Asia

“Ever since the national liberation movement in Balochistan abandoned socialism from its programme, it became an easy prey for the imperialist vultures. They can now play with the sentiments of national exploitation and oppression of the people only to utilise them for their own imperialist designs.”

It is becoming more and more evident that the bosses of the world cannot control the vicious downward spiral that is unravelling. The bourgeoisie is worried!

The innumerable Muslim Leagues that traverse the spectrum of Pakistan’s dominating political establishment in a number of ways reflect the disarray and the pathetic conditions of the ruling classes and society they try to scathe and exploit. Like Pakistan, their putrescence lies in their origins.

The All Pakistan Progressive Youth Alliance, Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) and BNT (Unemployed Youth Movement) organized countrywide protests against the target killing of political activists and state terrorism in Balochistan.

The workers of federal hospital are protesting against the new service structure (CHPS) which is a form of privatization. The hospitals include Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences PIMS, Poly Clinic Hospital and National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.

It is not ruled out that if the democratic facade of imperialism creates a crisis that threatens to unravel the economic system, the imperialist bosses would not hesitate to revert back to military dictatorship.

One of the most extraordinary features of human psychology is adaptation. The tolerance of the masses is being tested to the extreme. Every passing day the grim social scenario becomes even gloomier. The masses are seething with anger and revolt against the sharply rising prices, unemployment, poverty, energy shortages and misery. Apart from the rhetoric from right-wing populism, they are presented with no real choice to put an end to this agonising situation. The vacillating petit bourgeoisie in its characteristic haste and impatience goes for this populism but will revert back in the same manner. The mass movement is yet to explode. And the working classes will

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On 17th January, the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign organized a historic Labour convention and a protest rally in Islamabad. More than 300 trade union activists, students, political workers, women and youth from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Attock, Taxila-Wah, Abbottabad and surrounding areas participated in the convention.

Forty years ago last month [16 December 1971] Dhaka fell. The laying down of arms by the Pakistan Army to the Indian Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora was the biggest military surrender in post-Second World War history. It was in the period when a revolutionary storm swept across the planet in the years 1967-74.

Even by Pakistani standards the turbulence taking place in the state and society is exceptional. The economy is floundering and forecasts by the experts are bleak and scary. It is not without reason that the economy is hardly discussed in the media networks and amongst the dominant intelligentsia. The experts and the strategists running the economy do not have a clue how to come out of this mess. To be honest, it is not their fault. The prevalent capitalist economic system has reached a state where it is incapable of achieving, never mind maintaining, a steady growth rate or enhancing production.

The year 2011 was perhaps the most turbulent year in recent history. The Arab Spring, the European Summer and the American Fall were an upheaval that traversed the planet. For the first time in history there were demonstrations in more than 900 cities across the world in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US. The main cause that triggered this massive response of the workers and youth throughout the world was the eruption of a rebellion in the very womb of imperialism.

The world’s attention is once again focused on North Korea. This is not due to a new nuclear test, imperialist saber-rattling, or a military clash with South Korea along the world’s most militarized border. This time, the reason is potentially even more explosive: the death of Kim Jong-il.

The annual National Winter Marxist Youth School was held from December 2 to 4 in Multan. In spite of the very long distances and difficult economic situation more than 133 comrades (including 20 females) from all over the country participated in the school with great revolutionary spirit. Debates, discussions and overall discipline at the school demonstrated a high ideological, political and cultural level of the comrades.

The imperialists ‘war against terror’ has terribly gone wrong. The attack by helicopter gunships on Pakistan army posts killing 24 military personnel is yet another blow to the already rocky and febrile relations between US and Pakistan. This comes after the Raymond Davis Affair, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the recent memogate affair in which the wily Hussein Haqqani had to resign as Pakistan’s envoy to the US.

On the chilly morning of 30th November 1967 a relatively small gathering of around three hundred people was taking place in the sprawling lawns of Dr. Mubashir Hassan’s house in Gulberg, Lahore. This was the founding convention of a new political party that was espousing revolutionary change in Pakistan.

After overtaking Japan, this year China became the second largest economy in the world. Some experts have even predicted that by the end of this decade China may become the largest economy bypassing the United States. However, that is based on a mechanical, empirical approach that sees China maintaining its present levels of growth uninterruptedly for years to come. In the past Japan was also supposed to keep on growing, but then its apparent meteoric rise was cut across by a long period of stagnation.

Following the traditions of the Bolshevik Party, that a party journal is an important collective organizer, the Indonesian comrades are publishing the second edition of their newspaper, Militan Indonesia.

It is often said that history repeats itself, but the truth is that it never does so in exactly the same way; it repeats itself but on on a higher plane. The general consciousness of the masses in any society is neither static nor eternal. It is in a state of constant change, flux and motion. Betrayals and defeats push it back but with the new resurgence of the class struggle it rises to new heights.

The bourgeoisie has never, anywhere, been able to find the key to unlock the mysteries of their own economic system. The only way to understand capitalism is to accept and to explain its contradictory, crisis-ridden nature. It cannot be perfected; its riddle will never be solved from within its confines. Precisely because the apologists of capitalism can never accept this fact, they are forever shifting from one side of the problem to the other.

The Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign organized camps in Multan and Bahawalpur in solidarity with the #Occupy Wall Street movement. The camps continued throughout the day and were attended by large number of youth, workers, students, political and trade union leaders and women who registered themselves and discussed the crisis of capitalism.

The working class is suffering the most in this epoch of economic and political crisis. The courageous workers who raise their voices in defence for their rights are victimized particularly by the goons of the capitalists and sacked from their job most of the times. The same is the case with the workers who were fired by the PARCO (Pak Arab Oil Refinery) administration without any notice as a punishment for forming a union to demand their basic rights.

Events of the Arab Revolution and the movements across Europe and USA have once again vindicated the Marxist positions about the role of youth. It was the youth who initiated these revolutions and movements. Subcontinent and Pakistan have a rich history of the revolutionary role played by the youth. As the “best barometer of society”, the revolutionary youth of Pakistan have realized the need to join hands in their common struggle against oppression, unemployment, fundamentalism, discrimination, costly education and capitalism.

The 18th “Permanent Revolution” convention of Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation was held in Rawalpindi on 28th October in which a big number of students from Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and various cities of Pakistan participated.

The national leadership of the PTUDC including Chairman Riaz Hussain Baloch, Vice Chairman Qamar Uz Zaman Khan, General Secretary Nazar Mengal and Information Secretary Paras Jan embarked on a visit across the country for the unity of the working class. Many activities including labour conferences, seminars on workers’s issues, protest rallies, meetings with delegations of workers and others were held in different cities.

After the revolutionary storms of the Arab Spring and the European Summer we are witnessing a wave of militant protests of the American Fall that began with the Occupy Wall street movement in the United States. The global support with demonstrations in about nine hundred cities across the planet on all the continents shows the discontent and the seething revolt against the rotting capitalist system on a world scale.

The 18th “Permanent Revolution Convention” of the Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation is being held on 28th October in Rawalpindi. A rally will be held on Murree Road in Rawalpindi at 2 p.m. against unemployment, price hikes and privatizations. Later an education session for young students will be held at 4 p.m. After that new cabinet of the JKNSF will be elected.

The duplicity, turmoil and empty facade which characterise present-day politics in Pakistan reflect the malaise that afflicts society and the mayhem within the state. But above all it is the wildly unravelling downward spiral of the economy that is devastating the whole system and society. Its ramifications are glaringly evident in the decline of art, culture, literature, social behaviour, human relations and the psychological distress that has made life miserable for the vast majority of the population.

The website of Militan Indonesia (www.militanindonesia.org), the website of the supporters of the IMT in Indonesia, is two years old. Launched on September 19th, 2009, this website has become one of the main sources for revolutionary Marxist theory in Indonesia.

The management of Coca Cola is using anti-labour measures and forces of repression to attack the rights of the workers in its Gujranwala plant. The Employees Workers Union which is representing the workers is under attack because it is fighting for the rights of workers.

The struggle of the Power Loom workers in Ludhiana, Punjab has escalated with the workers taking the step of starting an indefinite Gherao (encirclement) of the local Labour Offices in order to get the State government to force the employers to cede to their demands. This marks a stepping up of the struggle and shows a firm willingness on the part of the workers to fight until their demands are met.

Nestle Management in Kabirwala, near Khanewal, have attacked the workers for raising their voice against tyranny. The official of the Police, Judiciary and Local Administration are slavishly following the orders of their capitalist masters.

Unilever Management has received many awards internationally for safety in their factories, especially the management are always touting the idea that safety at their R.Y.Khan plant is the best in the world. This, however, is a big lie like so many others told by capitalists around the world. In 2011 alone there were two major accidents at R.Y.Khan. In one accident three fingers of a worker were cut in a machine.

On 3rd October, striking Power Loom workers from various areas of Ludhiana gathered to demonstrate in front of the Labour Department offices for a second time to increase the pressure on local officials to get their demands met. This was the 12th day of the workers’ struggle to get a pay increase to offset the recent rises in inflation and to have labour laws enforced that are part of the Indian constitution. These have yet to be accepted by the employers who are trying their best in order to ignore the plight of the workers.

As if the catastrophic effects of terrorism, flooding, violence, the dengue plague and other innumerable disasters were not enough, the ruling elite and its brash media has hyped up the empty imperialist provocations and vague threats, adding to the mental trauma the masses were already suffering in Pakistan.

The September 30th anniversary commemorating the “failed” 1965 “G30S coup” has come round once again. It was a dark day that changed the fate of the Indonesian toiling masses. The Good Book says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16). The same fate but in reverse befell the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) that was reduced from being the largest Communist party outside the Soviet Union and China to a handful surviving in the underground and in exile. It is no exaggeration to say that the collapse of the PKI transformed the world political order in Indonesia.

For the second time in Nepal since the election of the Constitutional Assembly in 2008, a Maoist is heading the Nepalese government. This time it is Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who has become the new, 35th, Prime Minister of Nepal. But what does this mean for the Nepalese revolution?

The existence of a steel producing giant in a backward country like Pakistan is nothing less than a miracle. The idea of setting up Pakistan Steel was put forward during the era of Ayub Khan (1958-1969) but the US like many other advanced capitalist countries refused to give any kind of assistance, as the creation of any such kind of basic industry in an underdeveloped country was considered a threat to their own exploitative imperialist agendas.

The terrible floods have ravaged Sind yet again this year. Torrential rain poured down on Karachi after a recent spate of unending bloodletting. A peculiar strain of mosquito has wreaked havoc in Lahore. Psychological trauma overwhelms the Punjab, particularly its capital. Baluchistan continues to bleed and the repression of the state is relentless. Pushtoonkhawa find no respite from bombings by the imperialist predators and fundamentalist terror. The misery in Kashmir worsens with every passing day and the dream of freedom fades away further into oblivion.

Gathering in Kolkata on Monday 12th September a joint press meeting was held by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the All India Trade Union Congress and other trade union bodies, where Kali Ghosh (State General Secretary of CITU) and Ramen Pandey (INTUC State General Secretary) denounced the Anti-Labour policies of the Trinamool Congress lead government of West Bengal.

The crisis that has shaken the world economy since 2008 has pushed bourgeois ideologists to desperately seek a solution. They are looking for alternative ways of running their system, seeking to square the circle and maintain capitalism without its inevitable contradictions. As Asia, and China in particular, is doing so well, there is a burgeoning literature about the Chinese model, just as in the past there was so much made of the “Japanese miracle”. In Part One of this article Luca Lombardi looks at the experience of Taiwan.

The political edifice in Pakistan fabricated under the auspices of imperialism, particularly the British, has once again been shaken by the recent outburst of Zulfiqar Mirza, Sindh’s most senior (former) minister.

Societies seething with discontent and deprivation erupt in most peculiar ways. In India’s egregiously unequal society, the recent upheaval, if at all it can be called that, around the right-wing conservative social activist Anna Hazare shows the malaise that has set in in this largest democracy in the world with one of the fastest growing economies.

The Indian economy has undergone a long period of high and sustained growth. It remains a country of huge contradictions, with immense polarisation of wealth. And yet, in spite of all the propaganda about the state being “bad”, without it Indian capitalism could not have developed as it has.

Peace and harmony – the crown jewels of any ruling class in every epoch. On July 9th, a 50-thousand strong demonstration in the heart of Kuala Lumpur robbed the Malaysian ruling class of this peace and harmony. Organized by a coalition of NGOs and civil societies who call themselves the Bersih 2.0 coalition, the rally shook Malaysia to its core.

The mayhem and human slaughter that has been prevalent in Karachi for more than three decades intensifies periodically. Another such wave of this dreadful violence has been unleashed in the recent weeks. However, this gruesome spate of killings and devastation is not the cause but a symptom of the severely diseased social and economic system, the harrowing crisis of which is now nudging society into the throes of barbarism.

The elections for the AJK assembly of Pakistan controlled Kashmir being held recently are perhaps the most unrelated of issues plaguing the Kashmiri youth and the working people on this side of the Line of Control. The ruling elite neither have the resources nor the will to solve any of the burning problems the Kashmiri masses are inflicted with.

The workers at the Nestle plant in Kabirwala are waging a relentless struggle against brutal management which has the support of the local administration, and services of hired goons and yellow press journalists along with huge amounts of money. The workers only have one weapon which is their unity!

On that ill-fated night of July 4th-5th 1977 Pakistan suffered a bloody military coup, the scars of which are still felt today. The coup led by general Zia ul Haq brought in the most vicious and brutal regime ever in the country’s history. The country’s first elected Prime Minister on the basis of adult franchise, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was deposed and incarcerated. In April 1979 he was hanged with the complicity of the judiciary subservient to the army.

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