Pakistan

Seventy students turned up to a lecture to listen to Rob Sewell, the editor of Socialist Appeal, speak on the subject of "What is Marxism?" at the Government College University in Lahore.

Yesterday the first meeting was held of the Coordinating Committee of the Pakistan IMT that was elected last weekend at the Unity Conference. The 19 members of the Committee represented every area of the country: Pashtoonkhwa, Kashmir, Islamabad, Taxila/Wah, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Dadu, Karachi and Balochistan.

The second day of the Unity Conference opened with recitals of revolutionary poetry and songs. The enthusiastic mood of yesterday was carried over into today’s session and if anything was even more exhilarating.

“The mood was electric. People were listening so attentively you could hear a pin drop. They were listening not only with their ears but with their heart and soul”. These words by one of the delegates at the Unity Conference express very well the mood of this important meeting, which marks a new beginning for the forces of Marxist Internationalism in Pakistan.

Youth from Jammu Kashmir National Student Federation (JKNSF), Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) and other youth organisations across Pakistan, show solidarity with the struggle of the studends of Jawaharlal Nehru University against the state.

The recent strike in Pakistan’s flag carrier airline, PIA, was a magnificent and extremely significant episode in the history of industrial struggles by the workers in this country’s history.

A total strike at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) started on February 2 nd after state forces opened fire on protesting workers killing at least two. Comrades of the PTUDC [Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign] all over the country had been intervening in the movement almost a month earlier with all the forces at their disposal. Here we provide reports of their intervention.

The PIA workers’ strike has entered its 7th day. Following the murder of three workers by security forces in Karachi last Tuesday, when the workers’ peaceful protest against privatization was brutally attacked, the intensity of the strike has peaked.

The month long strike activity of the PIA workers took a dramatic turn on Tuesday, February 2nd, when the deadline of the Joint Action Committee of the PIA workers to stop flight operation was crossed.

The ongoing process of privatising Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the resistance of pilots and workers has suddenly taken a sharp turn with the eruption of protests and a countrywide strike. The strike and protests are continuing despite government attacks and the vacillations of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) leadership, formed of representatives from the various linked PIA unions, from the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to the ruling PML-N on the one hand and the PPP on the other.

As terrorists struck another educational institution, the attack has stunned even a society where terrorism is not an extraordinary happening. Wednesday`s attack on Bacha Khan University`s Charsadda Campus in which 21 mainly students were killed and more than fifty injured, has raised the two-day death toll to more than 30.