Pakistan

Pakistan: 'Left unity a precious gain'

Farooq Tariq, the general secretary of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in Pakistan, will be one of the international guests at the 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance, to be held in Sydney over June 7 to 9. He will speak on “The Struggle for Democracy and Justice in Pakistan” on June 7 at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville. Visit www.socialist-alliance.org for more details.

Ahead of his trip, Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle spoke to Tariq on Pakistani politics.

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Pakistan: Anti-drone activist detained, tortured

It stands to reason that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity have a vested interest in silencing those who speak out against them.

So it is not surprising there has been an intensified campaign of repression in Pakistan against those speaking out against the US bombing campaign in Pakistan's north-west.

The US drone war in tribal areas of Pakistan, initiated by the George Bush Jr administration and dramatically escalated under Barack Obama, is reported to have claimed about 3500 lives since 2004. This includes nearly 1000 civilians unconnected to militant activities.

PHOTOS: Gay man wins reprieve from deportation

Campaigners for equal rights had their first win for 2014 as a Pakistani-born gay man, Ali Choudhry, obtained a temporary deportation reprieve just as nation wide protests began on January 7.

A petition with 120,000 signatures was also handed to the Sydney office of immigration minister Scott Morrison. Later, about 50 protesters staged a "die-in" outside the department of immigration office in Sydney. A protest was also held outside the department of immigration office in Melbourne.

How the West misuses Malala's message

At just 16 years old, Malala Yusufzai is the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. When the Pakistani teenager was shot in her head by Taliban gunmen because she spoke out about her right to education, it sent shock waves around the world.

The Western media took notice. Her attack was used as an excuse by Western media and governments to justify the invasion of Afghanistan.

Malala is a courageous young woman, whose brave example in the face of barbaric violence is being used to justify the barbaric military violence associated with the occupation of Afghanistan.

Pakistan: 'Anti-terrorism' court jails left-wing activists for peaceful protest

A terrible disaster unfolded in 2010 in the Hunza Valley in Gilgit Baltistan (a formerly self-governing territory occupied by Pakistan since 1948). For protesting for people's rights in the aftermath of this disaster, three left-wing activists have been sentenced to 10 years jail.

In July 2010, a huge landslide blocked the Hunza River and formed a gigantic 19 kilometre-wide lake, which submerged four villages. About 25 people lost their lives and 6000 people were displaced.

Gilgit Baltistan wants end to Pakistani occupation, activist says

Mirza Abdul Salam, former Rawalpindi/Islamabad president of the Balawaristan National Student Organisation (BNSO), is now studying in Sydney. He is keen to do what he can to let the world know about the plight of his people in the remote nation of Gilgit Baltistan, which has been occupied by Pakistan since 1948.

Before the independence and partition of India in 1947, Gilgit Baltistan was occupied by the British-supported feudal rulers of Kashmir. Bordering Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, and India, the area is claimed by both Pakistan and India.

Pakistan: Elections a win for the right

A right-wing wave swept Pakistan in the May 11 general elections. At the federal level, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) will form the government having won 35% of the vote.

Former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf, came second with 19% of the vote and surprised many. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the ruling party for the past five years, came third with only 15% ― thanks to Sindh where it was able to fetch most of its votes.

Severe air pollution chokes Pakistan

Air pollution is an emerging environmental issue in the big cities of Pakistan. Dust and smoke particles in Pakistan are generally twice the world average and five times higher than in the developed world.

Though some of the pollution comes from natural sources, most is the result of human activities. The biggest causes are fossil fuel-burning power plants and cars.

Combined, these two sources are responsible for about 90% of all air pollution. The most serious issue relating to air pollution in Pakistan is the presence of excessive suspended particulates matter (SPM).

GREEN LEFT TV: Killings of Shia in Pakistan now 'genocide'

Najeeba Wazefadost came to Australia as a child refugee in September 2000 by a perilous journey by boat. She is now president of Hazara Women of Australia and I interviewed her for Green Left TV at a 500-strong Hazara community demonstration in the centre of Sydney on February 20 to protest the ongoing massacres of Shia in Pakistan.

See the GLTV video and photos of the protest below.

Pakistan: No justice for workers in fire deaths

Minister of State for Finance Saleem Mandviwalla confirmed on January 23 that murder charges against the owners of the Baldia Town factory that caught fire on September 11 last year had been withdrawn. The investigation officer was also changed.

On January 24, there was no general strike. The apparent silence of the working class was a result of the systematic targeting of unions by the state apparatus.

With over 259 workers killed in the fire, the final death toll is still unavailable.

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