Further to our material on the 24th Congress of the Struggle in Pakistan, we are publishing some interviews and comments made by delegates and others who attended. The Congress had a big effect on those present and left them enthusiastic and boosted their revolutionary spirit.
Further to our material on the 24th Congress of the Struggle in Pakistan, we are publishing some interviews and comments made by delegates and others who attended. The Congress had a big effect on those present and left them enthusiastic and boosted their revolutionary spirit.(March 31, 2005)
Zulfiquar Gondal MNA
Zulfiquar Gondal MNA
It was a gathering of the people struggling for the emancipation of all humans under the umbrella of the Marxist International. The lectures delivered by Alan Woods, Ch. Manzoor and Dr. Lal Khan were quite exciting and earned loud applause from the audience. The congress highlighted the miseries created by the capitalist exploitation of the ruling class. The speaker drew a beautiful analogy of the prevailing socio-economic situation with the days before the great Bolshevik revolution. The comrades from all corners of the country drew a lot of strength and motivation by the successful conclusion of the congress.
Adil Khou, former General Secretary of JKNSF
Adil Khou at the conference
This congress not only doubled our enthusiasm but also armed us with a scientific perspective based on the sound ideas of Marxism. The congress gave us a lot of energy that helps us in building a mass organisation. There are thousands of students and youth in Kashmir who are thirsty for these ideas and perspectives but there are also so many difficulties in our path. But the congress gave us enough strength to face and overcome all the problems and difficulties and take these ideas to the broad masses and youth of Kashmir. I believe that very soon we will become a mass revolutionary force not only in Kashmir but also in Pakistan. Then we will be able to start the world socialist revolution from here. Long live the world socialist Revolution.
Ghufran Ahad Malik
Ghufran Ahad Malik
I attended the congress last year but then from the Pakhtoonrhwa we were very few and just seeing what’s going on. But now we are a new emerging force in Pakthtoonrhwa, which is all the result of the previous congress. Now we are also a part of this congress and with this we get a new life and this will bring a decisive change all over Pakistan. Now times are changing and people are listening to us. So we are in a good position nationally.
Nusrat Ali Toor, General Secretary of APCA
I attended the two sessions of the congress. There is social injustice in our country and the government propaganda says that the economy is progressing. On the contrary, people are committing suicide; unemployment is increasing as every day passes. In this situation this tendency is the only voice of the masses. Everyone who is attending this congress knows that.
Hina Zein addresses the Congress
Congress is the national and the main event of our organisation. We discuss the political perspectives in the congress on which we base the work throughout the year. But during the congress we really practice things which we learn from the books. Revolutionaries do the political work but when some problem occurs they fight against it collectively and this gives us strength to fight against every obstacle. When we practice this we get a new life and enthusiasm for the revolution. We have also seen real culture in the congress. Every comrade sat in the sessions, took part in the evening singing, reciting poems and enjoying themselves. If we have been able to build this in very bad objective conditions, then nobody on earth can stop us now because with our enthusiasm we can achieve anything. Long live the socialist revolution.
Paul Seth (cook)
Paul Seth speaks to Congress
Congress is the backbone of the revolutionary organisation. We develop the political perspectives in it. We cannot meet all of the comrades during the year and the congress is the occasion in which we meet all of them and discuss issues. Every comrade has a strong belief that there is no way out on this earth except through the Socialist Revolution. We must not feel tired but fight till our last breath. We must read our paper and also sell it amongst the working class. And we will win!
Lal Khan addresses the Congress
The twenty fourth congress of the Pakistan Marxists signifies a turning point in the growth of the forces of revolutionary socialism. This congress was an expression of the fact that the foundations of the subjective factor can be built in the most difficult of objective conditions. It gave a new hope to history, that when the masses arise to change their destiny a formidable force will be there to give this movement a perspective, strategy and a revolutionary character. This time a new 1968-69 shall not go to waste and a socialist victory in Pakistan leading to a socialist federation of the Indian subcontinent will be entirely possible.
There are so many aspects to comment on, but I would like to comment on one political aspect of this congress which marks a qualitative difference in the political development of the organisation. There was not any single weak intervention during the whole congress, in all sessions in comparison with our previous congresses. And in my view, this thing alone shows that the organisation is developing not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. And this quality should play a decisive role in the future.
It was the biggest congress ever held in the history of Pakistan. This congress shows that Pakistan will play the role of point of reference in the forthcoming revolutions of the subcontinent. We are fully prepared to exploit each and every revolutionary moment to change society. This congress shows that our work, which has developed over many years, has now started to give its fruit and it also shows the correctness of our Marxist ideas. We have heard about the revolutionary movement of 1968-69, when the roads of Lahore were filled with red flags, but during the rally of this March 24th we had a taste of what it must have been like in 1968-69 and I believe that this time we will spread this red fright throughout the world starting from Pakistan. Long live the International!
Comrade Abid, Central Finance organiser
It was my third congress as a full-timer. Every congress has its own many new developments. But I think this congress gave us lots of new lessons. There were many new participants, which shows our political development. I think all new comrades should achieve their individual target and take on their responsibilities. This congress gave us so much enthusiasm that I hope that during the coming year we will take a huge leap from the phase of an organisation to that of a mass Trotskyist party. With Bolshevik greetings.
Shujahat Kazmi, former president of JKNSF
There is a strong revolt among Kashmiri youth based on the dream of independence and unification of Kashmir. Without correct ideas and programme this revolt has been abused by different ruling forces for their own vested interests in the past. But this congress provides a solid ideological base for our dreams. And now after attending this congress, I have a firm belief that very soon we will spread the very same revolt among the masses of the whole subcontinent because our freedom is closely linked with the freedom of the exploited masses of the whole subcontinent, and within the boundaries of capitalism no freedom exists. We also believe that capitalism must be overthrown world-wide.
Therefore we are now convinced that we are not fighting for our own nation or only for the subcontinent but we are the soldiers of the world proletarian revolution. This congress teaches us the same lesson and we will continue our struggle till the world socialist revolution.
Alan Woods addresses the Congress
“This marvellous congress is an inspiration to the workers and the youth of the Subcontinent and the entire world. The building of The Struggle has taken place under the most difficult objective conditions imaginable. The comrades have had to face up to a reactionary state, which introduces harsh anti-labour and anti-democratic laws and tramples on the rights of the people. They have had to face the brutal insanity of the fundamentalist reactionaries, the enemies of all forms of progress.
“To have built such an impressive movement in such difficult circumstances represents a great achievement. But it is only the beginning. This congress shows that we have already assembled the cadres – the most advanced elements of the workers and the youth. We have conquered important positions. But in the next period we will be confronted with a qualitative leap – the transition to a real mass revolutionary tendency, with a presence in every factory, union branch, village, school and university.
“The Musharraf regime rests on extremely feeble foundations. It is destined to be swept away in the next period. The masses will come back onto the stage of history, as they did in the tremendous revolutionary wave of 1968-9. They will seek a revolutionary banner and programme. That was what was absent in 1968-9, and that is why that wonderful opportunity was lost. History must not be repeated! The next time the masses will find the necessary instrument to change society: that instrument is the Pakistan Marxist tendency. It has a name, and that name is The Struggle.”
Ana Muñoz speaks to Congress
“This congress was like a microcosm of Pakistan society. There were people from many different backgrounds: workers, peasants, trade unionists, students, women, and all the nationalities present in Pakistan - all united by the strength of our ideas. I was particularly struck by the fact that those who had come to the congress, travelling very long distances, not only received no financial help, but had to pay all their expenses and congress fees. This is very unusual in Pakistan and it shows the highest degree of commitment. I spoke to comrades from Quetta, in Balochistan, who had to spend 28 hours in old-fashioned trains with wooden seats to get there. The comrades from Kashmir missed their train connection because of a landslide, but they still got there in the end.
“Particularly moving for me was the fact that ten percent of those present were women comrades. The Struggle has the highest percentage of women active in its ranks than any other political group in Pakistan. This is a tremendous achievement considering the harsh conditions facing women in this country – probably some of the worst conditions in the world. This makes it practically impossible for women to participate in politics, especially revolutionary politics. They face the opposition of husbands, parents, even brothers and uncles, who can decide what they can and cannot do with their lives.
“Such was the enthusiasm that at the end the comrades did not want the congress to finish and spent all night singing and dancing, but on the other hand they were all impatient to get back to their areas to start the work.”
Manzoor Ahmed MNA
“This congress is the culmination of a very intense period of agitation on a national scale. We have been actively involved in the struggle against the reactionary anti-labour laws of the government. I moved a bill in parliament that was circulated in thousands of pamphlets all over the country. We have held meetings of hundreds of trade union leaders and activists in all the main areas of Pakistan. Many of them are present here today.
“The parliamentary struggle is only meaningful if it is linked to the mass movement outside parliament. But it has an important role to play in denouncing injustices and exposing social evils. We intend to move a resolution protesting against the repression in Balochistan that is being carried out by the Pakistan army. It is important that the people of Balochistan understand that it is not a question of a struggle of Baloches against Punjabis, but a struggle of the masses against the dictatorship and all forms of repression and injustice.
“The Struggle has been going on for 25 years now. Our beginnings were very modest, but now we are becoming a real mass force. This is recognised by our friends and enemies alike. They try to attack us, but they are powerless. Our strength is the ideas of Marxism and the support of the masses. We are now at the forefront of every such battle. We are campaigning against youth unemployment, against privatisation, and so on. We are proving our worth not in words but in action. That is the guarantee of our success and our final victory!”
Here are some more images from the congress. Click on the thumbnail to see the image.