Protest Demonstration in Kasur

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. Today, May 10, the PTUDC organised another protest demonstration against the arrest of Quetta trade unionists in the eastern Pakistan city of Kasur. About 120 workers and youth attended the demonstration. The unions represented were from the Municipal workers, power loom/textiles, telecommunications, All Pakistan Clerks Association and about 15 lawyers.

A number of students and youth were also present. The main speakers were Manzoor Ahmed, the PPP prospective parliamentary candidate from Kasur, and Mehr Ramazan, the organiser of the PTUDC in Kasur.

The speakers condemned the continued arrest of comrade Hameed Khan and other trade union leaders and workers and the regime's pronouncement of the retrenchment of 1,125 employees of various government departments in Quetta and Baluchistan. They vowed to continue and step up the protest campaign until the Quetta comrades are released, all the workers are reinstatement, and all their demands are accepted including the 40% allowance already agreed by the regime as a result of the November 2001 strike.

Slogans were raised against the regime. The main slogans raised were "Release Hameed Khan and all Quetta unionists!", "Down with dictatorship, Down with capitalism!" and "Revolution, Revolution! Socialist Revolution!" The demonstration was held in the centre of the city and continued for more than one hour.

A petition is being circulated for protest signatures in Kasur and hundreds of workers, students, youth, women and peasants are signing it. This demonstration was part of the national and international campaign launched by the PTUDC.