Pakistan

[This article was written on Friday 6 of November] Today, three days after the collapse of a factory in Lahore’s Sunder Industrial Estate, dozens of people remain buried under the rubble and the authorities have failed to remove the debris and rescue the injured or retrieve the dead bodies of the workers

As the din goes on of the media-based politics that the moneyed political elite so adores, and the petit-bourgeois hordes scramble in an orgy of lobbying the pseudo “experts” of the different factions, the oppressed masses in the depths of society look on with a passive indifference.

True to its cause of serving the interests of rotten Pakistani capitalism, the current PML (N) regime has unleashed aggressive neoliberal policies—making the rich even richer and the oppressed imperilled to a fierce socioeconomic onslaught—with impunity.

The PTUDC organized a historic labour convention in the industrial city of Sialkot on Sunday the 13 of September. Sialkot is famous for exporting sports goods and surgical instruments to all over the world. Footballs used in the world cup and other important events are manufactured here by the poor, skilled labourers of Sialkot who work under very difficult conditions.

On Saturday 5 September, whilst the Pakistani ruling class celebrated a war and praised its general, the  workers in the Badar 313 factory near Gujranwala were suffering the hellish conditions of capitalism

A three-day strike by workers of the Forward Gear in Sialkot, Punjab has ended in victory as they have won their demands. The workers have won around 15% increment in their salaries, all sacked workers reinstated, and management has accepted their union Forward Gear Workers’ Union CBA as the true representative of workers in the company. During the three days of the strike hundreds of workers took part and achieved a total work stoppage. This is an important victory for workers in the Pakistani trade union movement and important lessons can be drawn from it.

A Marxist Summer School took place in Rawalakot, Kashmir from 8 to 10 August. More than 250 comrades from across Pakistan and Kashmir travelled rough roads in harsh economic conditions to attend the school.

While the masses have been toiling and trying their utmost to come to terms with heat, dust, humidity, unrelenting power outages, price hikes, poverty etc., the elite has been busy hurling accusations and counter allegations against each other in a theatre of the absurd. This has become almost a summer ritual which takes place every year.

The mass deaths of more than a thousand in Karachi and other regions by the sweltering heat wave have once again brought to the fore the catastrophic state of infrastructure which exists in Pakistan. The agonising dearth of electricity supplied to society in a country where the power production capacity is more than the consumption needs is a gruesome tragedy caused mainly by power cuts. It is the work of corporate power barons plundering the people's wealth and not producing electricity in order to enhance their rate of profit. Their callous and brutal character nakedly stands exposed. It is treason against more than 200 million people. The political leaders and the strongmen of this

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With 78% of the population living below the poverty line, 66% facing food insecurity, almost 100 million without access to safe water and just under 94 million without access to adequate sanitation, for most sensible people, Pakistan’s 2015-16 budget should present a huge problem for leaders of the country.

The Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign is fully geared for massive May Day activities in more than 70 cities and towns in Pakistan.

There was a great pomp and show. There was a din of “eternal Pakistan-China friendship” broadcast from every media channel and newspaper incessantly for almost two days. A Chinese head of state was paying a desperately awaited visit to Pakistan for the first time in many years.

The strategy of investment is the core economic policy of Pakistan’s political elite and our domineering intelligentsia. They portray investment as the only means of growth and development, a way to generate employment and to alleviate and poverty. This would be hilarious nonsense were it not so devastating for the working masses.

The Pakistani masses have reacted very negatively to the prospects of becoming an accomplice in the Saudi Monarchy’s brutal aggression against Yemen. This response has shocked Pakistan’s ruling elite, the state’s bosses, the media and the intelligentsia. Even some in the media have dared to reveal the vicious character of the despotic Saudi regime and its atrocious treatment of more than 2.5 million Pakistani immigrant workers banished into slavery and drudgery by these tyrannical monarchs

The crisis in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has now reached its very peak, with a feud erupting between long-time friends and close allies, former minister Zulfiqar Mirza and the party’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. This struggle marks a bitter fight for the leadership involving Zardari’s and Benazir Bhutto’s own son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has recently entered the political scene as PPP chairman. The party’s mass roots and support among the working class have been severely undermined by the extreme corruption of the leadership and many years spent in office carrying out pro-imperialist and neo-liberal policies. Here is Lal Khan’s take on these events.