Pakistan

The latest strike of the young doctors has not only shaken the healthcare system in the Punjab but has laid bare its extreme decay and the callousness of the ruling elite towards the wellbeing of ordinary people. There have been a series of doctors’ strikes in the recent period particularly in the Punjab. Above all this exposes the rapid decline of the living conditions of professionals and the pauperisation of the once relatively prosperous middle classes.

The deposition of a relatively feeble chief executive by the hyper-swanked judiciary is yet another episode in the ongoing internecine conflicts between the different sections of the state to protect the interests of Pakistan’s ruling classes.

Unleashing of one scandal upon another of the scandalous Pakistani ruling class has almost become a norm in this society, ravaged by the disastrous crisis of a diseased capitalist system. It’s not just the corrupt and criminal nature of the elite that is being exposed but the decay and despicable conditions of the state and society are becoming more evident for the masses to comprehend.

The rapid deterioration of the relations and the seething though muted hostility between the US and Pakistan is due to the closing of the NATO supply route through the latter’s territory by the partner in the “war on terror”. What is being demanded, along with other things, is the increase in transit charges for NATO trailers from $250 to $5000.

Pakistan has one of the largest numbers of internet users in world despite its crumbling economy, rotten infrastructure and political & social instability. This is a striking example of “uneven and combined development” under capitalism in so called third world countries. The development of the new website of The Struggle tendency is a step forward for the work of the IMT in this country.

The exceptionally pro capitalist (2012-13) budget with large scale tax exemptions and benefits for the rich is a deceptive trap for the working classes whose blood, sweat and tears will be squeezed even more with the burgeoning crisis of Pakistani capitalism. In the recent period the masses have lost interest and suspense in the budget presentation ritual. This revulsion and distrust towards the asseverations of the ruling politicians and bureaucrats over the last period is not without a cause. Annual budgets have become a farcical exercise.

The brutal firing and gruesome killings at a rally in Karachi is yet another episode that epitomises the downward spiral into which the society and the state is unravelling disastrously. Under the deafening din of democracy, reconciliation, rule of law and independent judiciary, the economic meltdown is taking its toll on the beleaguered masses of this unfortunate land in the form of escalating violence, crime and bloodshed.

Although the sixty-five years of Pakistan’s existence have been marred by instability and crisis, now even from Pakistan’s dismal standards the turbulence and conflagration has reached unforeseen heights. In the last few years’ violence, apathy, hyperinflation, sprawling poverty and callousness have acquired unprecedented proportions.

The recent pilgrimage-linked Indian sojourn of President Zardari has been puffed up by the mainstream media. The Islamists and the extreme right wing, as usual, condemned it. Reactionary politics infested with hatred, prejudice, chauvinism and bigotry could not have come up with any other opinion. On both sides of the divide, this hostile crusade serves the interests of sections of the elite and the state.

It is often said that necessity is the mother of all invention. However, if we look at the masses on a vast scale in society it turns into its opposite. Most inventions become a necessity on a wider scale once people become aware of their benefits and end up becoming dependent on them. At that stage these inventions adopt the characteristic of social necessity.

The state in Pakistan is on the verge of collapse and basic infrastructure is crumbling. Pakistan Post is a key institution on which a lot still depends in the daily routine of common people. But this institution is suffering heavily due to the irresponsible behaviour of the Ministry of Post and its bureaucracy.

The Jammu Kashmir People's Students' Federation and the All-Pakistan Progressive Youth Alliance jointly held a public meeting in Rawlakot on 4 April to commemorate the Death Anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was assassinated by Martial Law Dictator General Zia ul Haq.

With the economy in a shambles and with a crumbling infrastructure, Pakistani society is unravelling into an unprecedented abyss of devastation. Education and health are the most important sectors of the social infrastructure that are vital in the socio-economic development of society. With the exception of the 1973-74 budget when the Pakistan People’s Party came to power on the back of the revolutionary upheaval of 1968-69 that had developed an enormous pressure from below for radical reforms, health and education have been the most neglected sectors by the country’s ruling elite.

Management is using the yellow “pocket” union to attack dismissed workers in Rahim Yar Khan. On 5 April nearly 150 goons of the pocket union, which is also the CBA, attacked the sit in organized by the dismissed workers with iron rods and hockey and cricket bats.

Unilever in Pakistan is continuously taking anti-worker measures and ignoring the law in order to increase its exploitation of the workers increase its rate of profit as much as possible. Court orders and decisions are being crushed under the boots while national and international labour laws are being violated openly. The workers who produced the net profit of 46.6% this year for the multinational are now being squeezed more and more.