Launch of Lal Khan's new book Partition in Lahore

On Saturday, March 23, at a crowded meeting in the Lahore Press Club, Lal Khan's new book Partition - can it be undone? was launched. It can be bought online from Wellred Books.
On Saturday, March 23, at a crowded meeting in the Lahore Press Club, a new book by Lal Khan was presented to the public. The title of the book is Partition - can it be undone?  
Although the hall only holds 200 people, it was filled to overflowing, with people standing in the aisles. Once again, there was a good mix of men, women, workers and students.

Click here to buy this book online

On the platform, apart from Lal Khan, the well-known Marxist author, was the well-known historian Dr Mubarak Ali; Alan Woods, editor of the British Marxist magazine Socialist Appeal and the website In Defence of Marxism (; Altaf Qureshi, deputy information secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party; Manzoor Ahmed, editor of The Struggle; and Ana Muñoz also of the editorial board of In Defence of Marxism and Wellred Books, who presided over the meeting.

The first speaker was Dr Mubarak who delivered a very accurate and apt analysis of the contents of the book and the real meaning of partition. “This book for the first time explains the role of the Communist movement in the period leading up to partition, and the way in which they failed as a result of the false policies dictated by Stalin.”

In continuation, Altaf Qureshi delivered a long speech, in which he showed that he had not understood the contents of the book. His points were later answer by comrade Lal Khan in his reply.

Comrade Alan Woods also spoke at some length outlining with a wealth of facts and figures the complete failure of the Pakistani bourgeoisie to solve any one of the problems of Pakistan over the last 55 years. “Pakistan is now more dependent on imperialism than it was in 1946,” he said. He pointed to the revolutionary traditions of 1968-69 and predicted that new explosions were being prepared. He said that “the reactionary and corrupt oligarchy has shown for 55 years that it is unfit to rule.” Turning to the representative of the PPP, he said: “The PPP must make up its mind which class it defends - either the feudalists and capitalists or the mass of workers and peasants. You cannot serve two masters!”

On Sunday the following brief report of the meeting was published in The Dawn, the biggest circulation English language paper in Pakistan:

Still slaves by our Staff Reporter

Lahore, March 23: Both Pakistan and India are slaves to imperialism even after 55 years of independence, said Alan Woods, editor of a socialist magazine, on Saturday.

Mr Woods was speaking at a book launching ceremony here. He said that blood was being shed in Kashmir, Palestine, Ireland and Cyprus due to British imperialism.

He said the British continued to enjoy their imperialist grip through the education system they had implanted in their dominions.

Historian Dr Mubarak Ali said history of the world stood witness that division of people multiplied problems instead of solving them.

Pakistan People’s Party information secretary Altaf Qureshi said sectarian riots were damaging the struggle of the have-nots.

Dr Lal Khan stressed the need for spreading education to rid the people of a false history and a false ideology.

It was, perhaps, too much to expect such a report to be one hundred percent accurate. Alan Woods did not say that the domination of imperialism was achieved through the education system (to which he did refer in a different context), but through the mechanism of world trade and debt. For example, sixty percent of Pakistan’s budget goes on repayment of interest on foreign loans, a further forty percent goes on “defence” and less than two percent on education. Which explains why only about 14 percent of the population is literate.

The mistake was undoubtedly the product of a genuine misunderstanding by the reporter, who attempted to give an honest account of the meeting, within the restrictions imposed by the current situation. In the present climate, it is not in the interest of the authorities to allow information about the activities of the Marxists to spread. But news travels fast in Pakistan, and it is impossible to hide the growth and influence of The Struggle.