Pakistan: Baloch people fight for national liberation!
Leaflet from the Revolutionary Workers Organization (RCIT-Section in Pakistan), June 2013, www.thecommunists.net
Preface of the Editorial Board: The following leaflet has been published and distributed in June 2013 by the Revolutionary Workers Organization which is thePakistani Section of the RCIT. It deals with the appointment of Dr. Abdul Malik as new Chief Minister of Baluchistan by the federal government dominated by the conservative Muslim League (PML-N). Malik is the leader of the bourgeois-democratic nationalist National Party. Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif hopes to pacify the Baloch people by integrating Malik into the regional government in order to continue the oppression and exploitation of Balochistan.
This appointment – which is a maneuver by the right-wing, pro-imperialist government of Nawaz Sharif to weaken and disorientate the national liberation struggle in Balochistan – has been hailed by various leftists in Pakistan, including the leadership of the thoroughly reformist Awami Workers Party. This demonstrates once more that the AWP leadership is prepared to act as a lackey of the bourgeois state in the ranks of the workers movement.
Balochistan is a geographically large province of Pakistan, covering nearly 44% of the land. It has however only a small population of about 11 million people amongst which the Baloch people constitute the majority. Because of the so-called Durand agreement in 1893 by the imperialist colonial powers, the Baloch people got divided between what is today Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
Baloch were conquered and annexed by the ruling class of Pakistan in 1948. Since then they have risen up five times in armed uprisings against the Pakistani state.
We finish this introduction by quoting from our Action Program for Pakistan:
“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 Baloch people and the government in Quetta. No surprise that the Baloch youth has started the just, armed national liberation struggle for independence again with the support of the Baloch masses. At the leadership of this struggle are revolutionary-nationalist forces like the BLA and tribal leaders.
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!”
(For the English translation see Revolutionary Communism, No. 3, June 2012, pp. 15-26, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/pakistan-action-program)
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Balochistan, Election and Democracy
The situation in Baluchistan is getting worse and worse. This has not changed even after the so-called “historic election” in Pakistan and the appointment of the left-nationalist Dr. Malik as Chief Minister of Baluchistan. Many in the left welcome this decision which was made by Muslim League. They believe that this government is elected by the Baloch people and will be able to eradicate the problems of national oppression. They also think that the Baloch nationalist movement should enter in negotiations with the current government in order to find solutions for the fundamental grievances.
The truth is that this government neither will nor can change anything in Balochistan. The number of missing people and their murder has not declined and is even rising. The military counter-insurgency operations are intensifying and so is the Baloch national movement protesting against it.
The recent elections in Balochistan were a fraud. In accordance with the call of the Baloch national movement the people boycotted the elections. Independent sources report that not more than 3% of the electorate participated. This means that the boycott call by the Baloch nationalists was successful.
The state apparatus and the ruling class are spreading the propaganda that the Baloch national movement is supported by India and the USA. They claim that the movement is part of a conspiracy against Pakistan, that they have no mass support in Balochistan and that they are opposed to social progress and economic development in the province.
The truth is that the Baloch national movement is a genuine movement of the working class, poor’s and youth who are fighting against the national oppression and the plundering of their resources. Given their oppression and lack of perspective, many have illusions that foreign powers might help them but this is not representative for the whole movement.
It is a big lie to claim that the movement is opposed to social progress and economic development. It rather rejects the plundering of the resources of Balochistan and the misery of the ordinary people caused by this robbery.
The Baloch national movement is led by sectors of the middle class youth and some tribal leaders. This needs to be challenged so that the working class becomes the leading force of the liberation struggle. This can only be achieved if socialists participate in the movement and do not ignore it.
Socialists support the national movement of the Baloch people and their goals. We want to unite this movement with the working class in the whole of Pakistan and internationally.