AWP for census after addressing concerns of federating units

AWP President demands implementation of SC judgment on electoral reforms

Islamabad (PR): The Awami Workers Party (AWP) has asked the government to conduct census after addressing the concerns of Balochistan and Sindh; implement electoral and land reforms.   Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, (Feb 3, 2017) the AWP President Fanoos Gujjar flanked by AWP Senior Vice-President Yousaf Mastikhan and Secretary General Akhtar Hussain expressed concern at the deepening social, political and economic crises and blamed the government and other ruling class parties for the situation.

“All political parties of Pakistan have the common objective to maintain the status quo, and perpetuate their loot and plunder of the national exchequer and exploitation of the working class,” they said.

They were of the view that the federal and provincial governments have miserably failed to address the social, political and economic issues of the common man and are engaged in blame game over Panama and Bahamas Leaks, offshore companies through money laundering and corrupt practices.

“The feudal and capitalist leadership of the ruling class parties are unconcerned about the fundamental rights of the people like access to education, healthcare, shelter and jobs.

According to AWP corruption, tax fraud, money laundering and establishing offshore companies or stashing looted national wealth in foreign banks are an inherent part of the capitalist system and the ruling elite are all shareholders.

Census

In the last 18 years census has not been held due to which the smaller federating units are being deprived of their due share of fund under the National Finance Commission from the federal divisible pool and in employment quota.

We demand that the forthcoming census next month must be carried out fairly and transparently and before holding the census, the concerns about the demographic change in smaller federating units particularly Sindh and Balochistan be removed without any further delay.

Land Reforms

The AWP leaders were of the view that 65 percent population of Pakistan is living in rural areas under the economic and social stranglehold of the landed aristocracy and bureaucracy. The working class is deprived of fundamental rights like access to education, healthcare and jobs and the rulers are not prepared to even introduce the basic land reforms.

The AWP leaders were of the view that without land reforms there will be no genuine development in the country.

They recalled that AWP has been struggling on political and legal fronts for land reforms and filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Federal Shariat Court. Ironically no date has been fixed yet for hearing despite a lapse of over five years.

It may be recalled here that the Supreme Court’s Shariat Appellate Bench, established by military dictator General Ziaul Haq, had declared land reforms repugnant to injunctions of Islam.

They urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to fix this petition for hearing and decide the matter concerning the fundamental rights of the working people.

They said that the working class and the working people living in cities are also deprived of fundamental rights to life and the mega city like Karachi, with a population of 15 million has become a hub of all kinds of problems.

Karachi issues

The children of working class and working people are deprived of the right to education, public sector educational institutions are diminishing day by day and the private educational institutions are fleecing people in the name of quality education.

The situation of health sector is also pathetic; there is no decent transport system in the city. The city’s communication system is also in a shambles.

The provincial ruling elite is talking about restoring the Karachi Circler Railway under CPEC but during the last several years land mafia in collaboration with the ruling elite are have directly or indirectly the way for encroachment on railways land and now the administration is talking of removing these encroachment.

 

The AWP supports building of Karachi Circler Railway but in its opinion the removal of occupants from the railway land without providing them alternative land and shelter will be against the fundamental right to life.

Therefore, we demand that these working people be immediately provided with the alternative land and shelter before removing them.

 

Electoral Reforms

 

The AWP leaders said that general elections in the country will be held in 2018 but for ensuring free, fair, and transparent election and providing level playing field to the participants.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2012 in its verdict on the Workers Party petition had directed the government to frame a code of conduct encompassing the AWP recommendations. But despite a lapse of four years, this judgment has not yet been implemented. The AWP has moved an application before the Supreme Court for its implementation.

The parliamentary parties are neither serious in framing any law nor they are ready to accept the proposed code of conduct for elections prepared by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the light of the judgment of SC.

 

The SC in its verdict had put restrictions on holding big gatherings, rallies, large hoardings, ads and banners in order to control the expenses and to ensuring free, fair and transparent election and providing level playing field to the contesting candidates. The SC has also prohibited setting up of poling camps and providing private transport for transporting the voters.

 

We demand that Supreme Court’s judgment be acted upon in its letter and spirit and the Election Commission of Pakistan should frame the code of conduct in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court without any further delay and all such regulations be implemented strictly so that the people may have confidence in the free, fair and transparent elections.

Religious extremism

Awami Workers Party has always opposed the religious extremism, sectarianism and terrorism. Awami Workers Party is committed for developing the Pakistani society without any discrimination between the citizens on the basis of religion, caste, colour and sex and on the basis of democratic values. We are opposed to use of religion in the affairs of the state due to which our society has been internally divided and Pakistan is being isolated internationally, therefore, we demand that the National Action Plan be implemented fully in its letter and spirit and the restrictions should be imposed on all sectarian and religious extremist organizations and their allied institutions without any discrimination.

Foreign policy

We also demand the Government of Pakistan to have friendly relations with all its neighbouring countries without any interference in each others’ affairs.

According to the AWP, the United States of America and its allied European countries and NATO are responsible for destruction of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and interference in Iran and other developing countries.

We also strongly condemn the American President Trump and its administration on its immigration policy and formulating discriminatory laws and policies particularly against Muslim countries.