In November 2012, the Awami Party, Labour Party and Workers Party merged to form the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in an unprecedented effort to build a genuine left alternative to mainstream political forces in Pakistan. While not the first attempt to forge left unity, the formation of the AWP generated a great deal of excitement amongst progressives both within and outside the country due to its promise of building upon the best traditions of the twentieth century left and making ideological and organizational adaptations necessary for a viable leftist project in the present century.
In the almost two years since the AWP’s inception, the cauldron that is Pakistani politics has become even more explosive, with the fledgling party confirming its credentials as the only meaningful left alternative to status quo. As the contradictions of state, imperialism, patriarchy and combined and uneven development in a multi-national country grow increasingly acute, reactionaries of all hues have consolidated their monopoly over political discourse, aided by a complicit corporate media. Most recently, right-wing populists Tahir ul Qadri and Imran Khan have spearheaded protests that which ostensibly herald the onset of ‘revolutionary’ change in the country.
It is in this context that the AWP is holding its first federal congress in the last week of September. Three hundred delegates from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh, Siraiki Wasaib, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will gather in the capital Islamabad for two days to deliberate on the party’s future direction, ratify its constitution and party programme, and elect its federal leadership for a two-year term. Elections in the federating units have already been completed and the successful completion of the federal congress will bring closure to the first phase of party-building.
As a left party operating in an hostile environment, we rely on all those sympathetic to the cause of progressive politics to help us build a viable leftist alternative. For many comrades travel to and from Islamabad is prohibitively expensive, while the costs of boarding and lodging for three hundred delegates will stretch the party’s as yet meager resources to the limit. The estimated cost of the entire two-day event, which will be punctuated by a rally of thousands of working people, is Rs. 1 million (US$10,000). Please help us meet this cost, and in the process take a small step towards our long-term goal of a socialist Pakistan.
Please send your donations to the following bank account:
(AWP is in the process of opening a bank account on its own name, Shazia Khan is finance secretary of AWP)
Account Title: Shazia Khan
Bank & Branch: Standard Chartered Bank, Main Gulberg Branch (005) Lahore
Bank account no: 08078319301
Swift code: SCBLPKKX
Abid Hasan Minto, President, AWP. +92(0)300-8473263
Fanoos Gujjar, Chairperson AWP. +92(0)334-5691939
Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, AWP +92(0)300-8411945
Farzana Bari, Women Secretary, AWP +92(0)300-5109631
Shazia Khan, Finance Secretary, AWP +92(0)300-8433173