The Pro-Bourgeois Opportunism of LIS/MST

The Pro-Bourgeois Opportunism of LIS/MST (Part 1, Ukraine)

Oleg Vernik – the LIS’s man of dirty politics in the Ukraine

By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14 June 2023,


The MST (Argentina) is the leading force of the International Socialist League (ISL or LIS by its Spanish-language acronym), an international Trotskyist organization. It is part of FITu for four years – an alliance of four Trotskyist parties which was founded in 2011 and which has a number of deputies in national and regional parliaments.

Currently, the MST leadership is engaged, jointly with PO, in a vicious struggle against the PTS and IS for domination of FITu. While the PTS is the largest force within the alliance and the leading section of the Fracción Trotskista (FT), IS is the leading section of Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores – Cuarta Internacional (UIT-CI).

While there is certainly an element of bureaucratic in-fighting involved in this conflict, it also has an important political component. PTS and IS want to keep the character of FITu which is, despite significant centrist weaknesses of its leadership’s policy, a political expression of the radicalisation of the Argentinean workers vanguard.

In contrast, PO and MST try to push FITu to the right. In essence, their goal is to transform FITu’s character from a force of class independence into a broad alliance including (petty-)bourgeois populist and Stalinist forces.

This is why our comrades in Convergencia Socialista (RCIT section in Argentina) support the campaign of PTS and IS, despite the political criticism which they have of these organisations. Our comrades will also stand candidates on their list for the upcoming national election in October 2023. [1]

Our Argentinean comrades have already published several articles in which they criticise the political project behind the campaign of PO/MST. [2]

Such a push of the MST towards (petty-)bourgeois populism is not surprising. It has a long history of collaborating not only with petty-bourgeois but even with outright bourgeois figures, including at elections. [3]


The criminal past of Oleg Vernik


In this article, we will show that such an extreme opportunism is a profound characteristic of the MST and its international organisation. This can be seen not only by its practice in Argentina but also in other countries. In this part, we will look at the LIS/MST affiliates in the Ukraine.

As we did already show somewhere else, the Ukrainian section of LIS is well-known for its outrageous practice. Its dominating figure is Oleg Vernik – a notorious figure in international Trotskyism.

He was the key figure behind a criminal enterprise in 2000-03. At that time, he and his co-conspirators contacted about a dozen international Trotskyist organisations as well as a group of supporters of Gaddafi – the late long-time dictator in Libya. They pretended to be the respective section of all these groups (of course under different names so that the latter don’t find out the fraud).

In this way, they succeeded to steal thousands of dollars from well-meaning left-wing people in Western countries by faking the existence of various socialist “organizations” in the Ukraine. There exists even a separate Wikipedia entry about this fraud. [4]


Unprincipled alliances with bourgeois reformists and contact with fascists


Today Vernik and his group are members of LIS. However, they continue to act in a completely unprincipled and outrageous manner. Such, Vernyk and his “trade union” are members of the bourgeois-reformist “Progressive International”. [5] This is an international organisation whose most prominent representatives are Brazil’s President Lula, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis, a member of the Greek Parliament and former finance minister. [6]

One important reason for Vernyk’s collaboration with bourgeois-reformist parties is obviously his ongoing desire to get money from wherever he can. Hence, he is publishing appeals – on the websites both of LIS as well as PI – asking people to send him money. [7]

Another way of getting money is Vernik’s participation in negotiations with representatives of the Ukrainian government about financial support from them or from the EU. [8]

Another outrageous practice of Vernik is his readiness to collaborate with fascist figures. Last years, he joined a show of Oles Vakhniy, a notorious Ukrainian fascist. [9] Vakhniy has been a well-known Nazi for three decades. According to Wikipedia (Ukraine), he “is considered as one of the leaders of Ukrainian skinheads”. [10] Vakhniy has been, among others, the founder/leader of the Nazi organization “White Hammer” and spent several years in prison. According to Wikipedia, during a “March Against Racism” press conference, Vakhniy threw a bunch of bananas at Sunday Adelaja, a black-skinned pastor. In short, Vakhniy is not only an ultra-reactionary and anti-communist nationalist but also a white supremacist Nazi-Skinhead.

It is telling that during the show with Oleg Vernik, Vakhniy wears a T-Shirt which has the symbol of the extreme right-wing “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists”. [11] Obviously, all this was of no concern for the LIS’s man of dirty politics!

Oleg Vernik is not an accidental figure in LIS/MST. He rather represents – one could also say personifies – the extreme unprincipled and opportunist character of this organisation. He perfectly fits to its extraordinary right-wing centrist politics.

In the second part of this article, we will deal with the Pakistani section of LIS/MST which follows a different but equally shameful policy of pro-bourgeois opportunism.

[1] See on this e.g.: Entrevistamos a Myriam Bregman en Lanús - Noticias Troskas TV (CS), 30.5.2023,

[2] See on this e.g.: Damián Quevedo: Dirigente de una de las organizaciones invitadas al plenario electoral del PO-MST, es un defensor del capitalismo chino, 13.6.2023,; by the same autor: Plenario electoral del PO-MST... "Confesiones de invierno", 11.6.2023,; Debate en el FITu: El "Frente Único Antiimperialista" del PO, la base teórica de su política de conciliación de clases, 4.6.2023,; Damián Quevedo y Juan Giglio: El oportunismo "piqueterista" del PO y el MST ¿Camino hacia la pérdida de la independencia de clase? 23.5.2023,; Juan Giglio: El acto PO-MST con Grabois y Pérsico, previo al lanzamiento de la fórmula Solano Ripoll ¿Casualidad o un proyecto de conciliación de clases? 21.5.2023,; by the same autor: Alianza PO-MST, la tendencia más desarrollada hacia la conciliación de clases del FITu ¡PTS e IS deben enfrentarla política y programáticamente! 24.5.2023,; Gravísimo: El PO y el MST empujan a la izquierda para que se hunda en el pantano de Grabois y el PJ ¡Hay que trazar rayas con el peronismo y terminar de reventarlo, en vez de tirarle un salvavidas! 17.5.2023,

[3] See on this the articles in the previous footnote.

[4] Wikipedia: Workers Resistance (Ukraine),

[6] See on this Michael Pröbsting: A Marxist Critique of a concept advocated by Putin, Xi, Stalinism and the “Progressive International” (Lula, Sanders, Varoufakis), 24 February 2023,; by the same author: “Athens Declaration” on Ukraine War: A Disorientation Smoke Grenade. Critique of a statement issued by the “Progressive International” of Sanders, Lula, Varoufakis and Corbyn, 17 May 2022,

[7] Zakhist Pratsi: To the workers of the world: we need your help! PI Member Zakhist Pratsi issues an appeal for solidarity to the workers of the world, 18.3.2022,; Appeal by the independent labor unions of Ukraine, 18 March 2022,

[8] See e.g. Resolution of the Round Table “Efficiency of international technical assistance of the European Union as a factor of reforms …”, 26.3.2023,; Round Table Discussion «Modernisation of the Labour Market regulation and adaptation of the labour legislation of Ukraine to the EU norms and standards», 8.11.2016,

[9] Олег Верник про сучасний профспілковий рух в Україні, 29.06.2022,

[11] See e.g. Wikipedia: Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists,

The Pro-Bourgeois Opportunism of LIS/MST (Part 2, Pakistan)

On the Pakistani section of LIS/MST and its praise for the capitalist dictator Z. A. Bhutto and his PPP

By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 15 June 2023,


In the first part of this article, we referred to the efforts of the Argentinean MST – the leading force of the International Socialist League (ISL or LIS by its Spanish-language acronym) – to push FITu, an alliance of four Trotskyist parties, to the right. Concretely, the MST – together with the PO – desire to transform FITu into a “broad alliance” with petty-bourgeois populist and Stalinist forces. [1]

Hence, our comrades in Convergencia Socialista (RCIT section in Argentina) support the campaign of the other two parties in FITu – the PTS and IS – to oppose such an arch-opportunist degeneration of the alliance. As part of their work, our comrades stand candidates on their list for the upcoming national elections.

Such a push of the MST towards petty-bourgeois populism has its roots in this party’s long history of collaborating not only with petty-bourgeois but even with outright bourgeois figures like Luis Juez and his Frente Cívico. The same rotten method constitutes the basis for other organisations of its international tendency. In the first part of this article, we demonstrated this assessment by the example of the “Ukrainian section” of LIS, led by the notorious conman Oleg Vernik.

At this place, we will deal with the Pakistani section of LIS called “The Struggle” – an organisation associated with its founder and historic leader, the late Lal Khan (he died in 2020).


Lal Khan’s “The Struggle” and the historic tradition of Grantism


In contrast to Vernik, Khan was a serious person, and his organisation has a history of four decades in Pakistan’s class struggle. Nevertheless, its politics has been characterised from the very beginning by a combination of set pieces of abstract “Trotskyist” principles and opportunist practice.

It is not accidental that “The Struggle” was part of the so-called Grantite tendency for most of the time since the beginning of its existence in 1980. As such, it was, first, the Pakistani section of the CWI and, after the split of the latter in 1991, of Alan Woods’ IMT. Only when Wood expelled “The Struggle” in 2017 (which provided about 2/3 of the IMT’s total membership at that time), Lal Khan was forced to look for another mother ship which had a similar opportunistic program. As a result, “The Struggle” joined LIS when it was founded in 2019.

We have dealt extensively with the historic tradition of Grantism at another point and will therefore limit ourselves at this place to briefly summarise its main features. [2]

Basically, the programmatic tradition of Ted Grant is characterised by a number of fundamental revisions of the Marxist theory, resulting in a gross adaptation to reformism and imperialist economism. It denies the necessity of smashing of the capitalist state and claims that a peaceful and parliamentary road to socialism would be possible. Related to this, Grantism lacks a Marxist understanding of the role of the repression apparatus, considers police as “workers in uniform” and advocates the membership of police unions in trade union federations.

Such adaptations to bourgeois reformism goes hand in hand with accommodation to imperialism. In a number of important national wars and rebellions, the Grantites failed to support these or even denounced them as reactionary. This was the case in the Malvinas War between Argentina and Britain in 1982, during the period of armed resistance in Northern Ireland, during the two Iraq Wars in 1991 and 2003 (plus the resistance against the following occupation), during the Afghanistan War in 2001 (plus the resistance against the following occupation), during the Palestinian resistance against the Zionist state, and during the current Ukraine War.

In all these insurrections and wars of national defence, the Grantites consistently opposed the approach which the RCIT and other authentic Marxists advocate: defeat for the imperialist aggressor, victory for the oppressed nation respectively for the semi-colonial country (like Argentina, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.), without lending political support for the political leadership of these resistance forces.

Closely related to this opportunistic method has been the strategic orientation of the Grantite organisations towards the labour bureaucracy or similar “progressive” bourgeois forces. Hence, they usually work inside reformist parties – e.g. social democratic or (ex-)Stalinist parties in Europe – and claim that they could be transformed into authentic socialist forces. In countries where such bourgeois workers parties do not exist (or are very small), they support – or even work within – (petty-)bourgeois forces for years or decades. Hence, the IMT praised Chavez and his Bolivarian party. Likewise, they “critically” support the Stalinist regime in Cuba and have dropped the slogan of political revolution. In the U.S., the Grantites (in particular the local section of the ISA, another split from the CWI) strongly supported Senator Bernie Sanders – the leading figure of the “left wing” of the Biden’s Democratic Party.


Z. A. Bhutto and the bourgeois PPP


Lal Khan and “The Struggle” applied such a gross opportunist method to the Pakistani conditions. As such it has entered and worked within the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The PPP is a bourgeois-populist party founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1967. The Bhutto clan has been one of the wealthiest of the country with a huge land-ownership, mainly in the province of Sind. It has also been one of most influential families in Pakistan’s politics since the foundation of the state in 1947. Consequently, the Bhutto clan dominates the PPP until today. [3]

Z. A. Bhutto served as minister in the government of General Ayub Khan who ruled Pakistan as a military dictator in 1958-69. He soon became a trusted ally and advisor of Khan and played a crucial role in convincing the latter to launch a war against India in 1965 (which resulted in a humiliating defeat for Pakistan).

Bhutto founded the PPP on the basis of an ideological mixture of religion, nationalism and “socialism”. Contrary to his hopes, he lost the elections in 1970 as the PPP received only 18.6%, coming second behind the Awami League (39.2%). The latter had its stronghold in Bangladesh which, at that time, was still a province of the Pakistani state. Nevertheless, Bhutto insisted on taking over the government. As the Awami League – and the Bengal people – refused, the army carried out a coup and waged war against Bangladesh ("Operation Searchlight"). However, the Pakistani army lost, and Bangladesh became an independent state. [4]

Through smart manoeuvring, Bhutto managed to come out victorious from the chaos and national trauma of the defeat and succeeded Khan. During the years of his rule – until he was deposed by a military coup in 1977 – he combined a policy of state-capitalism and modernisation with authoritarian chauvinism. After losing the reactionary war against the Bengal people, Bhutto was determined to stop other oppressed peoples in Pakistan seceding. Hence, he sent 80.000 soldiers to suppress the national liberation struggle of the Baloch people, resulting in the killing about 16,000 civilians and 5,300 rebels. [5]

After Z. A. Bhutto died in prison, his daughter Benazir took over the party. She became Prime Minister of the country in 1988-90 and 1993-96. She was assassinated in December 2007, after which the PPP again won the parliamentary elections. In all these years, the PPP carried out a neoliberal and pro-imperialist policy.


The PPP and its “programme of revolutionary socialism


Despite such a historic record of the Bhutto clan and the PPP – characterized by anti-working-class policy and reactionary chauvinism – Lal Khan and the “The Struggle” has worked within this party since decades.

Such an entryism sui generis is a caricature of the shameful tradition of Pablo’s “Fourth International” in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is even worse – not only because such entryism sui generis has been taken out much longer than by its centrist role model. It also distinguishes itself from Pablo by undisguised admiration for Z. A. Bhutto and his programmatic tradition. This is even more bizarre as Tito and other Stalinists as well as left social democrats – all praised by Pablo and his friends – were at least representatives of deformed workers states or (bourgeois) workers parties. In contrast, the Bhutto clan has always been an extremely wealthy land-owner family which was highly influential in the political and military leadership of Pakistani capitalism.

Throughout their whole history until today, Lal Khan and the “The Struggle” have claimed the heritage of Z. A. Bhutto and his so-called “program of socialist revolution”. In his book “Partition: Can It Be Undone?”, Lal Khan stated that the Pakistan People’s Party was founded on a very revolutionary programme.[6]

Only a few years ago, Lal Khan continued to extol Bhutto’s “revolutionary message to close the convention” in 1967. He praised the PPP’s program: “The Founding Document outlined the basic aims and objectives of the party. It was perhaps the most radical programme of any left-wing party in South Asian subcontinent’s history since 1947. Although the subsequent leaderships’ abandoned and obfuscated these tenets few in today’s generations are aware of its historical worth. This programme of revolutionary socialism propelled the PPP to become the largest party in Pakistan.[7]

Khan continued in the same article: “It was this very ideology that brought PPP into the leadership of 1968-69 revolution; the most audacious upheaval in post-partition South Asia. The masses traditionally aligned to PPP are in despair and revulsion against this ideological betrayal. The original PPP had dared to challenge the capitalist order. The present caricature fervently appeases existent system and its state. This system’s savagery is devastating the oppressed. Masses are yearning for a change. A fresh revolutionary upheaval shall cleave the party and society on class lines, carving out the Leninist party to accomplish a socialist victory— as envisaged in PPP’s founding document.

In another article, Khan wrote about Bhutto: “The Pakistan Peoples Party that he had founded in November 1967, with the guidance and support of some of the Pakistan’s most radical left wing activists and intellectuals, had gained mass support for its socialist programme almost overnight. (…) Bhutto was not a Marxist revolutionist but he put forward a socialist programme that penetrated mass consciousness at the ripe moment. Paradoxically the movement radicalised Bhutto even more. This chemistry between the masses and populist leaders has prevailed in modern history. Bhutto’s political sojourn proves that people change by impacts of objective conditions and leaders are radicalised by the heat of class struggle. As Bhutto points out in his last writing, class conciliation is always disastrous. Only through an irreconcilable class struggle the working classes can achieve a socialist victory with the instrument of a Leninist party.[8]


Even non-Marxists see through Bhutto’s demagogic “socialism”


In contrast to the confused fabrications of Lal Khan and the “The Struggle”, bourgeois academics have a much clearer picture of the superficial and demagogic nature of Bhutto’s “socialism”. Anwar H. Syed, for example, writes about the founding documents of the PPP: “Not wishing to invite widespread hostility when it was just getting off the ground, the PPP preferred to be seen as an agent of social change but not as the maker of a socialist revolution. There is little revolutionary or otherwise militant vocabulary in the Documents. The party wanted to attract as many and alienate as few interests as possible in order to prepare for the struggle for power that lay ahead. Nothing would be lost, and possibly much would be gained, by adhering to the established political custom of professing one's dedication to Islam; nor would it necessarily be farcical. It would be unwise to alarm the middle land owners in the countryside or the shopkeepers in towns by launching a major attack on landed property or private enterprise. The party promised to demolish the edifice of exploitative capitalism, already under fire from several quarters, but otherwise it chose to project itself as a progressive nation-builder dedicated to the norms of humane and civil conduct.[9]

And a left-wing Sind nationalist – Khalique Junejo, chairman of ”Jeay Sindh Mahaz” – made another highly appropriate criticism of Lal Khan’s unashamed praise of Bhutto. “But, unfortunately, the situation in Pakistan has been different. Here many of our leftist friends consider nationalist movements as their biggest enemies and to counter them they even go to the extent of allying themselves with feudal and military dictators. Lal Khan condemns Sheikh Mujibur Rehman as “a bourgeois demagogue” and “a staunch aficionado of capitalism” but he himself is allied with the PPP, the biggest party of feudal lords in Pakistan. It was the PPP and its leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who inducted religion into state affairs and laid the foundations of religious discrimination and prejudice between citizens that has brought Pakistan to the verge of civil war. Also it was Mr Bhutto who initiated the policy of strategic depth vis-a-vis Afghanistan and opened the training camps for ‘Mujahedin’ like Gulbadin Hekmatyar. It was during his successor (and daughter) Benazir Bhutto’s government that a government-in-exile of the Mujahedin was formed in Islamabad. Every Pakistani remembers Benazir Bhutto’s Interior Minister General (Retd) Naseerullah Babar saying: “The Taliban are our children”, and no one forgets Mohtarma’s words, “We had allowed the Taliban only up to Kandahar and not Kabul.” It is an undeniable fact that the Pakistani state has been ruled and Pakistani society dominated by the mullah-military-feudal troika (…) since the very beginning. (…) All the anti-people, anti-democracy and anti-progress forces conjoined against the Awami League to deprive the Bengali people of their democratic right (in 1970-71, Ed.). Bhutto was the leading figure of this unholy alliance. When that infamous military operation started by invading the Dhaka University, he said those ‘golden’ words: “Thank God, Pakistan has been saved.” As if this was not sufficient, Mr Bhutto joined the military government of General Yahya Khan as deputy prime minister and foreign minister after it had turned the rivers of Bengal red with the blood of millions of Bengalis and played havoc with the honour of their mothers, sisters and daughters. When the Al-Shams and Al-Badr thugs of Jamaat-e-Islami were murdering Bengali people, Mr Khan’s leader was fighting their case at the UN.[10]


Lal Khan and “The Struggle” warns against splitting the bourgeois PPP


The Struggle” has also spread the illusion that the PPP could be transformed into an authentic “socialist” party. Such it stated in an article, after criticizing the PPP’s actual leadership: “The masses have suffered and have been let down by the PPP leaders time and again. Now they will not easily believe in this ‘shift’ and shore up enough courage to rise in support of such a tradition. But the eruption of a mass movement can cut across the whole process. It can transform the PPP and force it to its socialist origins but on a much higher plane, and will require a drastic purge of the usurper hierarchy. Such a development would cleanse the PPP of those who have brought it to such a decline. But if that course is resisted by these incumbents, an alternative revolutionary Marxist tendency can rapidly rise from the movement of the workers and the youth. No matter how things transpire, the victory of the masses’ class struggle can only be achieved through the revolutionary transformation of society. The PPP’s founding documents were unambiguous about it: ‘Only socialism, which creates equal opportunities for all, protects from exploitation and removes the barriers of class distinction, is capable of establishing economic and social justice. Socialism is the highest expression of democracy and its logical fulfillment.’[11]

It is symbolic that even the arch-opportunist IMT of Alan Woods felt obligated to expel Lal Khan and “The Struggle because of “the opportunist deviation that had existed in the past in relation to the PPP which has caused serious difficulties for the Pakistan Section.[12] Of course, one must not ignore the demagogy of this statement since the IMT leadership did not challenge but rather uncritically supported Lal Khan’s extreme opportunism for more than a quarter of a century!

The attachment of Lal Khan and the “The Struggle” to the bourgeois-populist PPP even goes so far that they criticize those who dared to split with this party! In a bizarre hymn of praise for Murtaza Bhutto – the son of Z. A. Bhutto who became a left-populist adventurist and who was killed in 1996 at the orders of the husband of his sister, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto – Lal Khan had the following to say as his main criticism of Murtaza’s legacy: “He was putting forward a bold revolutionary programme, mobilising the masses and trying to reorganise the PPP as a party of the working class. (…) But the critical mistake was that he was coaxed to declare a separate party from the traditional setup led by his sister Benazir by some devious political leaders masquerading as Bhutto loyalists. There was not one activity that he could not have done in the mainstream party. By building a Marxist cadre network, he could have carved out a revolutionary wing that could lead the struggle to achieve the party’s socialist ideals. The split isolated him, but he was still a threat to the capitalist political superstructure and the socio-economic system.[13]

Even today, the leadership of “The Struggle” continues to present the landowner-party as a “left-wing party” which unfortunately has a wrong, treacherous leadership.On the other hand, the continuous betrayals, corruptions, and opportunisms of the leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the traditional left-wing party which has now swung way too far to the right, caused it to degenerate to its historical low and rendered it into a political tool for the system, incapable of providing any hope or revolutionary way out to the working class.[14]

It is therefore only natural that “The Struggle” – according to its own reports – continues to have close relations with the PPP. For example, it invited leaders of the PPP to address its May Day rallies in 2022 and 2023. [15]




As we did show, the Pakistani organisation “The Struggle” has a long tradition of combining abstract “Trotskyism” with opportunist support for bourgeois populism and organisational attachment to the PPP led by the Bhutto clan, one of the largest and most influential landowner families in Pakistan’s modern history. Polemically formulated, “The Struggle” represents a new version of “feudal socialism” against which Marx already polemicised in chapter III of the Communist Manifesto.

Therefore, “The Struggle” perfectly fits into the LIS and its extremely unprincipled and opportunist policy. The Argentinean MST – the leading party of LIS – is well-known for its unashamed alliances with bourgeois figures like Luis Juez and his Frente Cívico. And it is equally telling that LIS has space for fraudsters like Oleg Vernik in the Ukraine.

Of course, as the RCIT has repeatedly explained, authentic Marxists are often obligated to joint actions with all kinds of reformist, populist, and sometimes even bourgeois, forces in order to push back an attack of the ruling class or of an imperialist aggressor. However, such practical collaboration must not result in ideological praise and political whitewashing of these allies. Likewise, it must not lead towards organisational affiliation and propagation of illusions that such a (petty-)bourgeois forces could become an instrument of socialist revolution!

The policy of Trotskyist must be based on the principles of Marxism and class independence, i.e. the opposite of the arch-opportunism a la LIS/MST!

[1] See Michael Pröbsting: The Pro-Bourgeois Opportunism of LIS/MST (Part 1, Ukraine). Oleg Vernik – the LIS’s man of dirty politics in the Ukraine, 14 June 2023,

[2] See e.g. the pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: The Poverty of Neo-Imperialist Economism. Imperialism and the national question - a critique of Ted Grant and his school (CWI, ISA, IMT), January 2023, This pamphlet contains numerous examples and sources for our theses in this chapter.

[3] On Pakistan’s history and, in particular, the role of the Bhutto clan see e.g. Iftikhar H. Malik: The History of Pakistan, Greenwood Press, London 2008, pp. 149-205; Shahid Javed Burki: Historical Dictionary of Pakistan, Third Edition, The Scarecrow Press, Oxford 2006, see the chronology section as well as pp. 106-116 and 403-406. For short versions we refer to the respective Wikipedia entries: Bhutto Family:; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,; Benazir Bhutto,; Asif Ali Zardari,; Pakistan People's Party,

[4] See on this e.g. RCIT: Theses on Capitalism and Class Struggle in Bangladesh, November 2013,

[5] See on this e.g. RCIT: Revolutionary Action Program for Pakistan,

[6] Lal Khan: Partition: Can It Be Undone? Crisis of the Subcontinent, Wellred Publications, London 2001, p. 122

[7] Lal Khan: PPP’s 50th Anniversary: A Legacy Betrayed, 4 December 2017,

[8] Lal Khan: Remembering Bhutto’s Judicial Murder, 3 April 2018,

[9] Anwar H. Syed: The Discourse and Politics of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Macmillan Press, London 1992, pp. 63-64

[10] Khalique Junejo: Class struggle vs national movement, 15 March 2013,\03\15\story_15-3-2013_pg3_5

[11] Lal Khan: Resuscitating the PPP? October 19, 2014,

[12] Valeed A. Khan: Unity Conference of the IMT in Pakistan - Report of day one, 19 March 2016,

[13] Lal Khan: Murtaza Bhutto: What He Really Stood For, 20 September 2019,

[14] Imran Kamyana: The Imran Khan’s Ouster: From ‘New Pakistan’ to the Old One! 1 May 2022,

[15] See May Day 2023: #GetOutIMF Rallies across Pakistan, 7 May 2023,; Pakistan: May Day Activities held by PTUDC, 19 May 2022,

El oportunismo pro burgués del MST y la LIS (Parte 2, Pakistán)

Sobre la sección pakistaní de LIS/MST y su elogio al dictador capitalista Z. A. Bhutto y su partido

Por Michael Pröbsting, Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria Internacional (CCI), 15 de junio de 2023,


En la primera parte de este artículo, nos referimos a los esfuerzos del MST argentino –la fuerza dirigente de la Liga Internacional Socialista (ISL o LIS por sus siglas en español)– para empujar al FITu, una alianza de cuatro partidos trotskistas, a la derecha. Concretamente, el MST -junto con el PO- desea transformar el FITu en una “alianza amplia” con las fuerzas pequeñoburguesas populistas y estalinistas. [1]

Por lo tanto, nuestros compañeros de Convergencia Socialista (sección en Argentina de la CCRI) apoyan la campaña de los otros dos partidos en FITu, el PTS y el IS, para oponerse a tal degeneración oportunista de la alianza. Como parte de su trabajo, nuestros compañeros presentan candidatos en su lista para las próximas elecciones nacionales.

Tal impulso del MST hacia el populismo pequeñoburgués tiene sus raíces en la larga historia de este partido de colaborar no solo con figuras pequeñoburguesas, sino incluso con figuras francamente burguesas como Luis Juez y su Frente Cívico en Argentina. El mismo método constituye la base de otras organizaciones de su tendencia internacional. En este lugar, nos ocuparemos de la sección pakistaní de LIS llamada “La Lucha”, una organización asociada con su fundador y líder histórico, el difunto Lal Khan (fallecido en 2020).


“La Lucha” de Lal Khan y la tradición histórica del Grantismo (corriente fundada por Ted Grant)


Khan era una persona seria y su organización tiene una historia de cuatro décadas en la lucha de clases de Pakistán. Sin embargo, su política se ha caracterizado desde el principio por una combinación de principios “trotskistas” abstractos y prácticas oportunistas. No es casualidad que “La Lucha” haya sido parte de la llamada tendencia grantista durante la mayor parte del tiempo desde el comienzo de su existencia en 1980.

Como tal, fue, primero, la sección paquistaní del CIT y, después de la escisión de este último en 1991, del IMT de Alan Woods. Solo cuando Wood expulsó a “The Struggle” en 2017 (que proporcionaba alrededor de 2/3 de la membresía total de la CMI en ese momento), Lal Khan se vio obligado a buscar otra nave nodriza que tuviera un programa oportunista similar. Como resultado,“The Struggle” se unió a LIS cuando se fundó en 2019.

Ya nos hemos ocupado extensamente de la tradición histórica del grantismo en otro punto y, por lo tanto, nos limitaremos a este lugar para resumir brevemente sus principales características. [2] Básicamente, esta corriente se caracteriza por una serie de revisiones fundamentales de la teoría marxista, lo que resulta en una gran adaptación al reformismo y al economicismo imperialista. Niega la necesidad de aplastar al estado capitalista y afirma que sería posible un camino pacífico y parlamentario hacia el socialismo. Relacionado con esto, el Grantismo carece de una comprensión marxista del papel del aparato de represión, considera a la policía como “trabajadores uniformados” y aboga por la afiliación de los sindicatos policiales a las federaciones sindicales.

Tales adaptaciones al reformismo burgués van de la mano de la capitulación al imperialismo. En varias guerras y rebeliones nacionales importantes, los grantistas no las apoyaron o incluso las denunciaron como reaccionarias. Este fue el caso de la Guerra de Malvinas entre Argentina y Gran Bretaña en 1982, durante el período de resistencia armada en Irlanda del Norte, durante las dos Guerras de Irak en 1991 y 2003 (más la resistencia contra la siguiente ocupación), durante la Guerra de Afganistán en 2001 (más la resistencia contra la siguiente ocupación), durante la resistencia palestina contra el estado sionista y durante la actual Guerra de Ucrania.

En todas estas insurrecciones y guerras de defensa nacional, los grantistas se opusieron consistentemente al enfoque que propugnan la CCRI y otros marxistas auténticos: derrota del agresor imperialista, victoria de la nación oprimida respectivamente para el país semicolonial (como Argentina, Afganistán, Irak , etc.), sin prestar apoyo político a la dirección política de estas fuerzas de resistencia.

Lal Khan y “The Struggle” aplicaron un método oportunista tan grosero a las condiciones paquistaníes. Como tal, esta organización ha ingresado y trabajado dentro del Partido Popular de Pakistán (PPP), un partido populista-burgués fundado por Zulfikar Ali Bhutto en 1967. El clan Bhutto ha sido uno de los más ricos del país con una gran propiedad de tierras, principalmente en la provincia de Sind. También ha sido una de las familias más influyentes en la política de Pakistán desde la fundación del estado en 1947, en consecuencia, este clan domina el PPP hasta el día de hoy. [3]

Z. A. Bhutto se desempeñó como ministro en el gobierno del general Ayub Khan, quien gobernó Pakistán como dictador militar en 1958-69. Pronto se convirtió en un aliado de confianza y asesor de Khan y desempeñó un papel crucial en convencer a este último de lanzar una guerra contra India en 1965 (que resultó en una derrota humillante para Pakistán).

Bhutto fundó el PPP sobre la base de una mezcla ideológica de religión, nacionalismo y “socialismo”. Contrariamente a sus esperanzas, perdió las elecciones de 1970 cuando el PPP recibió solo el 18,6%, quedando en segundo lugar detrás de la Liga Awami (39,2%). Este último tenía su bastión en Bangladesh que, en ese momento, todavía era una provincia del estado paquistaní. Sin embargo, Bhutto insistió en hacerse cargo del gobierno. Como la Liga Awami, y el pueblo de Bengala, se negaron, el ejército llevó a cabo un golpe y emprendió la guerra contra Bangladesh ("Operación Reflector"). Sin embargo, el ejército paquistaní perdió y Bangladesh se convirtió en un estado independiente. [4]

A través de maniobras inteligentes, Bhutto logró salir victorioso del caos y el trauma nacional de la derrota y sucedió a Khan. Durante los años de su gobierno -hasta que fue depuesto por un golpe militar en 1977- combinó una política de capitalismo de Estado y modernización con un chovinismo autoritario. Después de perder la guerra reaccionaria contra el pueblo de Bengala, Bhutto estaba decidido a evitar que otros pueblos oprimidos de Pakistán se separaran. Por lo tanto, envió 80.000 soldados para reprimir la lucha de liberación nacional del pueblo baluchi, lo que provocó la muerte de unos 16.000 civiles y 5.300 rebeldes. [5]

Después de que Z. A. Bhutto muriera en prisión, su hija Benazir se hizo cargo del partido. Se convirtió en Primera Ministra del país en 1988-90 y 1993-96, luego fue asesinada, en diciembre de 2007, tras lo cual el PPP volvió a ganar las elecciones parlamentarias. En todos estos años, el PPP llevó a cabo una política neoliberal y proi mperialista.

Estrechamente relacionada con este método oportunista ha estado la orientación estratégica de las organizaciones grantistas hacia la burocracia laboral o fuerzas burguesas “progresistas” similares. Por lo tanto, suelen trabajar dentro de los partidos reformistas, socialdemócratas o (ex) estalinistas en Europa, y afirman que podrían transformarse en auténticas fuerzas socialistas. En países donde estos partidos obreros burgueses no existen (o son muy pequeños), apoyan, o incluso trabajan dentro de fuerzas (pequeño) burguesas durante años o décadas.

De ahí que la CMI elogie a Chávez y su partido bolivariano. Asimismo, apoyan “críticamente” al régimen estalinista en Cuba y han dejado caer la consigna de revolución política. En los EE.UU., esta corriente (en particular, la sección local de la ISA, otra escisión del CIT) apoyaron firmemente al senador Bernie Sanders, la figura principal del “ala izquierda” del Partido Demócrata de Biden.


El PPP y su “programa de socialismo revolucionario”


A pesar de un historial caracterizado por una política antiobrera y chovinismo reaccionario, Lal Khan y “The Struggle” han trabajado dentro del PPP durante décadas. Tal entrismo sui generis es una caricatura de la vergonzosa tradición de la “Cuarta Internacional” de Pablo en los años 50 y 60. Es aún peor, no solo porque ese entrismo sui generis ha sido eliminado por mucho más tiempo que su modelo centrista. También se distingue de Pablo por una admiración no disimulada por Z. A. Bhutto y su tradición programática.

Esto es aún más extraño ya que Tito y otros estalinistas, así como los socialdemócratas de izquierda, todos elogiados por Pablo y sus amigos, eran al menos representantes de estados obreros deformados o partidos obreros (burgueses). En contraste, el clan Bhutto siempre ha sido una familia terrateniente extremadamente rica que tuvo una gran influencia en el liderazgo político y militar del capitalismo paquistaní.

A lo largo de toda su historia hasta hoy, Lal Khan y “La Lucha” han reclamado la herencia de Z. A. Bhutto y su llamado “programa de revolución socialista”. En su libro “Partición: ¿Se puede deshacer?”, Lal Khan afirmó que “el Partido Popular de Pakistán se fundó sobre un programa muy revolucionario”. [6]

Hace solo unos años, Lal Khan continuó exaltando el “mensaje revolucionario para cerrar la convención” de Bhutto en 1967. Elogió el programa del PPP: “El Documento Fundacional describía los fines y objetivos básicos del partido. Fue quizás el programa más radical de cualquier partido de izquierda en la historia del subcontinente del sur de Asia desde 1947. Aunque los liderazgos posteriores abandonaron y ofuscaron estos principios, pocos en las generaciones actuales son conscientes de su valor histórico. Este programa de socialismo revolucionario impulsó al PPP a convertirse en el partido más grande de Pakistán”. [7]

Khan continuó en el mismo artículo: “Fue esta misma ideología la que llevó al PPP a la dirección de la revolución de 1968-69; la agitación más audaz en el sur de Asia posterior a la partición. Las masas tradicionalmente alineadas al PPP están desesperadas y repugnantes contra esta traición ideológica. El PPP original se había atrevido a desafiar el orden capitalista. La caricatura actual apacigua con fervor el sistema existente y su estado. El salvajismo de este sistema está devastando a los oprimidos. Las masas anhelan un cambio. Un nuevo levantamiento revolucionario dividirá el partido y la sociedad en líneas de clase, forjando al partido leninista para lograr una victoria socialista, como se prevé en el documento fundacional del PPP”.

En otro artículo, Khan escribió sobre Bhutto: “El Partido Popular de Pakistán que había fundado en noviembre de 1967, con la orientación y el apoyo de algunos de los intelectuales y activistas de izquierda más radicales de Pakistán, había obtenido un apoyo masivo para su programa socialista casi de la noche a la mañana. (…) Bhutto no era un marxista revolucionario, pero presentó un programa socialista que penetró en la conciencia de las masas en el momento oportuno.

Paradójicamente, el movimiento radicalizó aún más a Bhutto. Esta química entre las masas y los líderes populistas ha prevalecido en la historia moderna. La estancia política de Bhutto demuestra que las personas cambian por los impactos de las condiciones objetivas y los líderes se radicalizan por el calor de la lucha de clases. Como señala Bhutto en su último escrito, la conciliación de clases siempre es desastrosa. Solo a través de una lucha de clases irreconciliable, las clases trabajadoras pueden lograr una victoria socialista con el instrumento de un partido leninista”. [8]


Incluso los no marxistas ven a través del “socialismo” demagógico de Bhutto


En contraste con las confusas fabricaciones de Lal Khan y “La lucha”, los académicos burgueses tienen una imagen mucho más clara de la naturaleza superficial y demagógica del “socialismo” de Bhutto. Anwar H. Syed, por ejemplo, escribe sobre los documentos fundacionales del PPP:

“No deseando invitar a una hostilidad generalizada cuando apenas estaba despegando, el PPP prefirió ser visto como un agente de cambio social pero no como el creador de una revolución socialista. Hay poco vocabulario revolucionario o militante en los Documentos. El partido quería atraer a tantos y enajenar la menor cantidad de intereses posible para prepararse para la lucha por el poder que se avecinaba.

No se perdería nada, y posiblemente se ganaría mucho, adhiriéndose a la costumbre política establecida de profesar la dedicación al Islam; ni sería necesariamente una farsa. Sería imprudente alarmar a los terratenientes medios del campo oa los comerciantes de las ciudades lanzando un gran ataque contra la propiedad de la tierra o la empresa privada. El partido prometió demoler el edificio del capitalismo explotador, ya bajo el fuego de varios sectores, pero por lo demás optó por proyectarse como un constructor de naciones progresista dedicado a las normas de conducta humana y civil”. [9]

Y un nacionalista de izquierda de Sind, Khalique Junejo, presidente de "Jeay Sindh Mahaz", hizo otra crítica muy apropiada del elogio descarado de Lal Khan a Bhutto. “Pero, desafortunadamente, la situación en Pakistán ha sido diferente. Aquí muchos de nuestros amigos de izquierda consideran a los movimientos nacionalistas como sus mayores enemigos y para contrarrestarlos llegan incluso al extremo de aliarse con dictadores feudales y militares. Lal Khan condena al jeque Mujibur Rehman como “un demagogo burgués” y “un aficionado acérrimo del capitalismo”, pero él mismo está aliado con el PPP, el mayor partido de señores feudales en Pakistán.

Fue el PPP y su líder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto quienes introdujeron la religión en los asuntos estatales y sentaron las bases de la discriminación religiosa y los prejuicios entre los ciudadanos que han llevado a Pakistán al borde de la guerra civil. También fue el Sr. Bhutto quien inició la política de profundidad estratégica con respecto a Afganistán y abrió los campos de entrenamiento para 'mujaidines' como Gulbadin Hekmatyar. Fue durante el gobierno de su sucesora (e hija) Benazir Bhutto que se formó un gobierno en el exilio de los muyahidines en Islamabad. Todos los paquistaníes recuerdan al ministro general del Interior de Benazir Bhutto (retirado) Naseerullah Babar diciendo: “Los talibanes son nuestros hijos”, y nadie olvida las palabras de Mohtarma:

“Habíamos permitido que los talibanes solo llegaran a Kandahar y no a Kabul”. Es un hecho innegable que el estado paquistaní ha sido gobernado y la sociedad pakistaní dominada por la troika mullah-militar-feudal (…) desde el principio. (…) Todas las fuerzas antipopulares, antidemocráticas y antiprogresistas se unieron contra la Liga Awami para privar al pueblo bengalí de su derecho democrático (en 1970-71, Ed.). Bhutto fue la figura principal de esta alianza impía. Cuando comenzó esa infame operación militar al invadir la Universidad de Dhaka, dijo esas palabras 'doradas': "Gracias a Dios, Pakistán se ha salvado".

Como si esto no fuera suficiente, Bhutto se unió al gobierno militar del general Yahya Khan como viceprimer ministro y ministro de Relaciones Exteriores después de que tiñera de rojo los ríos de Bengala con la sangre de millones de bengalíes y causara estragos en el honor de sus madres, hermanas e hijas. Cuando los matones Al-Shams y Al-Badr de Jamaat-e-Islami estaban asesinando a personas bengalíes, el líder del Sr. Khan estaba defendiendo su caso en la ONU”. [10]


Lal Khan y “La Lucha” advierte contra la división del PPP burgués


“La Lucha” también ha sembrado la ilusión de que el PPP podría transformarse en un auténtico partido “socialista”. Así lo expresó en un artículo, luego de criticar la actual dirección del PPP: “Las masas han sufrido y han sido defraudadas por los dirigentes del PPP una y otra vez. Ahora no creerán fácilmente en este "cambio" y reunirán el coraje suficiente para levantarse en apoyo de tal tradición. Pero el estallido de un movimiento de masas puede atravesar todo el proceso. Puede transformar el PPP y forzarlo a sus orígenes socialistas pero en un plano mucho más alto, y requerirá una purga drástica de la jerarquía usurpadora. Tal desarrollo limpiaría el PPP de aquellos que lo han llevado a tal declive.

Pero si estos titulares se resisten a ese curso, una tendencia marxista revolucionaria alternativa puede surgir rápidamente del movimiento de los trabajadores y la juventud. No importa cómo sucedan las cosas, la victoria de la lucha de clases de las masas solo puede lograrse a través de la transformación revolucionaria de la sociedad. Los documentos fundacionales del PPP fueron claros al respecto: “Solo el socialismo, que crea igualdad de oportunidades para todos, protege de la explotación y elimina las barreras de la distinción de clases, es capaz de establecer la justicia económica y social. El socialismo es la máxima expresión de la democracia y su lógica realización.” [11]

Es simbólico que incluso el archi-oportunista IMT de Alan Woods se sintiera obligado a expulsar a Lal Khan y “The Struggle” por “la desviación oportunista que había existido en el pasado en relación con el PPP que ha causado serias dificultades a la Sección de Pakistán”. [12] Por supuesto, uno no debe ignorar la demagogia de esta declaración ya que la dirección de la CMI no desafió sino que apoyó sin críticas el oportunismo extremo de Lal Khan durante más de un cuarto de siglo.

¡El apego de Lal Khan y “La Lucha” al PPP burgués-populista llega incluso a criticar a quienes se atrevieron a romper con este partido! En un extraño himno de alabanza a Murtaza Bhutto, el hijo de Z. A. Bhutto que se convirtió en un aventurero populista de izquierda y que fue asesinado en 1996 por orden del esposo de su hermana, la primera ministra Benazir Bhutto, Lal Khan dijo lo siguiente: como su principal crítica al legado de Murtaza:

“Estaba presentando un audaz programa revolucionario, movilizando a las masas y tratando de reorganizar el PPP como un partido de la clase trabajadora. (…) Pero el error crítico fue que algunos líderes políticos tortuosos que se hacían pasar por leales a Bhutto lo convencieron de que declarara un partido separado del sistema tradicional liderado por su hermana Benazir. No había una sola actividad que no pudiera haber hecho en el partido principal. Al construir una red de cuadros marxistas, podría haber forjado un ala revolucionaria que podría liderar la lucha para lograr los ideales socialistas del partido. La escisión lo aisló, pero seguía siendo una amenaza para la superestructura política capitalista y el sistema socioeconómico”. [13]

Aún hoy, la dirección de “La Lucha” sigue presentando al partido terrateniente como un “partido de izquierda” que lamentablemente tiene una dirección equivocada y traicionera. “Por otro lado, las continuas traiciones, corrupciones y oportunismos de la dirección del Partido Popular de Pakistán (PPP), el partido tradicional de izquierda que ahora se ha inclinado demasiado hacia la derecha, hicieron que degenerara a su mínimo histórico y lo convirtió en una herramienta política para el sistema, incapaz de brindar ninguna esperanza o salida revolucionaria a la clase obrera”. [14]

Por lo tanto, es natural que “La Lucha” –según sus propios informes– siga teniendo estrechas relaciones con el PPP. Por ejemplo, invitó a los líderes del PPP a dirigirse a sus mítines del Primero de Mayo en 2022 y 2023. [15]




Como mostramos, la organización paquistaní “The Struggle” tiene una larga tradición de combinar el “trotskismo” abstracto con el apoyo oportunista al populismo burgués y el apego organizacional al PPP liderado por el clan Bhutto, una de las familias terratenientes más grandes e influyentes en los Estados Unidos durante la historia moderna de Pakistán. Formulada polémicamente, “La Lucha” representa una nueva versión del “socialismo feudal” contra el que Marx ya polemizó en el capítulo III del Manifiesto Comunista.

Por lo tanto, “La Lucha” encaja perfectamente en la LIS y su política extremadamente sin principios y oportunista. El MST argentino, el principal partido de la LIS, es bien conocido por sus alianzas desvergonzadas con figuras burguesas como Luis Juez y su Frente Cívico. Y es igualmente revelador que LIS tenga espacio para estafadores como Oleg Vernik en Ucrania.

Por supuesto, como ha explicado repetidamente la CCRI, los marxistas auténticos a menudo están obligados a acciones conjuntas con todo tipo de fuerzas reformistas, populistas y, a veces, incluso burguesas, para hacer retroceder un ataque de la clase dominante o de un agresor imperialista. Sin embargo, tal colaboración práctica no debe resultar en elogios ideológicos y encubrimiento político de estos aliados. ¡Del mismo modo, no debe conducir a la afiliación organizativa y la propagación de ilusiones de que tales fuerzas (pequeño) burguesas podrían convertirse en un instrumento de la revolución socialista!

¡La política de los trotskistas debe basarse en los principios del marxismo y la independencia de clase, es decir, lo contrario del archi oportunismo a la LIS/MST!



[1] Ver Michael Pröbsting: The Pro-Bourgeois Opportunism of LIS/MST (Part 1, Ukraine). Oleg Vernik – the LIS’s man of dirty politics in the Ukraine, 14 June 2023,

[2] Ver, p. ej., este folleto de Michael Pröbsting: The Poverty of Neo-Imperialist Economism. Imperialism and the national question - a critique of Ted Grant and his school (CWI, ISA, IMT), January 2023, This pamphlet contains numerous examples and sources for our theses in this chapter.

[3] On Pakistan’s history and, in particular, the role of the Bhutto clan see e.g. Iftikhar H. Malik: The History of Pakistan, Greenwood Press, London 2008, pp. 149-205; Shahid Javed Burki: Historical Dictionary of Pakistan, Third Edition, The Scarecrow Press, Oxford 2006, see the chronology section as well as pp. 106-116 and 403-406. For short versions we refer to the respective Wikipedia entries: Bhutto Family:; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,; Benazir Bhutto,; Asif Ali Zardari,; Pakistan People's Party,

[4] Ver, p. ej., RCIT: Theses on Capitalism and Class Struggle in Bangladesh, November 2013,

[5] Ver, p. ej., RCIT: Revolutionary Action Program for Pakistan,

[6] Lal Khan: Partition: Can It Be Undone? Crisis of the Subcontinent, Wellred Publications, London 2001, p. 122

[7] Lal Khan: PPP’s 50th Anniversary: A Legacy Betrayed, 4 December 2017,

[8] Lal Khan: Remembering Bhutto’s Judicial Murder, 3 April 2018,

[9] Anwar H. Syed: The Discourse and Politics of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Macmillan Press, London 1992, pp. 63-64

[10] Khalique Junejo: Class struggle vs national movement, 15 March 2013,\03\15\story_15-3-2013_pg3_5

[11] Lal Khan: Resuscitating the PPP? October 19, 2014,

[12] Valeed A. Khan: Unity Conference of the IMT in Pakistan - Report of day one, 19 March 2016,

[13] Lal Khan: Murtaza Bhutto: What He Really Stood For, 20 September 2019,

[14] Imran Kamyana: The Imran Khan’s Ouster: From ‘New Pakistan’ to the Old One! 1 May 2022,

[15] Ver May Day 2023: #GetOutIMF Rallies across Pakistan, 7 May 2023,; Pakistan: May Day Activities held by PTUDC, 19 May 2022,