Pakistan

Pakistan: Baba Jan sentenced to life, barred from Gilgit-Baltistan by-election


Protest against sentencing of Baba Jan at his native village, Nasirabad, in Hunza on June 12. Photo: Awami Workers Party.

Pakistan: Gilgit-Baltistan byelection postponed due to mass support for jailed socialist


Jailed socialist candidate Baba Jan and supporters outside the Supreme Court at Gilgit on 22 May, before police took him back to jail.

Pakistan: Socialist environmentalist runs election campaign from jail

Candidate for the socialist Awami Workers Party (AWP) Baba Jan will contest a May 28 by-election for the assembly of the Pakistani-administered Himalayan territory of Gilgit-Baltistan from his jail cell.

Baba Jan has been described as a climate justice prisoner. In 2010, his home area in Hunza was devastated by climate change-fuelled floods and landslides. A protest movement developed against the misappropriation of relief funds. Police responded with brutality and protesters were killed and arrested.

Pakistan: Demanding land rights is not terrorism

A massive wave of repression against the militant but peaceful peasant movement — the Anjuman Mozareen Punjab (AMP) — is underway. Most of its leadership have been arrested on false charges under anti-terrorist laws. Dozens are missing while more than 50 remain behind bars.

All have been declared “terrorists” by the Okara district police, working hand in hand with the Military Farms administration, which mainly serves military officers.

Pakistani socialist: 'We are fighting for women's liberation'

Sarah Eleazar is a Pakistani journalist and member of the socialist Awami Workers Party (AWP). She co-edits Tajdeed, a left research journal in Urdu.

Eleazar will be a featured guest at the Socialist for the 21st Century conference in Sydney on May 13-15. She spoke with Green Left Radio on Melbourne community station 3CR in March about the fight for women’s liberation and socialism in Pakistan. The first part of an abridged transcript is below.

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Pakistan: Peasants resist violent crackdown


Okara, April 17.

A gathering of thousands of peasants in the Okara District of Punjab, to mark International Peasants Day on April 17, went ahead despite a violent crackdown by the police, paramilitaries and the army. The gathering was organised by the Tenants Association of Punjab (AMP) and supported by the Awami Workers Party (AWP).

After Brussels, putting terrorism in perspective

A series of suicide bombings in Brussels on March 22 killed 35 people, including 3 suicide bombers. Less than a week later, on March 27, a similar attack in Lahore, Pakistan, killed more than twice as many people — at least 75.

The response from media and politicians amply illustrated the truism that Western lives matter more to them than those of people in Third World countries. The amount of reporting and expressions of condolences was, as is the norm, in inverse proportion to the numbers killed.

Pakistan: Paramilitaries kill three striking workers

Protests erupted throughout Pakistan after the shooting dead on the picket line of three striking workers at Karachi Airport on February 2. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees were part of a nationwide strike against the privatisation of the state-owned airline.

One of those killed, Inayat Raza, was a veteran trade unionist and former leader of the left-wing National Students' Federation (NSF) in Karachi in the 1980s.

Australian socialists condemn assassination of Baloch leader by Pakistani state

The following statement was released by Socialist Alliance (Australia) on February 3.

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Socialist Alliance (Australia) condemns the murder by the Pakistani military on January 30 of Dr Mannan Baloch, Secretary General of Baloch National Movement (BNM), and four other BNM members. According to eyewitnesses, the military attacked the house where they were staying with mortar fire, then troops entered and shot each of the occupants in the chest and head. The youngest victim was just 19 years old. All the victims were unarmed.

Middle East hit by record-breaking heat wave

Temperatures across the Middle East this week have soared in an unprecedented heat wave, forcing residents to stay indoors.

In the Iranian city of Basrah, located in the epicentre of the heat wave, temperatures exceeded 48°C for the seventh day in a row on August 1.

On the same day, the Iraq capital of Baghdad sweltered through its fourth consecutive day of temperatures higher than 48 degrees. Governments from both countries have been forced to declare public holidays to protect people from the sweltering temperatures.

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