The renowned American author and progressive thinker Gore Vidal, analysing the U.S. political setup, once wrote, “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party… and it has two right wings.” Vidal was referring to the Republicans and the Democrats, whom he characterised as representatives of the ruling class, who have obvious cursory differences, but are fundamentally there to preserve the exploitative capitalist system and the imperialist hegemony.

The notion that Islamic fundamentalism, religious terror and neofascist black reaction can be crushed or eliminated without challenging the status quo is not only false, but also deceptive. It actually amounts in practice to supporting the rotten bourgeoisie in the name of “democracy”, “secularism”, “human rights”, “women’s emancipation” and “freedom”.

On Friday 17 October a condolence meeting was held for 23 year old Comrade Sajid Alam, area secretary of The Struggle for Malakand, who was killed in a tragic road accident. Killed by the intensely barbarous conditions found in Pakistan generally, and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular. As if this were not heartbreaking enough, the local Taliban tried to disrupt his funeral, calling him an infidel, making his grieving family's life an even worse hell on earth.

In an astonishing move, a Christian member of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Asiya Nasir, supported by more than a dozen lawmakers including Islamicist mullahs, moved a new amendment to the 1973 Constitution seeking a ban on non-Muslims drinking alcohol, but the bill didn’t get very far.

The Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation is holding its 19th central convention on 24 and 25 September in Muzaffarabad. The convention will coincide with the anniversary of the killing of former General Secretary of JKNSF Fahim Akram who was martyred by the reactionary forces.

This article looks at the situation in Pakistan, and describes on the one hand the effects of decades of rule by an inept and corrupt ruling class that has proven incapable of developing the country and on the other, highlights the immense work done by the comrades of The Struggle in building a Marxist Tendency in these every difficult conditions. [The text is a transcript of several talks given in the USA on Pakistan].

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