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Home page > 1. IV Online magazine > IV393 - October 2007 > 9. Benazir urged to change her strategy of cooperation with the military (...)
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Pakistan

Benazir urged to change her strategy of cooperation with the military regime

Labour Party Pakistan general secretary press conference in Lahore - Suicidal attacks will solve nothing, but be used by the military regime to ban rallies and civil liberties

Saturday 20 October 2007, by Farooq Tariq

Farooq Tariq general Secretary Labour Party Pakistan and secretary Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (peasant coordination committee) addressed a press conference today on 19th October at Lahore Press Club. They expressed solidarity with and deep sorrow for the families of those who died during a suicidal attack in Karachi on 18th October during the rally of Pakistan Peoples Party.

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Farooq Tariq, green shirt, left

“On the eve of return of Benazir Bhutto, this suicidal attack is a warning note to all the democratic forces in Pakistan. It is an attack on civil liberties, right of association and assembly. This attack is to terrify people struggling to get rid of militarism and religious fundamentalism. Such attacks are the result of a calculated game of eliminating the opponents. It is fascist tactics and we condemn in strongest terms” Farooq Tariq declared at a crowded press conference.

“Unfortunately, we are postponing our nationwide campaign against feudalism and for land reforms because of the prevailing dangerous situation. On 22nd October, various political parties and peasant organizations had decided to organize demonstration in over 16 cities of Pakistan against feudalism. The decision to organize a day of action on 22nd October was taken in a peasant assembly at Karachi on 9th October 20076. Over 500 participated in the assembly from different labour and peasant organization with the help of Action Aid Pakistan. We are postponing it for the time being but are issuing our declaration on land reforms today” he said.

Farooq Tariq presented a five-page declaration demanding political parties to include in their manifesto to end of feudalism and introduce land reform as a top priority. “Feudalism with the help of the military regime is on the offensive, we must fight to end this age old primitive reactionary system” Farooq Tariq said.

While commenting on the incident, he told the reporters that suppressing religious fundamentalism by military means only helps to promote it. Violence against violence is no solution. The American and NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are a center of gravity and hence there is a lot of reaction against the occupation. To stop the growing acts of suicidal attacks in Pakistan, we have to look the basic reasoning behind it and find a political solution rather a military solution.

Farooq Tariq said “the bombing of Red Mosque in Islamabad during July 2007 and the recent bombing of the tribal areas of Pakistan where hundreds have lost their lives has resulted a great anger among the youth. Many of them have opted to take a route of suicidal attacks in revenge. Suicidal attacks are a miscalculation by religious fundamentalists who believe that it is the only way to teach the imperialists a lesson. Imperialist forces and their agents in Pakistan will not be silenced by these suicidal attacks, on the contrary ordinary citizens of Pakistan will be met by more repressive laws and restrictions to their civil liberties. The religious fundamentalists are presenting an excuse for ban on public rallies. This is a most serious threat to all the democratic forces in Pakistan that is been faced by this suicidal attack”.

“We also appeal to Benazir Bhutto to change her political strategy of a peaceful transition from military rule to democracy by cooperation with the military regime. There can be no good for the people of Pakistan if Benazir Bhutto goes on the same way as general Musharaf. The implementation of neo liberal agenda by General Musharaf is not being challenged by Benazir Bhutto, on the contrary, she is trying her best to make the American imperialists believe that she can do a better job than General Musharaf. She is going a step ahead of General Musharaf in toeing the policies of the American imperialism in the region” Farooq Tariq said during the press conference.

“We must fight against religious fundamentalism and militarization. They both are enemies of the working class; both are against women’s rights, minority rights and human rights in general. Both are against the right to assembly and right of free expression. Benazir Bhutto must not cooperate with the military regime; she must come back to the radical traditions of her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto” Farooq Tariq pleaded. He said that we are with PPP workers aspirations of a radical change and for an end of military regime.

“General Musharaf regime should take full responsibility of this incident and resign immediately. We demand an interim government based on trade unions, social organizations and political parties to hold an immediate general elections. Let the people of Pakistan decide who will be their representatives. The military solutions have failed miserably. They have endangered the lives of millions and people are facing an uncertain future,” Farooq Tariq demanded during the press conference.