Successful meetings were held in Pakistan recently to launch a new book of the Pakistani Marxists on the National Question, a key work in a country where the national question is so acute.
On Sunday 7th November 2004 a seminar was held on the 87th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in the Press Club in Lahore. The programme was organised by The Struggle publication. As part of this programme the book launch of the Urdu language “The national question and Marxist internationalism” took place. The event was addressed by Manzoor Ahmed, Member of National Assembly, Adil Khan, former general secretary of the JKNSF, Dr Haresh, organizer of the People’s Student Federation, Nadir Afaq, organizer of YFIS-Baluchistan, Ghufran Ahmed, local body administrator in Malakand, Shafqat Tanveer Mirza, Punjabi Literature Board, Javeed Shaheen, translator of the book and a famous poet and Lal Khan, one of the authors and the Editor of the Asian Marxist review. The event was presided by Munno Bhai, a famous columnist.
The speakers explained that the only solution to the National Question in the recent times is to be found through the socialist revolution. The solution of the socio-economic problems facing the working class is possible by putting into practice the lessons of the 1917 Russian revolution. Capitalism can only create social injustice and capitalist democracy can only prolong the system of exploitation of the working class. The only way to get rid of this exploitation-based system is to organize a mass movement against this system. International socialist revolution is the only answer to the national question.
In addition, at the end comrade Lal Khan said that capitalism and western democracy could not solve the problems of nationalities. In fact it exacerbates the differences, as Lenin said, “The solution of the national question is only possible through the socialist revolution”. Because it provides the strong material basis for the collaboration of the mass movement of different nations, actually Lenin was talking about international socialist revolution and not about the theory of “socialism in one country” as raised by Stalin that played a role in the division of humanity on national basis. This book will prove to be very useful to those who really want to put into practice a genuine solution to the national question because it stresses the statement made by Lenin that, “The national question is the problem of bread”.
The Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) and The Struggle publication organised another book inauguration in the PMA (Pakistan Medical Association) House on 7th December 2004. The main speakers were Najam-ul- Hasan, a columnist for The Jang journal, Dr Jaffer, professor in Karachi university, Nazer Mengal, provincial general secretary of the Baluchistan People’s Labour Bureau, Zakir Khan, Anwer Panhwer, writer and the district organizer of the Dadoo PTUDC, Adil Khan, former general secretary of the JKNSF, Ch Manzoor Ahmed, Member of National Assembly and President of the PTUDC and Lal Khan, one of the authors. The ceremony was presided by M.K Hamdani. This ceremony was attended by a number of youth, workers, women’s and the trade union leaders. All the speakers pointed out that the national question is not a problem caused by the working class. In Sindh the people say that the Punjabis are very cruel and that the water crisis is due to them. But if we see the reality, the working class of the Punjab has not caused any problem for the Sindhi people or for other provinces. The situation of the working class in the Punjab is the same as in Sindh or in the other provinces. When the capitalists start downsizing in their factories they do not see the workers they are expelling as Sindhi, Baluchi, Punjabi or Pushtoon. We have to understand that all this talk of which people are to blame is part of the gimmickry of the capitalists to divide the workers and rule over them. It is a very old and tested method. It is our responsibility to understand this and to start a struggle to demolish this system in our times. The only way to end this injustice is through socialism.
In Quetta, Peshawer and in Kashmir the book inauguration ceremonies are being held this month.