Pakistan: Postal workers' leader Nazar Mengal once again under state attack

Nazar Mengal, a leading PTUDC activist, is playing a key role in the present strike movement in Baluchistan. The authorities have moved him to a remote village and issued him with a show-cause notice. After the brutal repression of the civil secretariat strike the state does not want retaliation from elsewhere in Baluchistan, and they are targetting the PTUDC in particular.

PTUDC being targeted by the dictatorship

Comrade Nazar Mengal is the Baluchistan president of National Organisation of Postal Employees (NOPE), the largest union in postal sector. He is also provincial organiser of PTUDC in Baluchistan.

The postal authorities have issued a show-cause notice (removal from service notice) to comrade Nazar Mengal and Mohammed Bux Sasooli who is divisional chairman of NOPE in Khuzdar (the second largest city in Baluchistan). Due to his trade union activities Nazar Mengal has also been transferred to a remote village so that he could be totally isolated from the workers.

Nazar Mengal is playing a leading role in the present strike movement in Baluchistan. The postal authorities didn't want to see him at any cost because he is the main postal union leader who is leading the fight against the anti-workers policies of the postal authorities and present military regime.

His only crime is that he is a true and dedicated trade union leader; who has already sacrificed everything for the class struggle. This new victimization is based on events that happened in August 2001, when the military regime banned the trade union activities in postal sector. All the union offices were closed down, Comrade Nazar and other militant trade unionists were victimized. But they fought back and the regime had to retreat.

The official main trade union leadership accepted the anti-workers orders. But comrade Nazar Mengal and other comrades refused to accept the orders and continued their activities. Postal authorities used police to close down the union office and to arrest the leaders. Nazar Mengal put up a great resistance and refused to vacate the union office. Postal authorities in desperation started victimization of workers and issued charge sheets to workers and leaders. Nazar Mengal was also victimized and many charges were framed against him.

PTUDC launched a national and international campaign. Due to this campaign, especially the international campaign, the authorities were forced to stop the victimization and demands put forward by the workers were accepted.

Comrade Nazar Mengal launched a campaign against anti-workers policies of government and postal authorities. That was the only union office that remained open until now in the post office department throughout the country. This office is the center of trade union activities not only for the postal workers but also other unions and workers of Khuzdar.

Comrade Nazar Mengal is also chairman of Mazdoor Ittehad (Workers Alliance) Khuzdar, more than 27 unions are affiliated with this alliance; another leading comrade of the PTUDC, Naseer Baluch (telecommunications union) is its secretary general. Nazar Mengal has always been in the forefront of every struggle of the working class - in Baluchistan in particular.

30 months ago Nazar Mengal led a victorious and successful strike and struggle of Engineering University employees. The university authorities sacked 3 leaders and sent them into jail. PTUDC launched a nationwide protest campaign and as a result all the imprisoned leaders were freed and reinstated.

Comrade Nazar Mengal led a big rally along with other leaders on May Day. Comrade Nazar delivered a revolutionary speech in which he condemned the military regime's anti-workers policies. The state intelligence agencies were constantly sending reports of his activities to the government. In these reports the agencies pointed out that he is the most active militant and Marxist trade union leader in Khuzdar and he is behind all the strikes, protests, demonstrations and activities. On these reports the director general of the post office has issued instructions to post master general Baluchistan to sack him from his job. The first step they have taken is that they have forcibly posted him into the wilderness. He is being monitored, harrased, intimidated and checked round the clock by the post office management and the state authorities. His life has been made miserable and he is being treated as a criminal even when he is not in prison.

Authorities have framed the same charges that had been dropped 8 months ago in August 2001. The military regime wants to silence this daring workers leader who has refused to capitulate. Comrade Nazar along with the other leaders of the PTUDC organised two protest strikes in Khuzdar and demanded the release of all the arrested leaders in Quetta including Comrade Hameed Khan. More than two hundred trade union activists participated in each demonstration.

Now the military regime wants to teach him a lesson and wants to punish him. After the brutal repression of the secretariat workers strike the state in particular doesn't want any other retaliation from anywhere in Baluchistan. Nazar Mengal, the PTUDC and its allies in the labour movement are the only forces still defying the dictatorship in Baluchistan. Comrade Nazar and other PTUDC comrades in Baluchistan have vowed to continue the struggle come what may. They have appealed to the trade unionists and workers, for their support in this crucial period of the fight. The PTUDC is under attack and slanders from all corners. This would not weaken it, rather these attacks would end up strengthening the PTUDC in its resolve to over throw this exploitative capitalist system through the Socialist Revolution. After all these attacks and vicious propaganda against the PTUDC reflects its growing influence and support in the Pakistan proletariat.