We are publishing this article written by Nusrat Javed which appeared in the Pakistani newspaper Daily Dawn on June 20, 2004 about Comrade Manzoor’s analysis of the recent budget and his speech which he made in the National Assembly.

A group of Left PPP MPs, among them Manzoor Ahmed, the President of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), have presented a bill with amendments to the draconian anti-working class IRO-2002. Among these is the call for the right to strike of workers of public utility services to be restored and labour courts to be empowered to reinstate sacked workers in their services with all benefits and facilities.

The recent sacking of the Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali by the Military dominated establishment has been met by some with bewilderment. But a closer look reveals the serious divisions that have opened up within the Pakistani ruling class, and more importantly the seeting anger of the masses who look with disgust on the whole rotten system. The situation is becoming explosive.

The ruling class is planning to privatize the Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Ltd. (PTCL). Thousands of workers will be thrown out without any notice or benefits from this institution. To achieve this goal the regime has announced a referendum. They tried their best to use their pocket union to win the referendum, but the workers of PTCL revolted against these policies through a ballot and the Pakistan Telecom Employees Union won the referendum due to their radical program.

We are publishing a speech made by Marxist MP Zulfiqar Gondal on the recent budget handed down in Pakistan. It analyses the real state of the Pakistani economy, the nature of the budget, and points out that the only way forward for the workers and poor of Pakistan is not Keynesianism or Thatcherism, but socialism.

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