Musharraf Military Dictatorship Resorts to Severe Repression
COMRADE HAMEED KHAN ARRESTED AGAIN!
We have received the news from Pakistan that the leader of the victorious November strike of civil servants in Quetta, Hameed Khan, has been arrested again, together with other union leaders and protesting workers. This is a serious development and the dictatorship seems to be moving towards a greater repression. This is an extremely serious situation and it is essential that we move immediately to protest against this action and to bring every pressure to bear on the Pakistani authorities. Experience has shown that such pressure has an effect. Due to international pressure Hammed Khan was released last November. Speed is essential if we are to save our comrade. Please give this matter the maximum publicity in the trade union and labour organisations in your country. We urge all our readers and friends to act immediately to protest against the brutal repression of our fellow workers and trade unionists in Pakistan.
Appeal from Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign
Quetta: Today April 22, the Workers' Action Committee (which is an alliance of Baluchistan Labour Federation, Baluchistan Civil Secretariat Staff Association (BCSSA) and All Pakistan Clerks' Association (Shaheed Saqi Group) and All Pakistan Paramedical Federation) launched protests on different important roads of Quetta City. In this context at one time on different roads more than 2,000 members of workers' action committee participated in protest demonstrations in different parts of the city.
They were chanting slogans against Governor of Baluchistan, Baluchistan Government, and in favour of their demands. Meanwhile workers passed through different roads for half and hour and when protesters reached near City Police Station, huge number of police under command of SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) Quetta were present. They attacked and baton-charged the protesters and here comrade Hameed Khan, city organiser of PTUDC and Press Secretary of BCSSA with about 25 to 30 protesting workers was arrested. Now they are in police custody. Similarly police arrested more then 30 protesters during these demonstrations form different roads of Quetta.
This protest was launched by the unions under the banner of PTUDC and its activists participated displaying placards in their hands with slogans like "Workers of the world unite", "Down with capitalism", "Down with IMF and World Bank", the demand of 40% allowance must be given, "Down with Privatization and Down-sizing", "No to Presidential Ordinance 2001", "Immediate release of President of Baluchistan Secretariat Staff Association president Mr Abdul Khaliq Kakar" (who was arrested one week ago). Nazar Baluch one of the main leaders of BCSSA mainly involved in this movement was also arrested.
The arrested leaders have vowed to continue the struggle until their demands including the 40% increase in their wages (which they won in their last struggle) are accepted and delivered. The PTUDC has launched a nation wide campaign for their release. Protest demonstrations and rallies will be held in different cities and industrial centres of Pakistan. The PTUDC appeals to the workers internationally to come to the support of these workers and put pressure on the Musharraf dictatorship for the release of these comrades who are fighting for a genuine cause. This military regime is now moving towards a serious repression and the workers in Baluchistan and elsewhere in Pakistan need the support and solidarity of the trade unionists and workers internationally.
With Revolutionary Greetings,
Update: 250 to 300 workers have been arrested; the newspapers in Quetta have been prohibited from publishing anything about the workers' protests.
Please send your protest messages to:
General Pervez Musharraf (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Federal Interior Minister (e-mail: email@example.com
Ministry of Interior
The Governor of Baluchistan
Mr. Justice (Retired) Amir Ul Mulk Mengal
Please send copies of all protest and solidarity messages to the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the PTUDC website at www.ptudc.org
Donations to the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign can be made here.
Information about when Hameed Khan was arrested in November 2001, and released due to the international solidarity campaign: