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September 30, 2014

AWP calls for revival of working class politics


September 30, 2014

The Awami Workers Party (AWP) issued a call for the revival of working class politics and the unity of all progressive forces in Pakistan in the concluding rally of their first federal congress in Islamabad, following a public session of the congress attended by various progressive groups and hundreds of members of the public interested in the AWP.
Thousands of party workers, ‘katchi abadi’ residents, trade unionists, farmers, students, and members of the public, including hundreds of women and children, participated in the rally from Zero Point to Aabpara Chowk, in which the AWP called for ownership rights for ‘katchi abadis’, land redistribution for workers and peasants, a reduction in the defence budget and reallocation of government spending to address health, education and unemployment. The rally also called for the release of Baba Jan (Vice President AWP) and the annulment of his illegal sentencing of life imprisonment by an anti-terrorist court in Gilgit.
Speaking on the occasion, Abid Hassan Minto said that the Awami Workers Party represented the culmination of years of struggle to resurrect the Pakistani Left, and was now on its way to becoming a strong political force for socialism, equality and justice in the country. He said that all mainstream parties (including the populist PTI and PAT) had completely neglected the working poor of the country, who were completely detached from the struggles for power that had engulfed the country in recent months. Minto said that it was only a party that mobilised working men and women under the banner of an anti-capitalist, anti-feudal, anti-patriarchy and anti-imperialist party that could achieve transformative change in the country.
AWP Chairman Fanoos Gujjar said that those talking about a revolution were the very classes that whom revolutions took place to oust. He said that any idea of a revolution that did not involve workers’ control over production, redistributive land reform

and concerted efforts to tackle inflation and unemployment could never be representative of change. Gujjar called for the working masses of the world to disentangle themselves from the clutches of the mainstream parties who only used their votes to get into power and never resolved any of their issues.
Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, said the new politics of the Left had to be socialist, feminist and environmentalist in order to truly consider itself emancipatory.
Other speakers at the rally, including Aasim Sajjad, Bakhshal Thalho, Farzana Bari, Alia Amirali, and Nisar Shah said that it was time for a new socialism of the 21st century to provide the basis for revolutionary transformation in Pakistan. They said that the task of the AWP was to unite disparate working peoples’ struggles, including those of workers, women, labourers, ‘katchi abadi’ residents, informal workers, ethno-nationalists and students around the country, under the banner of a working people’s party.

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