Last week we informed our readers about the very important planned visit to India of five Pakistani MPs of the PPP (Pakistani People's Party), headed by a Marxist MP, Manzoor Ahmed. The relations between India and Pakistan seemed to have relaxed over the last few weeks, but this doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to this planned tour of India by a group of left Pakistani MPs.
In today's PakTribune we read the following:
"Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Thursday lashed out at the government for not facilitating their visit to India.
"Addressing a joint news conference PPPP Members National Assembly Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed, Qamar-uz-Zaman, Zulfikar Gondal and Fauzia Wahab said that the government was unduly trying to embarrass the opposition parliamentarians on all issues.
"Manzoor Ahmed said that a delegation of the PPPP parliamentarians wanted to proceed to India to discuss formation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) parliament but the government was not allowing them special stickers on passports, which skip the need to acquire visa.
"This is a facility, we wanted from the government but they (the government) are bent upon embarrassing us", he said.
"He added, ‘then what is the point having such facility which we can't use. We met the Speaker (National Assembly), the Deputy Speaker and the Foreign Minister. They all assured us of help but without any practicality'.
"He said that formation of a joint SAARC parliament was an international issue saying the government was trying to create hurdles in the way of the PPPP parliamentarians to snatch away credit from them."
The real reason why the rightwing Pakistani government has intervened to try and stop this tour going ahead is because they are very worried about the prospect of internationalist links being set up between the workers of India and those in Pakistan across the border.
Several meetings have been scheduled for the Pakistani delegation in India. One will be with the Jammu & Kashmir general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Yusuf Tarigami.
Another is also planned with CPI (M) General Secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet.
Both the Indian and Pakistani governments want to avoid any kind of link being set up between the workers' organisations of both countries. They understand that working solidarity and joint action on the part of the workers can cut across the national chauvinism that the government of both countries have fomented over the years. They understand that this would be a direct threat to their own power interests. As always, when the workers attempt to break down the national barriers, the bourgeois of different countries come together in an unholy alliance against the workers of all countries.
We do not know yet whether they will succeed in stopping this tour. One thing we can be sure of is that they will not succeed in stopping the unstoppable desire of the organised workers on both sides of the borders to build international links. The rising struggles of the working class will break down any border and any visa restriction! We salute the courageous stand of comrade Manzoor and the other MPs and comrades who are striving to make sure that this trip goes ahead and to make it a success.
We will keep you informed about future developments.
Also find out where the Pakistani embassy is in your country and send them a copy as well.