Pakistani socialist begins speaking tour

Issue 

BY PETER ROBSON
& JIM MCILROY

"The US war on Afghanistan provided no solution to the problems of the region", Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, told a lunchtime meeting at Newcastle University on April 3, as he began a national speaking tour sponsored by the Socialist Alliance. Tariq also addressed an evening meeting, attended by 25 people, in Newcastle on April 3.

On April 5, Tariq addressed an evening meeting attended by 50 people in Brisbane, co-sponsored by the Queensland Council of Unions and the Socialist Alliance.

At each of his three public meetings, Tariq's talk, and the discussion which followed, ranged over a wide area, including the state of the Afghan and Pakistani political scene after the war, and tactics in the struggle against imperialism, military dictatorship and reactionary religious fundamentalism.

"The Taliban has not been destroyed, just driven underground", Farooq told the Brisbane meeting. "Fundamentalism is a monster created by imperialism."

"The fundamentalists are not against the war, they are for more war, but we are for peace", he added at the evening Newcastle meeting. "The Pakistani military government is now stronger, and is implementing the policies of neo-liberal globalisation more ruthlessly than ever."

The LPP and its allies have sought to build an independent peace movement, under the slogans: No to war! No to terrorism! The LPP refused to ally itself with pro-Taliban forces, Tariq noted.

He urged support for the Afghan Workers' Solidarity Campaign, which is assisting the rebuilding of the progressive movement in that devastated country. [See the Activist Calendar on page 23 for Farooq Tariq's public meetings in other cities.]

From Green Left Weekly, April 10, 2002.

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