Awami Workers Party: ‘All progressive, secular and democratic forces must stand together, under the banner of radical peace, justice and equality’

March 29, 2016 at 11:45 am (anti-fascism, Human rights, Pakistan, posted by JD, secularism, socialism, solidarity)

Awami Workers Party
عوامی ورکرز پارٹی

AWP Press Statment on Another Attack by Far Right on Christians and Democracy in Pakisatn

Haryali ko aankhen tarsen bagiya lahoo luhan
Pyar ke geet sunaoon kis ko shehar hue weeran
Bagiya lahoo luhan

– Habib Jalib

In the past many years, the Awami Workers Party has mourned and condemned many attacks. Today, we sit heartbroken, condemning yet another.

Yesterday, more than 72 women, children and men were killed, and more than 200 injured, in a suicide bombing in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Bagh. In a city and a country where the rich can afford private security to protect their families – they do not have to leave the comfort of their guarded homes to have Sunday picnics – Gulshan-e-Bagh was a garden for the rest of us. It is a place for those of us who cannot afford the luxuries of private security, and a space where we could bring our working- and middle-class families – our children, our partners, our parents and our grandparents – to laugh and to love in the open. Last night, our daughters and sons died, and so many of our loved ones are marred for life. There are no words for the dark loss of those who no longer have a mother or a father, a sister or a brother, a daughter or a son. Our hearts bleed for the dead and the wounded. PMLN (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the governing party of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) must realize the fact that this fire will also spread to PMLN’s Lahore!

The Awami Workers Party calls for the unity of all those who stand in shock and condemnation in the face of this attack. This unity is all the more important as more than 20,000 men, wedded to the politics of the Islamist far right, have descended upon the capital, with demands that threaten to change our lives and the lives of those we love forever. They want to impose shariah law; fully implement the blasphemy law; hang Asia Bibi and others committed for blasphemy; expunge Ahmadi Muslims and secular people from positions within the state; and much, much more.

We have stood by for decades as the state and military have fostered Islamist forces to serve their personal and political ends within the domestic and the foreign sphere. We have stood by as the state and the army have consistently blamed “foreign powers” – be it RAW (India’s Intelligence Agency), CIA or (the Israeli) MOSSAD – and turned the guns on our own people, putting the blame for problems they have created on the shoulders of the poor and the vulnerable – be they Pashtuns, Baloch, Sindhi, Punjabi, Siraiki, or others. The state and the military will use this attack as an excuse to further feed the cycle of violence, by pretending they are separate from the Islamist forces that they born and bred over so many years. This will be a mistake. We cannot allow the military establishment, their subsidiary militants and the parties of the far right to define and drive the agenda concerning the safety of our loved ones, and of the masses at large. It is time to carve out a new narrative of radical peace and equality from the ruins of our violent past.

All the progressive, secular and democratic forces must stand together, under the banner of radical peace, justice and equality for all.

Awami Workers Party
(The AWP was  formed in November 2012, as a merger of the Labour Party Pakistan, the Awami Party Pakistan and the Workers Party Pakistan. The party’s programme was designed to bring together the struggles of workers, peasants, students, women and ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan under the banner of democratic and socialist politics).

H/t: Jim Monaghan, commentining BTL at Tendance Coatesy

9 Comments

  1. Steven Johnston said,

    “All the progressive, secular and democratic forces must stand together, under the banner of radical peace, justice and equality for all.”

    Surely that is the banner that everyone claims to stand under?

    “We have stood by for decades as the state and military have fostered Islamist forces to serve their personal and political ends within the domestic and the foreign sphere. We have stood by as the state and the army have consistently blamed “foreign powers””

    Seriously, they mean they have done nothing, just stood by and watched it happen without any condemnation?

    “We cannot allow the military establishment, their subsidiary militants and the parties of the far right to define and drive the agenda concerning the safety of our loved ones, and of the masses at large.”

    Brother, I got news for you, that is exactly what they are going to do and woe betide anyone that gets in their way.

    “It is time to carve out a new narrative of radical peace and equality from the ruins of our violent past.”

    After decades of standing by doing nothing what are you going to do and who will listen to you? Those that oppose you will surely put up a fight and as they have the state behind them, they will win.

    • Jim Denham said,

      What a stupid comment, Steven! Surely you understand that

      a/ In this context, it is plainly *not* the case that “everyone” in Pakistan stands “under the banner of radical peace, justice and equality for all.” That’s the entire point of the statement, and it’s self-evidently true.

      b/ Your literalist reading of the words (which are probably translated) ““We have stood by for decades” is a rhetorical reference to the Pakistani people in general, not the AWP, whose constituent organisations (especially the Labour Party Pakistan) have a courageous record in fighting the state and the Islamists.

      You should engage your brain before commenting, Steven.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Well I wish them luck in defeating those that don’t stand under this banner!
        I hope they, those that don’t stand under that banner, don’t have the guns.
        Or else standing together against them will present an easier target to shoot!

  2. Rilke said,

    I can offer Steven’s reply for him:

    “Unless we have socialism as the complete and immediate result and answer, it is pointless. We do not have socialism, ergo, it is pointless.This horror would be solved by socialism, but we don’t have it, therefore any other position is, err, pointless. Capitalism is to blame for all this and should be replaced by socialism, which we do not have, therefore it will continue. Marx believed in socialism, I believe in socialism, therefore I am a Marxist, although of course we do not have it, therefore my position can be summarised as, ‘the pointless socialist’. I am a literalist and when Marx writes of ‘workers losing their chains’ it is clear that not every working person was actually in ‘chains’ in nineteenth century Europe, therefore Marx was not as smart as me. Goodbye.”

    Heh heh hehe….

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Maybe Marx was a Rilke ist!

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Has he written a “what Marx really meant” style books?

  3. Rilke said,

    …heh heh heh…poor Steven and Glasgow, both punctuation-ally challenged.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Why?

      • Steven Johnston said,

        At least we are not as naive enough to believe you can have, snicker, “radical peace, justice and equality for all.”under capitalism, let alone stand under that banner.

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