief Campaign has called a protest rally in Lahore on Sunday 19th September at 3pm from GPO Chouck to Charing Cross Mall Road Lahore for cancellation of Pakistan foreign debts... more 

           Losing lives to form trade unions: On 6th July while Mustansar was listening to a worker who had not been paid his wages by a.... more

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