PERVEZ Musharraf has stood down as head of the armed forces and been sworn in a civilian President. Thus he has achieved what he set out to do by imposing a state of emergency on 3 November and sacking the judges who ruled his continuance as President was unconstitutional. Many opponents of his regime remain in jail. Although Musharraf has called elections for 8 January, he has not ended the state of emergency.
Before the state of emergency the socialist party, the Labour Party Pakistan, wanted to stand as part of a loose coalition, the Awami Jamhoori Tehreek (the People’s Democratic Movement).
The program of the AJT was described by the LPP’s General Secretary Farooq Tariq as “mainly an anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist and anti-feudal program [calling for] the abolition of all discriminatory laws against women and minorities”.
From the outside, the alliance seems to include some not very promising political groups — the NWP for instance is not a socialist organisation, the PMKP is an ex-Maoist party, the AT is was a radical nationalist party, that has reportedly, “moved left”.
That all said, the Labour Party Pakistan need and deserve the support of socialists and trade unionists internatioanally. They have launched a financial appeal.
“The funds will help develop the underground work of political and social activists to continue their efforts to build the movement. The donations will enable us to develop the printing material needed for the movement. It will help develop literature and information material for the movement. It will help to coordinate the different activities against the military regime. It will develop more coordinated information spreading to all those interested in the movement.”
Send cheques writtten to Labour Party Pakistan to: Labour Party Pakistan, 40 Abbot Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Or this account: Account name: Labour Party Pakistan, Account number 2679-3 Muslim Commercial Bank Beadon Road, Lahore, Pakistan