Lahore protest demonstration for release of Quetta comrades

On Sunday, the PTUDC Lahore held a protest demonstration after the government announced the sacking of 1,125 striking government workers in Quetta. The PTUDC demands the immediate release of all those jailed, the reinstatement of all workers fired, and for the workers' demands to be met. A message from jailed strike leader Hameed Khan was read out at the event in front of the Lahore Press Club. The PTUDC has stepped up its nationwide campaign.
See also the Press Coverage of the event.

(See also the Press Coverage of the event.)

In the blistering heat of Lahore another protest demonstration was organised by the PTUDC for the release of the trade unionists in front of the Lahore Press Club at 1 pm on Sunday May 5. This demonstration was organised at very short notice as the news of the firing of 1125 Baluchistan secretariat workers only came out on Saturday. Still around 100 trade unionists and political activists came in the intense heat and on a Sunday to attend the demonstration.

This was the second demonstration organised by the PTUDC in Lahore in four days. No other party or organisation bothered to even give a statement on this heinous act of economic murder of 1125 Quetta workers by this military regime.

The demonstration lasted for 35 minutes and the main speakers were Khalid Bhatti (National Organizer, PTUDC) Shahida Jabeen (executive member of PTUDC and National Coordination Secretary of PPP Women's Wing) and Lala Hanif (Central Secretary General of the telecommunications union (PTCL)).

They condemned this heinous act of retrenchment of the 1125 Baluchistan Secretariat workers and demanded immediate withdrawal of the brutal order. They also demanded the release of Hameed Khan and other arrested trade union leaders. A message from comrade Hameed Khan that was smuggled out of the Quetta jail for this demo was read out. In this message comrade Hameed Khan said that the imprisonment, torture and repression of the dictatorship cannot deter their will and determination to carry out this struggle. He condemned the retrenchment of 1125 workers by the military regime. He vowed that until the reinstatement of all the fired workers and fulfilment of their demands, this fight will be fought to the finish. He also condemned the Labour Party Pakistan which was an NGO masquerading as a political sect for mudslinging and spreading lies and distortions about the PTUDC. He condemned it as sabotage of the struggle being launched by the PTUDC for this and his comrades' release from the brutal imprisonment by the military dictatorship. He thanked the PTUDC and for launching and expanding the campaign for their release nationally and internationally.

During the demonstration the slogan raised were "release of the Quetta comrades", "end the economic genocide of the workers", "workers of the world unite", "reinstate all workers", "an injury to one is an injury to all", "down with IMF, World Bank and Imperialism", "down with military dictatorship", "Revolution, Revolution, Socialist Revolution".

The PTUDC has stepped up its countrywide campaign for the release of the Quetta comrades, reinstatement of the fired workers and the fulfilment of all the demands of the Quetta strike movement. This is the most important class conflict in Pakistan and PTUDC is putting in all its resources and energies for the victory of this struggle.

Apart from demonstrations, rallies, protest marches and other activities, thousands of signatures would be collected in protest petitions across Pakistan in the next week.