Party leadership calls for prioritizing pro-people demands and movements
The Awami Workers Party (AWP) welcomes the formation of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PMD) as a much-needed response from mainstream political parties to the current ruling regime’s increasing recourse to political repression, including the dastardly practice of enforced disappearances, gagging of independent voices in the media and academy, and the undermining of democratic institutions by the military, religious and judicial establishments.
However, the AWP leadership is of the considered view that a truly popular, democratic movement against an authoritarian regime can only be built by centring the questions of economic redistribution, women’s emancipation, land reforms, the national question, grassroots democracy, students’ rights and religious equality in its programme.
In a joint statement, AWP President Yousuf Mustikhan, general secretary Akhtar Hussain and Deputy Secretary Ismat Shahjehan have warned that the establishment-centric political system cannot be overhauled transformation of entrenched economic and social structures that enable colonial governance, class inequality, patriarchal domination, religious bigotry and racial and caste oppression.
For a transformative change, any movement for democracy must have the sustained participation of pro-people forces, including leftist political parties, trade unions feminist, students and peasant movements, civil rights’ struggles are made part of it.
Throughout Pakistan’s chequered history, mainstream parties claiming to challenge the establishment have subsequently reneged on the promise of structural change in exchange for a share of power. Unless the mainstream opposition parties learn from their mistakes and address entrenched hierarchies of power and patronage in their own ranks, those errors are bound to be repeated.
The global pandemic has exacerbated economic hardship of working people while everyday violence against the most oppressed segments of society has increased, suggesting dangerous imbalances in the prevailing capitalist order.
The climate crisis is only going to increase the hardships of ordinary people in the coming years. Political forces in Pakistan need to quickly transform our productive, distributive and decision-making structures and institutions to meet people’s basic needs.
Therefore, any movement like the PDM can only truly mobilize the democratic aspirations of working masses if it integrates the demands of youth struggling for their educational rights, and against imperialist war and state repression, as well as gendered violence.
The AWP remains committed to linking the overarching democratic and anti-establishment struggle to popular demands and movements and urges the leadership of the PDM to build on the legacies of epochal democratic upsurges of the past such as the anti-Ayub movement, the MRD, ARD and the anti-Musharraf uprisings.
Issued by: Secretary Information
Awami Workers Party