IRSP: Free Pakistani Working Class Militants

Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at SPAMirsm.org
Fri Mar 23 17:48:15 MST 2001


Irish Republican Socialist Party
Press Statement
23 March 2001

IRSP: Free Pakistani Working Class Militants

In the wake of the arrest of thousands of Pakistani workers by the
government there,
the Irish Republican Socialist Party's International Department issued a
statement
strongly supporting Pakistani workers. The statement began with a call to
the defense
of fellow socialists around the globe.

"Fellow socialists have asked the IRSP to demonstrate our solidarity with
the workers
of Pakistan and to take the matter to the Trade Unions. As republican
socialists,
we remain always prepared to defend the working class of Ireland and
support our working
class sisters and brothers throughout the world and our members within the
Trade Union
movement will be seeking the support of their unions to do the same.

"We understand that the police have attacked the Alliance for the
Restoration of
Democracy [which includes all major opposition forces supporting democracy in
Pakistan against the military dictatorship] as its leaders were planning a
massive
demonstration to be held today, March 23rd in Lahore, despite the government's
refusal to allow permits for the demonstration.

"The police arrested the head of the ARD as well as Farooq Tariq, the General
Secretary of the Pakistan Labour Party. Worse, however, is the fact that the
night before the attack on the ARD, the police arrested several thousand
workers,
dragging them from their homes. The arrests hit hardest at those workers within
the public sector. In one such case, police came to arrest working class
activist Shahida Jabeen, a leader of the Pakistan People's Party, but as she
was not home, the police began torturing her husband. When the family protested
they were all threatened with arrest. Before finally leaving, the police
arrested
her twelve year old son, Jharna, the youngest member of the family. We have
been informed he was finally released after being held for nearly 24 hours.

"In a similar case, the daughter of the Lahore President of the PPP, Sajida
Mir,
who suffers from arthritis and an enlarged liver which causes her to spit
up blood,
was arrested when her father was found to not be home. Such actions have
forced other leading militants to go underground, but the ARD has vowed to go
forward with the protest as planned.

"The IRSP will join in making our opposition to this barbarism known to the
Pakistani
government and encourage all republicans, socialists, and supporters of
democracy
and human rights to do the same."

The statement concluded by addressing itself directly to the Pakistani
Chief Executive:

"General Pervaiz Musharraf, the world is watching as your forces resort to
thuggish
and barbaric violence against the working people of your nation, and you stand
condemned by all those who struggle for justice and the rights of working class
women and men. When a government seeks to preserve itself through the jailing
of vast numbers of workers who are respected within their class for their
leadership
and militancy, it demonstrates its lack of legitimacy and its tyrannical
nature.

"As the Islamic New Year fast approaches, we call upon you to provide a new
beginning
for freedom and social justice in your nation. Restore the democratic
rights of the
Pakistani people and free the thousands of working class activists you now hold
incarcerated. You can jail these revolutionaries, but you cannot jail the
revolution itself.
By trying to do so, you will gain only the vengeance of their fellow
workers, and when
you have been swept aside by the risen people, you will be remembered only
in infamy."

ENDS






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