Problems of Sindhi Nationalism - What way forward?

Sindhi nationalism is an expression of the impasses the masses in Sindh face under the oppressive feudal-capitalist regime that dominates the whole of Pakistan. Genuine Sindhi liberation in today's context can only be achieved through socialist revolution and the unity of the workers of all nationalities. Dr Beenish Shoro looks at the Sindhi national conquest from a Marxist point of view.

At the advent of the twenty-first century the whole planet is convulsed by unprecedented social, economic and political turmoil. After the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, humankind has gone through a spate of wars, terrorism, imperialist savagery and reactionary fundamentalism. An epoch of mild reaction, stagnation and ferment has been the hallmark of human society under the crushing domination of monopoly capitalism and a paralytic globalisation.

Under this stalemate and a lull in the movement for a relatively long period of time questions such as national chauvinism, racism and ethnic conflict have re surfaced even in the advanced capitalist countries where they were thought to have been resolved long ago. In the ex-colonial or so-called developing countries the uncompleted tasks of the national democratic revolution, like the national question, have erupted with a bloody vengeance. These conflicts have resulted in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people being killed. Millions more have been displaced from their homes, women and children have been massacred and yet this terrible suffering continues unabated with no end in sight under the prevalent capitalist system.

Globalisation poses several challenges for Marxists, and the "national question" in the 21st century is one of them. The ongoing restructuring of the global political economy being carried out by multinational corporations, multilateral trade agreements, and such supra-national institutions as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, raises questions about the history and future of the nation state. "Globalisation" fostered by profit-maximizing of multinational corporations, brutally undermines the integrity of nations, cultures, the ecology of the planet, and the human condition of existence. No country - not even the biggest country - can withstand the crushing domination of the world market.

But here we see a striking contradiction. Precisely at this moment in time, when the world market has become the dominant force on the planet, national antagonisms have everywhere acquired a ferocious character and the national question far from being abolished everywhere assumes a particularly intense and poisonous character. Therefore, it becomes essential to discuss about the history and character of the nation and how the national question is being utilized by capitalists and imperialists.

The Nationalist writers and ideologues believe that nations have existed right from the start of human life. But this is obviously a subjective perception. Nations are the result of changes and development in the form of society. The modern state and nation had its origin in the 15th century during the transition from feudalism to capitalism. The state institutionalised bourgeois power while nationality functioned as the ideological core around which the bourgeoisie both consolidated its domestic power over the working class and peasants and solidified a nation vis-à-vis other capitalist nations. After passing through several stages of productive relations, the trend towards the modern nation came into being. One of the modern requirements of capitalism is undoubtedly the greatest possible national uniformity of the population, for nationality and language identity are an important factor making for the complete conquest of the home market and for complete freedom of economic investment.

Initially the creation of the nation state and the market gave an impetus to the productive forces, science and technology. But the rapid growth and production through the industrial revolution gave rise to wars for markets and the phenomenon of colonisation. This process gave rise to imperialism and the subjugation of countries and regions where the industrial revolution had not taken place. The whole pattern of socio-economic development of these countries under the yoke of imperialism was uneven and yet combined as imperialist investment was more advanced in those countries due to their quest for higher rates of profit. Even after the independence of these countries, mostly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the domination of imperialism continues specially in those countries where capitalism was not overthrown by the national liberation movements.

With the passage of time their character became more passive and reactionary because of globalisation and advancements in the mode of production and now the nation state has become one of the fundamental barriers to human development. And then these corrupt feudal landlords and capitalists ruling these ex-colonial countries are acting as commission agents of the bourgeoisie to exploit the working class under the slogan of nationalism.

In Pakistan the national question exists in its worst form because Pakistan itself is an example of a failed nation state. Pakistan was created as a result of the partition of the Indian subcontinent as the British imperialists and the local/national bourgeois leaders feared that a united national liberation would not stop there but would move towards a social transformation that would overthrow landlordism, capitalism and the imperialist strangle hold. To avoid a socialist revolution they conspired and split the movement along religious lines that led to the reactionary and traumatic partition of a land that had more than five thousand years of common history, cultural and socio economic existence.

Pakistan was founded not as a nation state, but as a state made up of nationalities. Even the abbreviations which form the word Pakistan are a testimony to this fact. This corresponds to its belated character. On the foundations of extensive agriculture and home industry, commercial capital could not develop fully. Not by transforming production, but broadly by increasing the radius of its operation, the greedy demands of the state and the meagreness of the economic foundation under the ruling class gave rise to the most bitter terms of exploitation. National oppression has been brutal and rough ever since the country came into being.

If we look back at last 60 years, the question arises of what Pakistan as a nation state has achieved so far. More than half a century after independence the conditions of Pakistan are more miserable than they were at the time of partition. There are countless failures of independence. The litany of failures includes the inability to have a functional parliamentary (bourgeoisie democracy), four wars with India, the failure either to sustain economic development or meaningful redistribution of wealth to the impoverished masses, the separation of Bangladesh, the inability to resolve regional and sectarian disputes, the inability to sustain a clear concept and direction to Pakistan's Nationalism and finally failure to create a modern cohesive nation state.

Pakistan's political system is dominated by elite groups. In addition it faces the dilemma of chronic military rule. Most political parties in Pakistan have not worked well, although not for want of trying. Literally hundreds of political parties have existed during Pakistan's brief history. In Pakistan, politics is often viewed as a struggle between competing kinship groups, for scarce resources and for prestige and honour, therefore loyalty to such parties is generated not by ideological allegiance to a programme, but rather to individuals within the party.

Understanding the character of this state structure is the key to the understanding of the rise and decline of national movements in Pakistan. The policy of Pakistani governments has primarily been instrumental in the rise of nationalist movements. Ethno-regional identification roughly corresponds with provincial domiciles, but the fit is imperfect owing to the effects of partition and internal migration.

Sindh, the southern most province of the state possesses one of the most varied demographical set-ups in Pakistan. There is a very fragile ethnic balance between Sindhis and non-Sindhis. After partition many of the immigrants from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in India moved mainly to Karachi, but also to Hyderabad, Sukkur and other cities of Sindh.

This massive influx of Mohajirs from India and other nationalities resulted in a greater control of people from this transmigration over the economy, jobs and posts in the state apparatus. Although this phenomenon had a greater impact on urban Sindh, the deprivation was felt also in rural Sindh especially amongst the Sindhi middle classes. The acquisition of State and other lands by Punjab Generals and other settlers further aggravated this feeling of national deprivation amongst the Sindhi populace. There are several other factors which fuelled these sentiments.

It is not just that after sixty years the Pakistani nation has not been forged by the ruling classes and the state, but even in Sindh whose ruling classes had opted for Pakistan at a crucial historical juncture, the migrants from India and elsewhere could not be harmoniously integrated. These ethnic, national and racial prejudices went on getting worse and exploded in bloody conflicts in the 1980s and 1990s.

In addition huge numbers of people from other provinces of Pakistan migrated to Karachi because it is the biggest industrial city of Pakistan and was the capital before Islamabad. With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly contentious as to who is a "pure" Sindhi, Pushtoon is or Baluch, as the boundaries between these groups are constantly in flux because of demographic changes. And although it is difficult to decide who is "pure" Sindhi, distinction between the classes is exposed with a vengeance in every part of Sind. As Lenin said, "there are two nations in every modern nation. There are two national cultures in every national culture."

The military-bureaucratic elite pursued certain policies which on the one hand failed to integrate the people into one ideological community and on the other generated and fed the ethno-national tendencies in Sindh, Baluchistan, Pushtoonkhwa ( NWFP) and former East Pakistan, especially the policies pursued during the Ayub era (1958-1969) and reincarnated in the Zia era (1977-1988). Both the Jeay-Sindhand Baluch movements which had very little support at the time of the formation of Pakistan in 1947 have significantly emerged on the Pakistani political scene in the contemporary period 1971-87.

At the heart of nationalist sentiments in Pakistan is the perception by non-Punjabis that the Punjabi nationality dominates the economy, politics, society and the state. There is considerable evidence to support this perception. First, Punjabis constitute a majority of the population, approximately 60%; second, they dominate the civilian bureaucracy and the military; third, the Punjab is by far the wealthiest and most developed province in the state. And this perception is ironically fuelled by governmental policies designed to assuage such perceptions.

A provincial autonomy movement emerged in Sindhas early as 1917 against the administrative arrangements of the British who had linked Sindh to the Bombay presidency. The movement led by the traditional landed elite of Sindhtook on a national character. The word "Sindhu desh" was first time used during this movement.

Sindh became very closely identified with the idea of Pakistan. The Sindhassembly was the first Indian legislature to pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan. G. M. Syed, an influential Sindhi landlord and one of the important leaders to the forefront of the provincial autonomy movement joined the Muslim League in 1938 and presented the Pakistan resolution in the Sindh Assembly. And only a few months later he considered the Pakistan movement as an "irrational emotionalism" and wanted an "independent Sind".

G. M. Syed can rightly be considered as the founder of Sindhi nationalism. He formed the Sindh Progressive Party in 1947 and demanded provincial autonomy within a socialist framework. In 1953 he formed the SindhAwami Mahaz. G. M. Syed himself a middle sized landlord represented the grievances of that class as well.

The educated middle classes had their own grievances. They did not find any place in two key institutions, the army and civil administration. The ingeniousness of tyranny was that those who were talking about National independence were among the corrupt feudal lords and tribal leaders. Alhough there was still an old, distorted feudal system in their regions, where millions of people were on the verge of extinction, the Jeay Sindh movement got support only from the traditional landed elite and educated middle class.

The Jeay Sindhleaders developed covert contacts with high officials of the Indian government to seek assistance in their activities. The movement during that phase remained at the cultural level and could not translate its support at the political level, mainly because of the emergence of the Pakistan Peoples Party led by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Himself a landlord and a charismatic young leader, he appealed to the same Sindhi constituencies and exploited the same regional issues with considerable success. The People's Party successfully played a dual role as the champion of Sindhi grievances at the provincial level in Sindh and the spokesman of the oppressed at the national level. Because of the slogan of "Roti, Kapra and Makan" (bread, clothing and shelter) the PPP became a mass party in Pakistan. As Lenin pointed out, "the National Question is fundamentally a question of bread."

There have been several movements in Sindh over the last 60 years but there are three very significant mass upsurges that shook the echelons of power in Islamabad. These are the movements of 1968-69, 1983 and to some extent that of 1986. All these movements had different intensities, character, orientation and motivations.

The most forceful was the 1968-69 movement, which created a revolutionary situation not only in Sindh but also all over Pakistan. Although there were some connotations of nationalist revulsion against the state, this movement had an overwhelming class basis and a socialist character. It was the only time that the vast masses of urban and rural Sindh were united in a class struggle and overcame the national, ethnic, religious, linguistic and other prejudices.

In urban Sindh the workers took over large sections of industry and the economy and in rural Sindh there was a massive peasant revolt where the Sindhi, Punjabi and other landed estates were besieged by the toilers and the feudal aristocracy was forced to flee. But after 1971 when the first PPP government left the revolutionary path and took a reformist direction this movement ebbed and the class unity was again diverted along national and ethnic lines.

The PPP government's reforms instead of solving the national question further sharpened the contradictions. The abolition of the more shameful national limitations established a formal equality of citizens regardless of their nationality, but this revealed only the more sharply the unequal position of the nationalities.

The quota system and Sindhi language in schools introduced by the Sindh provincial government of Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, did not improve the plight of Sindhi masses but it only increased the national and ethnic hatred amongst the various nationalities, especially in urban Sindh. In reality it gave a basis to the narrow nationalist petty bourgeois "leaders" of the Pushtoon, Muhajirs, Punjab and other communities in Karachi and other urban centres of Sindh.

The overthrow of the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto government (1977) and his assassination (1979) by the vicious military dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq gave a new impetus to the nationalist movement in Sindh. The symbolism was that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto belonged to Sindh.

Zia was the son of a Mullah who had migrated from Eastern (Indian) Punjab and was American-trained at Fort Bragg. His atrocities, his make up and his background were enough to provoke massive hatred from the masses in Sindh. Zia's repression of the Sindh was no less than the brutalities of British colonialists inflicted upon the mass of the subcontinent and other colonies. All this unleashed a glorious movement of the Sindhi masses against the military dictatorship. Although this movement had significant nationalist overtones, fundamentally it was linked to the general class resentment against this regime.

The movement failed because the regime was able to foster ethnic and nationalist discord especially in urban Sindh and in other main cities and provinces of Pakistan. In Karachi the Pakistani state devised the instrument of the MQM, the Punjabi Pushtoon Ittehad, Islamic fundamentalists and other reactionary outfits to break the momentum of struggle that was developing along class lines.

Still the movement raged on. In such circumstances whenever national antagonisms coincided with class contradictions they became especially hot. According to the official figures 1263 innocent people were slaughtered by the army in interior Sindh while thousands more were injured. There are heroic episodes of resistance that have now become legends in Sindhi folklore.

This movement could have still been victorious had the leaders of the so-called MRD (Movement for Restoration of Democracy) and the PPP not refused to give it a programme of revolutionary class struggle. Only on this basis could urban, rural and intra-provincial unity have been achieved. But the MRD leaders were perhaps as much terrified of a revolutionary change as the regime was.

In 1986 the movement in Sindh was actually the last nail in Zia's coffin. But the Benazir government and the "democratic phase" that was ushered in had so deeply compromised itself that no real change was even talked about. These regimes of formal democracy, with freedom of press, assembly, made the oppressed nationalities only the more painfully aware to what extent they were deprived of the most elementary means of cultural development, their own schools, their own courts, their own officials. Reference to a democracy and future development only served to further irritate them. These so-called democratic regimes under the yoke of imperialism, and in the clutches of the army and the state, could not and did not solve any task of the democratic revolution. Thus the national question in Sindh became more complicated, traumatic and convulsive.

The policy of the Zia regime to promote non-party politics had disastrous consequences for national politics in general and provincial politics in particular. In its zeal to weaken the PPP in the Sindh, the regime sought to appease Sindhi nationalism which only served to give a partisan image to the state structure which in turn provoked Mohajir nationalism. The promotion of the MQM was a conspiracy on the part of state to promote ethnic, linguistic and racial divisions amongst the working classes, especially in Karachi, the hub of the Pakistani proletariat. During the Zia ul Haq's regime, the policy was one of divide and rule.

The Jeay Sindh adopted a strategy of partial cooperation and partial confrontation with the martial law regime. Its leadership maintained contacts with high functionaries of the Zia regime and did not refrain from obtaining personal and other favours which the regime was willing to grant because of its own objective of weakening the PPP in Sindh.

Their leadership was influenced by both the western liberal tradition and the Soviet "Socialist" tradition, which in essence was a caricature of Socialism and in reality Stalinism. They formulated their ideologies, structured their programmes and modelled their organization on this "socialist" pattern. In practice it was Stalinism, which is based on "socialism in one country". The bourgeois nationalists in those days used to say that the national cause comes first and the proletarian cause second.

In the 1970s and 1980s the so-called left-wing nationalists followed the model of the Soviet Union, but not that of 1917 but that under the Stalinist totalitarian regime, of bureaucratic rule based on the theory of socialism in one country, i.e. national socialism.

They envied the perks, privileges and luxuries enjoyed by these Stalinist bureaucrats and wanted to ape them under the guise of a "socialist" Sindh or Baluchistan. The proletarian bonapartist regimes in Afghanistan and other countries, based on the model of Stalinist Moscow were also a point of reference for those nationalist leaders.

With support from Moscow, in which the Russian bureaucracy had its own "national" interests, they viciously distorted and maligned Lenin's position on the national question. They removed the dialectical essence from Lenin's position on the national question and portrayed it in a mechanistic fashion.

Lenin had envisaged the inevitability of the development of centrifugal national movements in Russia at the beginning of the last century. For many years he stubbornly polemicised with Rosa Luxemburg and others over that famous paragraph of the old party programme that formulated the right of nations to self-determination ‑ that is to the right of complete separation as states.

In defending this right, the Bolshevik party did not by any means undertake the evangel of separation. It merely assumed an obligation to struggle implacably against every form of national oppression, including the forcible retention of this or that nationality within the boundaries of the general state. Only in this way could the Russian proletariat gradually win the confidence of the oppressed nationalities. The policy of Bolshevism in the national sphere had also another side, apparently contradictory to the first but in reality supplementing it. On the thesis on the national question submitted by Lenin to the Comintern in 1920 he clearly stated:

"The recognition of the right [to self-determination] does not exclude either propaganda or agitation against separatism or exposure of bourgeoisie nationalism." (Lenin's Collected Works, The National Programme of the RSDLP, vol. 19, p. 544.)

Within the framework of the party, and of the workers' organizations in general, Bolshevism insisted upon a rigid centralism, implacably warning against any hint of nationalism which might set the workers against one another or disunite them.

These kinds of nationalists, who are either already rich capitalists or aspire to becoming such, do not raise the national question because they desire the common man to achieve freedom or a prosperous Sindh; rather they wish to squeeze the blood of their own people by filling the space which would be left vacant by other capitalists. All the "solutions" they present to the people can only bring more misery and deprivation to the masses. These kinds of movements are founded on an unscientific basis and ultimately have always dragged people into wars and chaos with catastrophic consequences.

Marxists are opposed to all forms of national, linguistic and racial oppression and we will fight against all forms of national oppression. But Lenin never said that Marxists must support the national bourgeoisie or the nationalist petit bourgeoisie. On the contrary, the fundamental premise of Lenin's position on the national question was of absolute class independence.

As Lenin said, "The slogan of national culture is a bourgeois (and often also a Black-Hundred, and clerical) fraud. Our slogan is: the international culture of democracy and of the world working-class movement... Those who seek to serve the proletariat must unite the workers of all nations, and unswervingly fight bourgeois nationalism, domestic and foreign. The place of those who advocate the slogan of national culture is among the nationalist petty bourgeois, not among the Marxists." (Lenin, Critical Remarks on the National Question, 1913)

The first principle of Leninism was always the need to fight against the bourgeoisie. Lenin grasped the dialectical relationship between national-democratic struggles and the socialist revolution, and showed that the popular masses (not just the proletariat, but also the peasantry and petty bourgeoisie) of the oppressed nation were allies of the conscious proletariat: a proletariat whose task it would be to lead the struggle of this "disparate, discordant and heterogeneous mass" ... against capitalism and the bourgeois state". The slogan of working-class democracy is not "national culture" but the international culture of the world-wide working-class movement.

This is the clear position of Marx and Lenin, who always supported internationalism, while these Stalinists based their ideology on National-Socialism. They were inspired by the "socialism" of the Soviet Union, i.e. Stalinism, which was in essence a negation of Marxism and Leninism. They thus adopted the policy of Stalinism. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union they were influenced by the two-stage theory of revolution in which only in the second stage is socialism supposed to be reached. But since the collapse of the Soviet Union, probably now there isn't even room for any remnants of socialism in their policy. Now they have only one agenda: that is autonomy on a capitalist basis.

Pakistan came into existence as the fulfilment of the dream to create a Muslim homeland in South Asia. Sixty years later that dream is rather tarnished. Meanwhile nationalist fervour in Bangladesh is also in decline. The sacrifices and struggles for Bengali nationalism and liberation have amounted only to increased poverty, misery and want.

If we in Sindh should achieve "freedom" through the same phenomenon as in Bangladesh we may well get freedom from non-Sindhi capitalists, but we will be all the more cruelly exploited by Sindhi capitalists and landlords. These nationalists do not want freedom from poverty, misery, unemployment; they just want freedom to establish control over their own market where they could extract a huge surplus by squeezing the last drop of the workers' blood.

The feudal landlords want freedom to exploit the peasants and working class, to create an open market where they will sell the labour of the proletariat, where they will become the brokers of the multinationals and again our dream of freedom would be dashed. The only change that would come about in our lives would be a change of master. We are slaves of the capitalists today and we would remain the same.

Their interests under the guise of "national liberation"... represent the different interests of the various squabbling sections of finance capital and the exploiting classes. These nationalists are brokers of these barbaric interests. The real "victims" are not these nationalist elites but the working class and peasants.

The struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. We will struggle for freedom, but that struggle is against poverty, misery, inflation, unemployment, wars, and disease and state brutalities. We want freedom from the slavery of this barbaric system; we need freedom from the exploitation and oppression of capital. The masses of the subcontinent, having suffered the trauma of partition, the drudgery of imperialist exploitation and the agony of capitalist rule are seething for revolt. The action of the oppressed will decide the fate of humankind. Only a genuine Marxist perspective, method, strategy, party and leadership will ensure victory.

In the place of all forms of nationalism Marxism advances internationalism. We will not support any movement that divides the masses; we will support every movement that unites the working class masses. We will not go with any movement that is based on the separation of countries or provinces, we will go with every movement that will abolish the borders and link the existing decaying and repressive states to the creation of greater proletarian state based on workers' democracy.

We will take revenge for the crime of partition of India through the formation of a Red Revolutionary Subcontinent. As Comrade Lal khan says, "The unification of the Indian subcontinent will be on a much higher plane than the 1947 Partition." The proletariat cannot support any consecration of nationalism; on the contrary, it supports everything that helps to obliterate national distinctions and remove national barriers; it supports everything that makes the ties between nationalities closer and closer, or tends to merge nations.

Nationalism is a transitional phenomenon in support capitalism and will die as society transforms into a socialist society. This cannot last for very long. With the changing objective conditions, revolutionary forces are gathering again in some areas of the subcontinent and their Marxist approach, strategy and perspective will soon provide them a mass basis and as Marx said, "when an idea gains a mass base it becomes a material force". In whatever the country the revolution takes place first, it cannot and will not remain confined within that nation state.

Political stability is an illusion under capitalism and will never be achieved. National wars have to be converted into class wars. The only way forward for working people is through the struggle for the expropriation of the big banks and monopolies, the overthrow of capitalism and the socialist transformation of society.

In conclusion we could summarize the problems of Sindhi nationalism and the way forward for Sindh thus:

  • There is a vicious national oppression in the cultural, social and economic aspects of Pakistani society and the state. Sindh has been the victim of this oppression and it is the revolutionary duty of Marxists to support the struggle against all forms of oppression and exploitation including the national oppression.
  • The Pakistani/Punjabi ruling classes and the capitalist state have failed to create a unified nation or a nation state. Hence the inevitable nationalist and other forms of exploitation alongside the fundamental exploitation of human labour.
  • Investment in different projects such as the Kalabagh dam are fundamentally incentives for corporate profit and kick backs for the state officials. All public and private investment in Sindh under the present capitalist system have not and cannot improve the conditions of the masses and working classes in Sindh and elsewhere. The concerns of the Sindhi people over projects like the Kalabagh dam cannot be satisfied in a system of loot and plunder. The present rulers represent the interests of finance capital and not of the masses. Hence we reject their imposed projects against the will of the oppressed masses of Sindh.
  • If we look at the historical, political and demographic situation of Sindh, we see that it is the result of the peculiar exploitative patterns of growth of capitalism. Hence workers from all nationalities were sucked into this industrialization, especially Karachi. The rights of the non-Sindhi workers therefore have to be acknowledged and protected.
  • With the present ruthless aggression of monopoly capitalism, the nation state is diminishing and national economies are being strangled. Hence the formation of an independent Sindh on a capitalist basis would be a utopia and in no way could the workers and poor peasants of Sindh escape their drudgery and exploitation. The glaring example of Bangladesh today is a lesson to be understood. National autonomy under the present state of Pakistani capitalism is a farce.
  • In the sixty years of its history, the Pakistani state has been able to carry out its oppression of Sindh in collaboration with the Sindhi landlords and capitalists. Even Sindhi nationalists who previously had burnt the Pakistani flag later capitulated to the bourgeois state and became ministers with the Pakistani flag flying on the bonnets of their limousines.
  • To defeat the national oppression suffered at the hands of the Pakistani state, the struggle to defeat this regime, the struggle of national liberation must be directly linked to the class struggle. In Trotsky's words "the rivers of national struggle have to be directed to the ocean of class struggle."
  • The national, cultural, economic, social and democratic rights of the toiling masses of Sindh can only be achieved by overthrowing capitalism through a socialist revolution in Sindh and throughout Pakistan. This can only be sustained when the revolution expands on a wider plane leading towards the creation of a voluntary Socialist Federation of South Asia. Only within such a federation can the full national, cultural and other rights of the masses in Sindh be realized.
  • The social and economic contradictions mean that the socialist revolution is destined to meet opposition among the upper layers of the petty bourgeoisie and the elite sections of the oppressed nations. But on the other hand the conflicts of the oppressed nationalities by their very nature shake the bourgeois regime, making conditions even more favourable for revolution in the heart of the state itself.

Trotsky wrote in the 1930s, "A predominance of historic extremes is proper to social structure of a belated country ‑ predominance of the backward peasants and the advanced proletarians over the intermediate formations of the bourgeoisie. The task of one class is shouldered off upon another. In the national sphere also, the uprooting of medieval remnants falls to the lot of the proletariat. But in performing these tasks Russia exactly because of her belated development made use of new and utterly modern classes, party programs. To make an end of these ideas and methods of Rasputin, she required the ideas and methods of Marx."

If we look at the present situation in Pakistan, the analysis and prognosis is not much different. In order to achieve liberation and a cultural lift, the oppressed nationalities are invariably dependent upon the international and central branches, trusts and commercial institutions.

The bourgeoisie of the oppressed nationalities plays the same role in relation to the Pakistani bourgeoisie that the latter play in relation to international finance capital. Hence in no way can they be consigned a revolutionary mission. The subordination of belated national revolutions to the revolution of the proletariat follows a law which is valid throughout the world. Whereas, in the nineteenth century the problem of wars and revolutions was still to guarantee a national market to the productive forces, the problem throughout most of the twentieth century and especially the twenty first century is to free the productive forces from the national boundaries which have become iron fetters upon them. Capitalist globalisation has made a mess of it. Only under socialism can the productive force expand and develop harmoniously at a rapid speed to give humankind an advanced society, cultural and ultimately emancipation.

Workers of the world unite...

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