During the question hour in the National assembly, in a written reply to a question submitted by MNA Lal Chand, the finance minister Ishaq Dar told the house that “from July 2013 to February 2014 the government waived Rs. 320.8 billion to the business class in tax exemptions.” This was actioned in a country whose major social indicators – tax as percentage of GDP, education spending as a percentage of GDP and healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP – are the lowest in the world.
2800 female nurses have won their struggle against the government in Punjab. Despite their brutal and vicious tactics, the government had to face a humiliating defeat.
On Saturday, March 15, 2014, the Urdu edition of Marxism and the USA was presented at the National Press Club in Islamabad. The book, written by Alan Woods, was originally published in the United States. The public launch of the book, with the presence of the author, was a highly anticipated event. Comrades and media travelled from across Pakistan to hear Alan Woods present his latest book in Urdu. 300 people packed the hall until there was standing room only, and three television channels covered the event. Special mention must be made of the participation of dozens of hospital workers and nurses who are currently on strike, and who have been subjected to brutal attacks by the police. This has resulted in several nurses being sent to hospital.
This year the 33rd congress of The Struggle was awaited with great expectation. The coming to power of the right-wing government of Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League was the signal for new and severe attacks against the working class and The Struggle and the PTUDC have been at the forefront of the counterattack.
It is rather surprising that the ‘Taliban’ didn’t include Shahbaz Sharif or Rana Sanaullah, along with Imran Khan in the list that would represent them in the ‘peace talks’ with the government. Although Imran Khan appreciated the gesture he could not go ahead to bat for the ‘Taliban’. He was well aware of the futility of these peace talks, in a situation where the present state, the system and the political entities are in a deep crisis.
At least one advantage of Sindh Festival being held in Mohenjo-daro will be that many people will come to learn more about this five thousand old civilization. However, civilization and culture are not limited to music, art and poetry but encompass the mutual relations, habits, feelings, attitudes, social behaviour and many other aspects of life. The most profound expression of culture is its architecture. It not only expresses the art of construction but also reflects the social values, productive relations and socio-economic system prevailing in society.
With the impending partial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan looming closer, some sections of the liberal intelligentsia and the ex-left civil society in Pakistan are tacitly trying to portray US imperialism as a lesser evil in comparison with the Taliban and the fundamentalist terror groups who have wreaked havoc in the region.
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