Pakistan

Pakistan has been ravaged by floods and torrential rains, while the ruling class continues to loot and plunder the impoverished masses at this time of distress and disaster. According to reports, around one third of the country has been devastated by the floods and rains of the last three months, while 33 million people have been affected. Around 1,400 have died, and around 4,000 injuries have been reported according to official figures. According to the recent reports 482,030 people have been displaced while 372,823 buildings have been destroyed.

A two-day Marxist School was held in Rawlakot, Kashmir on 6-7 August. It was the most successful Marxist School ever organised by the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), with more than 200 students, youth, workers and political activists participating from Karachi to Peshawar, and Baluchistan to Kashmir.

In Pakistan, the government has changed but the political crisis continues, reflecting a deep economic and social crisis. Imran Khan has been ousted. The cracks within the ruling class are widening and the fighting among various factions of the state has now reached levels never seen before, with each side attacking the other publicly and on social media.

A political and constitutional crisis has opened up in Pakistan, leading to a back and forth over a no-confidence vote in the Imran Khan government. In reality, these fissures at the top are merely symptoms of a deeper rot in Pakistani capitalism, which has been rocked by the global capitalist crisis, while the ruling class endures the consequences of attempting to play different imperialist blocs off of one another. Such pathetic charades will never end while the capitalist system stands!

On 4 December, hundreds of workers both from the public and private sector; as well as trade union representatives, students and peasant leaders, gathered in Lahore from all over Pakistan to attend the central workers’ convention hosted by the Red Workers’ Front. The convention was held in the Bakhtiar Labour Hall, which belongs to the Hydro Union for WAPDA (the state electricity department), the largest public sector union in Pakistan. This was the conclusion of a long series of conventions held in dozens of cities across the country in November.

Today marks the 114th anniversary of the birth of the great revolutionary, Bhagat Singh. Our comrades of the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) in Pakistan have released a special documentary on the political life of Bhagat Singh in Lahore to mark the occasion. In this documentary, presented by Adam Pal, the comrades visit all the places where Bhagat Singh himself used to live, or which were of historical significance to the revolutionary path that his life took.

On 28 August a huge protest rally of more than a thousand factory workers from Korangi and Landhi industrial areas of Karachi was held under the banner of the Workers' Solidarity Committee. The main demands of the rally were the implementation of a Rs. 25,000 per month minimum wage, as announced by the Sindh Government, the elimination of contractual labour, and the implementation of industrial safety laws. More than this, however, the rally of the Workers’ Solidarity Committee – formed by a liaison between the Red Workers Front (RWF) and various active trade unions in the industrial areas – has as its long-term goal the forging of class unity among workers to further the struggle

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A wave of student protests against on-campus exams has been sweeping across the country since last week. Social media for the last few weeks has been abuzz with the students’ demand “#StudentsRejectOnCampusExams”, which has also been a top trend on Twitter for the last two weeks.

We were delighted to report on Monday that our comrade in Pakistan, Amar Fayaz, was returned safely after spending almost two months in captivity following his forced disappearance by the state. In this report, we initially neglected to include the efforts of our comrades in Argentina and Chile, who gathered a huge amount of support from leading members of the labour movement in those countries. We have now updated the article to reflect this: click here to skip to the new section.

On 19 December 2020, the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), a revolutionary organisation struggling for the rights of students and youth in Pakistan, organised a nationwide protest, entitled “Students Day of Action” (covered by Pakistan's oldest English-language newspaper): for free education and the restoration of student unions; and against sexual harassment of women, state abductions and unemployment. Participants in all cities also raised slogans for the release of comrade Amar Fayaz, who was abducted by the state authorities last month. Still, his whereabouts are unknown.

The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), a revolutionary organisation struggling for the rights of students and youth in Pakistan, is organising a nationwide protest, entitled “Day of Action”: for free education and the restoration of student unions; and against sexual harassment of women, state abductions and unemployment on 19 December.

Comrade Amar Fayaz was abducted on 8 November 2020 by state authorities in Jamshoro, Pakistan, a month ago, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Comrades all around the world are showing solidarity and putting pressure on the Pakistani state, demanding Amar’s release. An online petition has gathered more than 6,000 signatures from comrades and supporters globally.

Comrade Amar Fayaz was abducted on 8 November by state authorities of Pakistan from Jamshoro and his whereabouts are still unknown. This has become a common practice in Pakistan in which political workers, journalists and other citizens who raise their voices against the government or its policies are abducted with the help of police and security services, and are kept in inhuman conditions and severely tortured.

On 8 November at around 1:30 a.m., men in two jeeps of the kind typically used by security agencies for abductions, along with three police cars, abducted comrade Amar Fayaz in Jamshoro, Sindh. He was sitting near the gate of Liaqat Medical University in Jamshoro when this incident happened. No one knows his whereabouts since then. We appeal to all our comrades and supporters to struggle for his release!