The strike of public sector workers in Quetta, Baluchistan continues. Here are two articles that appeared in today's Dawn, the leading English language daily newspaper in Pakistan, followed by a short piece about the background to the strike. The PTUDC thanks everyone who has already sent in messages of solidarity and donations.

This the report from the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign on the May Day activities that took place up and down the country. The main rallying slogan was for the release of the imprisoned strike leaders in Quetta, where Hameed Khan and around 150 others are still in jail, and that the only way out for the masses of Pakistan is the road of socialist revolution. The day was a great success.

On Sunday, the PTUDC Lahore held a protest demonstration after the government announced the sacking of 1,125 striking government workers in Quetta. The PTUDC demands the immediate release of all those jailed, the reinstatement of all workers fired, and for the workers' demands to be met. A message from jailed strike leader Hameed Khan was read out at the event in front of the Lahore Press Club. The PTUDC has stepped up its nationwide campaign.
See also the Press Coverage of the event.

Today a protest demonstration was held in the city of Kasur in the East of Pakistan, to protest against the continuing imprisonment of the Quetta strike leaders, and the government's sacking of 1,125 public sector workers who are on strike. To read more about the ongoing campaign and how you can help, please see the website of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign.

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.

Lal Khan, editor of the Asian Marxist Review looks at the current situation in Pakistan. The economy is in ruins and Musharraf is under attack from all sides. The referendum he arranged to bolster support for himself has been a failure. The Americans are getting tired of him, and he has got nothing in return for his subservience. In desparation he is resorting to increased repression, as the attacks on the striking public sector workers in Quetta show.


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