Revolutionary Struggle for Democracy! Down with the all-powerful military! For a revolutionary Constitutional Assembly!
The struggle for democracy takes a central place in the class struggles in Pakistan. During half of the country’s history the military ruled by an open dictatorship and the rest it operated as a very powerful player in politics.
In some provinces the army is conducting open civil war against oppressed nationalities. In other parts various agencies of the state apparatus try to intimidate oppositional activists.
But democracy is much more than the right to put a paper in a box every few years. It means control over all aspects of the society and is therefore linked with the question of control over the economic property.
* Down with all-powerful Military! Abolish the presidency! Dissolution of the secret service ISI!
* For a radical purge of the state apparatus! For the complete screening of all state officials and their actions - especially police, army, intelligence, administration, legal, enterprise directors, etc. - under the control of workers and peasants councils!
* Defense of the right to strike, freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of political and union organizing, as well as the freedom to make use of all communication and information media!
* Freedom for all political prisoners!
* Radical democratization of the administration and jurisdiction: election and possibility to recall of the entire administrative apparatus by the people! Trial by jury for all crimes and misdemeanors! Abolition of judicial office and replacement by jurisdiction by a jury under the advice of legally qualified experts!
* For the extension of local self-government!
* No to police and surveillance state! Against expanding the powers of police and courts! For the replacement of the apparatus of repression by workers' and people's militia!
Since the constitution of the country was elaborated and agreed by the tiny political elite and there is obvious massive dissent amongst the masses about the constitution, the working class, the poor peasants and the urban poor must fight for a revolutionary Constitutional Assembly. We don’t want a Constitutional Assembly convened by the ruling elite as part of their gamble to keep power. We fight for a Constitutional Assembly as a result of an uprising of the workers, poor peasants and urban poor fighting for power and which is protected by their armed units! In such a Constitutional Assembly Marxists will fight for a revolutionary program.
Support the national liberation struggles of oppressed peoples! For an Azad, Socialist Kashmir! For an Azad, Socialist Baluchistan!
The struggle for national liberation is one of the most important issues of the class struggle in Pakistan today. Pakistan is a prison-house for the oppressed nationalities. The ruling class is and always was Punjabi-dominated despite the fact that the Punjabis constitute just 42% of the country’s population. They made their language – Urdu – the official state language despite the fact that when Pakistan state was founded, not more than 10% of the population spoke Urdu.
Since then four armed uprisings of the 6,5 million Balochi people – who have demanded their own state since the 1920s and achieved it for a brief period in the 1940s – have been brutally suppressed. In 2005 the fifth Uprising of the Balochi people started which last till today. Tens of thousands of Balochis have been killed or disappeared Their natural resources are exploited without any benefits for the local population. Mega projects like the construction of a huge port in Gwadar by the Army in cooperation with the new imperialist power China takes place without the involvement of the Balochi people and the government in Quetta. No surprise that the Balochi youth has started the just, armed national liberation struggle for independence again with the support of the Balochi masses. At the leadership of this struggle are revolutionary-nationalist forces like the BLA and tribal leaders.
The Pashtun tribes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA are particularly heavily suppressed since the Pakistan army helps the US imperialist troops in their effort to subjugate Afghanistan. Since 2001 tens of thousands of the Pashtun poor have been killed and millions displaced. As a result a just resistance struggle has begun against the Pakistani state forces and the US imperialists which is combined by the struggle of poor and landless peasants against the greedy landlords. Unfortunately this just struggle is partly led by forces like the Taliban who try to exploit this struggle for their arch-reactionary Islamist agenda.
In Kashmir the people have been artificially divided since the terrible partition in 1947. The Kashmiris in the Indian occupied part are heavily suppressed in particular since the armed insurrection after the rigged election in 1987 by the Indian army which resulted in the death of at least 30.000 people. Recently another Kashmir intifada has started. Our brothers and sisters in the Pakistani-controlled “Azad Kashmir” are living not in freedom but in a militarized zone.
The Punjabi chauvinists and all open reactionaries denounce the desire of the oppressed people in Balochistan, Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA etc. for national self-determination. They insist that Pakistan must be a united state. They even claim that Pakistan is the state of the Muslims in South Asia – ignoring the fact that 2/3 of the Muslims in the subcontinent lives outside of Pakistan.
The answer of the liberals and petty-bourgeois left-wing parties is a verbal solidarity with the oppressed people and calls for an end of discrimination and sometimes even for the right of self-determination.
However it is not sufficient to support the right of national self-determination since it can mean many different things. Since decades even the imperialist powers-dominated, hypercritical institution called “United Nations” is endorsing the nations “right of self-determination”.
The only correct application of the Marxist program of national liberation in the tradition of the Bolshevik party under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky is the following. We fight for a unity of the different people and in the end for the amalgamation of the different nations. While this is only possible in a long process after the successful world-wide revolution and the establishment of socialism we already need now the closest possible unity of the workers and peasants of the different nationalities to fight against our common enemy – the ruling class of Pakistan and the imperialist powers. However such a unity is possible only on a completely voluntary basis and a perspective which combines the struggle for full democratic rights and for socialism.
To achieve this, the first precondition is that the Punjabi workers win the trust of their class brothers and sisters of the oppressed nationalities in Pakistan. For this it is necessary that they break any political and ideological links with the peoples-prison house called Pakistan. The Punjabi workers must unconditionally support the national liberation struggle of the Balochis, Kashmiris, Pashtuns etc.
The working class has to be the leading force in this struggle which draws into the struggle the peasants and urban poor. To achieve its leading role it has to fight politically against the leadership of the tribal leaders and various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois forces. It has to oppose any form of nationalism since the enemy of the oppressed nationalities are not the Punjabi class brothers and sisters but the ruling, capitalist class and their state.
We support the struggle for independence where it is clear that the majority of the oppressed people wish for it (which is the case in Kashmir and Balochistan). We combine the slogan for independence with a socialist perspective since only an independent state lead by a workers government based on the poor peasants and urban poor can bring real liberation.
* For a united Azad, Socialist Kashmir! For an Azad, Socialist Baluchistan!
Our goal is a socialist federation of the people. Such a federation will not focus on the present Pakistan state which is only an artificial construct, created by an unholy alliance of British imperialism, the Muslim League and the Indian Congress party. A federation should attempt to both overcome the results of the partition and unite South Asia but also bring together the other people who have been split by the imperialists and who live today in Afghanistan, Iran etc.
At the same time we call on the workers movement and all organisations of the oppressed to fight for the democratic demands against the Punjabi-dominated state.
We fight for full equality of all national groups and migrants:
* Equal wages for migrant and national minority workers!
* Against the state language – for full equality of the languages of all nations in court, in the media, in the educations system! Education must be offered to oppressed people in their mother language!
* For local self-government and autonomy for all areas where discriminated national and ethnic groups live.
* Our goal is revolutionary integration – the unity of the workers and peasants from all different nations to fight together against the ruling class and for the socialist liberation.
Amongst oppressed nationalities we fight against all nationalist forces which preach national hatred against other national groups instead of differentiating between the oppressor and the oppressed, the rulers and the ruled amongst each nation. We fight the rulers and oppressors and try to win the solidarity of the ruled and oppressed.
We condemn all those who formally support the oppressed nationalities right of self-determination in words but fail to support the concrete struggle of these people against the Pakistan state under their current (non-revolutionary) leadership. We also condemn those who don’t raise the slogan of independence despite the clear articulation of the oppressed people that they wish so (like e.g. the Balochis). We also reject those who raise the slogan of independence (for Kashmir for example) only in combination of a socialist federation which gives them the pretext not to support the present-day struggle of the masses which in their consciousness does not have the goal of a socialist federation. Finally we reject any attempt of imperialist forces to exploit the suffering of oppressed nations for their own geostrategic interests (see e.g. Dana Rohrabacher’s resolution in the US Congress).
* For a socialist federation of workers and peasant republics in South Asia and beyond!
No to chauvinism and war-mongering!
The Pakistani ruling class has a long history of fostering hatred against other people and states. Three times it was involved in wars with India. The RWO fights for international brotherhood of the people of South Asia. We oppose the nationalist war-mongering of the governments in Pakistan and India. In the three wars revolutionaries took a revolutionary defeatist position – they stood for the defeat of their own government in both countries. Our goal is a socialist federation of South Asia!