On March 17, 40 lawyers and at least 10 others were injured when police attacked a gathering of lawyers at the Lahore High Court called by the Lahore High Court Bar Association to discuss a response to the governments suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. On March 9, President Pervez Musharraf had declared Chaudhry as non-functional, which was viewed by many as part of an attempt to quell the judiciary. Lawyers have boycotted the courts and organised hunger strikes and other protests demanding Chaudhrys reinstatement. A nationwide lawyers strike has been called for April 3. The following are excerpts from a March 22 statement by Labour Party Pakistan general secretary Farooq Tariq.
Seventy-three-year-old Aisha Amin, a Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) activist from Shahdra Lahore, was declared dead three days after being listed as missing after the February 18 Delhi-Lahore train bomb blast.
Pakistan’s south-western province of Balochistan has been the site of an intense struggle for self-determination against the federal government. Despite the province being rich in natural resources, the Baloch remain economically marginalised and receive little benefit from development in Balochistan. In its efforts to counter the Baloch struggle, Pakistan’s government has employed summary executions, disappearances, torture and indiscriminate bombing and artillery attack. The first part of this article was published in GLW #692.
Open warfare erupted between Baloch nationalists and the Pakistani military in December 2005 following decades of what the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) described as a simmering insurgency. An HRCP investigation conducted in December 2005 and January 2006 detailed ongoing summary executions, disappearances, torture and indiscriminate bombing and artillery attacks against the people of Pakistans south-western province of Balochistan. Baloch nationalist fighters, mainly from the Bugti and Marri tribes, continue to attack Pakistani military and paramilitary forces and sabotage gas pipelines and other infrastructure on a daily basis.
A fundraising appeal by the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) to raise US$4200 to continue publishing the weekly magazine, Mazdoor Juddojehad (Workers’ Struggle), has been successful.