AWP elects party leadership at second bi-annual congress
Slogans calling for a ‘Socialist revolution’ were after decades heard at the Karachi Arts Council as the Awami Workers Party’s (AWP) two-day second bi-annual federal congress was held at the cultural centre this weekend.
An amalgamation of three left-wing parties, the Labour Party Pakistan, Workers Party Pakistan and the Awami Party, the AWP held its annual congress under the banner of ‘Basic social change and building a revolutionary party’.
In the two day congregation, party delegates from all over the country gathered in the metropolis to elect its central leadership.
Prominent leftist leader from Malakand, Fanoos Gujjar, was successfully elected for the post of president, and former president Sindh Bar Council Advocate Akhter Hussain as AWP’s central general secretary.
Besides newly elected office-bearers, other senior party leaders who addressed the congress included Abid Hasan Minto, Farooq Tariq, Nisar Shah, Shahab Khattak, Bakhshal Thalho, Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, Yousaf Kakar, Zafar Iqbal and Comrade Akhund.
The party leaders vowed to continue their struggle for a democratic society, and free it from all kinds of exploitation be it on the basis
of caste, creed, religion or gender.
Daughter of missing human rights activist and writer Wahid Baloch, Hani Baloch, head of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz Abdul Khaliq Junejo, also spoke at the event.
Gujjar in his speech observed that all mainstream parties had politically neglected the working class. “The AWP is the only political party struggling for the rights of the working class,” he said, adding, that the party was an alternative which would revive leftist politics in the country.
Minto said Pakistan was a strange country. Formed on the basis of religion, there now existed endless bloodshed and destruction in the name of religion, he observed.
“The over 500 delegates sitting in this congress are all dedicated to the struggle for Socialism,” he said, and added that AWP had focused its struggle on building an independent society.
Discussing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the party supports the project and urged the federal government to not alter the original route decided to be developed as part of the project.
The party workers attending the congress recognised the need for organising in Karachi a viable alternative to the existing political parties, especially the Pakistan Poeple’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM).
The newly-elected AWP spokesperson, Farooq Tariq, while speaking to The News said the AWP emerged as a representative party of the left in the shortest span of time and was gaining a membership from all around the country at a fast pace.
“To organise the party’s congress in Karachi was a selective choice,” he said. “Because of current political developments in the city, we found space to work with trade unions and rights groups campaigning for missing persons and non-Muslim communities, as well as to resist fascist forces.”
In addition, a number of civil society activists, trade unionists, political workers and journalists also attended the congress as observers, including senior journalist Dr Tausif Ahmed Khan, head of social scicenes in Szabist Riaz Shaikh, renowned journalist, former CPNE editor Dr Jabbar Khattak, Salahuddin Gandapur, Aabida Ali, Manan Baacha, Deendar Ali, Lala Faqir Muhammad, Usman Khalil and Dr Haroon, attended the AWP’s.
Activists campaigning for the release of Wahid Baloch were also present at the program, asking participants to sign the demand for his release.
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