Pakistan

During the question hour in the National assembly, in a written reply to a question submitted by MNA Lal Chand, the finance minister Ishaq Dar told the house that “from July 2013 to February 2014 the government waived Rs. 320.8 billion to the business class in tax exemptions.” This was actioned in a country whose major social indicators – tax as percentage of GDP, education spending as a percentage of GDP and healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP – are the lowest in the world.

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, the Urdu edition of Marxism and the USA was presented at the National Press Club in Islamabad. The book, written by Alan Woods, was originally published in the United States. The public launch of the book, with the presence of the author, was a highly anticipated event. Comrades and media travelled from across Pakistan to hear Alan Woods present his latest book in Urdu. 300 people packed the hall until there was standing room only, and three television channels covered the event. Special mention must be made of the participation of dozens of hospital workers and nurses who are currently on strike, and who have been subjected to brutal attacks by

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It is rather surprising that the ‘Taliban’ didn’t include Shahbaz Sharif or Rana Sanaullah, along with Imran Khan in the list that would represent them in the ‘peace talks’ with the government. Although Imran Khan appreciated the gesture he could not go ahead to bat for the ‘Taliban’. He was well aware of the futility of these peace talks, in a situation where the present state, the system and the political entities are in a deep crisis.

At least one advantage of Sindh Festival being held in Mohenjo-daro will be that many people will come to learn more about this five thousand old civilization. However, civilization and culture are not limited to music, art and poetry but encompass the mutual relations, habits, feelings, attitudes, social behaviour and many other aspects of life. The most profound expression of culture is its architecture. It not only expresses the art of construction but also reflects the social values, productive relations and socio-economic system prevailing in society.

With the impending partial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan looming closer, some sections of the liberal intelligentsia and the ex-left civil society in Pakistan are tacitly trying to portray US imperialism as a lesser evil in comparison with the Taliban and the fundamentalist terror groups who have wreaked havoc in the region.

As with numerous other political decisions of the present regime, the local bodies’ polls (Local Government Elections) have ended up in a quagmire and once again judicial activism has jumped into the fray exposing the utter indecisiveness and failure of the political elite to resolve anything at all.

Inflation and the prices of basic commodities under the incumbent Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) [PML(N)] government have risen enormously wreaking havoc on the lives of ordinary people. Purchasing power is declining rapidly with the depreciating value of incomes and salaries.

The crisis is spiralling out of control at tremendous speed. The strategists of capital have no clue how to address and find a way out of this economic and social catastrophe.

Today is the third day of strike action by workers at the Master Tiles factory in Gujranwala. After more than 15 years of repression, torture and violation of labour laws at the hands of the owners and management, workers finally managed to get their union registered by the Labour Department.

The incumbent PML (N) regime in Pakistan has announced the biggest ever privatisation of state assets in the history of Pakistan. Sixty eight State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) have been identified to be sacrificed on the altar of aggressive “neo-liberal” capitalism.

There is hardly a day when the news coming out of Pakistan does not have some form of a calamity or trauma with harrowing footage splashing across television screens. Terrorist attacks or suicide bombings, earthquakes, floods, other natural disasters, unbearable price hikes, collective suicides of impoverished families, selling of children and human organs and so many other horrific events have become a norm in this tragic land. It has been years if not decades that the beleaguered masses of this country have had any blissful respite.

As if there were not already excruciating misery for the working classes in Pakistan, the massive rise in electricity tariffs and the prices of petroleum products will wreak havoc on an already impoverished populace of this tragic country.

October 9th marked one year since the serene valley of Swat was suddenly overcome with pain and anguish at the bestial attack on Malala Yousafzai and other schoolgirls in the van taking them home as it rounded at an army checkpoint in the midst of a fundamentalist insurgency.

Within months of coming to power the right-wing government of the Muslim League announced their intentions of privatizing the state owned enterprises. On 13th September it was announced that 26% of the shares of Pakistan International Airline’s would be privatized along with the control of the management of the company. Pakistan Post, Railways, WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) and many others are also on the list for privatisation.