Once again Pakistan has become the focus of world attention. Every day there is news about the latest suicide attack or military operation, with killings, injuries and displaced communities.
The attack on Sri Lankan cricket team at Liberty Chouck, Lahore on March 3 left eight policemen dead and six Sri Lankan cricket players injured in firing that lasted 25 minutes.
Thousands across Pakistan celebrated the humiliating departure of dictator Pervez Musharraf on August 18.
More than 10,000 peasants rallied on August 4 in Okara, Punjab demanding the withdrawal of false charges of murder against the leaders of Tenant Association of Punjab (AMP).
On June 24, more than 10,000 workers picketed a power loom factory in Sadhar Faisalabad for more than eight hours. They were demanding the arrest of the owner of the factory and his gangsters.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) victory in the constituent assembly elections held on April 10 is a great step forward for the forces of the left in the region and internationally. The masses voted for those with no experience of elections but with full experience of fighting for basic rights.
It seems that the reign of General Pervez Musharraf is on its last legs. Musharraf has become the most detested president in the history of Pakistan. No longer are there progressives, liberals or moderates in his camp.
On December 9, 72-year-old Abdullah Qureshi, a member of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) provincial council of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), was murdered in a suicide attack in Swat valley currently the scene of a military operation against religious fundamentalists who control a majority of the valley.
Day seven passed without my arrest despite several attempts by the police. During the last three days, we were able to hold a meeting of the leading members of Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), gave interviews to private television channels and to a private team working for CNN. We were able to fax daily news to most of the newspapers in Pakistan.
General Pervez Musharraf would have not expected the political scenario that has emerged after five days of martial law, imposed on November 3. His hopes for achieving normality have been dashed, despite using the most vicious repression against the advocates (lawyers) and political activists. More unpleasant surprises are still to come for the military regime, which was used to relatively stable political control until now.
Today is my second day in underground life. On November 3, when General Musharaf declared a state of emergency and suspended the constitution, I was in Toba Tek Singh, a city around four hours from Lahore. This was to attend a meeting to prepare for the Labour Party Pakistan’s fourth national conference. The conference is scheduled to be held on November 9-11 in the city. Posters welcoming the delegates were printed and an invitation card to supporters for the open session of the conference was ready as well.
November 7, 2007 -- On the third day of my underground period, I escaped arrest by seconds. It was because of inexperience. We live in a society full of high-tech methods to find a person.
The following call for unity among left-wing forces was issued by Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP).
On March 8, no-one in Pakistan would have thought a mass movement would erupt in the near future with the potential to overthrow the regime of general Pervez Musharraf. A day later, Musharraf suspended Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, with the illusion that nothing would happen and business would go on as usual.
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.