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News ::
anti-war meeting in Quetta (Pakistan)
06 Nov 2001
report of a meeting against the war and against fundamentalism in Quetta (Pakistan)



PTUDC Quetta Anti-WarPublic Meeting - 28.10.2001



PTUDC Quetta Anti-WarPublic Meeting - 28.10.2001


Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan, the largest but sparsely
populated and poorest province of Pakistan. The importance of Quetta
in this war is mainly due to its proximity to Kandahar [Afghanistan]
and the operations of American planes and Special Forces from
airbases around here.

Most of the Taliban were trained and indoctrinated in Madrassas in
this area. They have also a certain support through their mother
party the Jamiat Ulema a Islam. Their most violent and fiercest
demonstrations have also taken place in Quetta. The Islamic
fundamentalists seem to have quite a strong grip here.

Hence it was considered a bit ambitious to hold a public meeting
on a left platform in Quetta, mainly due to the implicit threat of
attack by the Islamic fundamentalists. However the leader ship of the
PTUDC in Quetta and Baluchistan in consultation with the national
leadership decided to go ahead with the public meeting in spite of
the dangers in the situation.

The meeting was held in a location in the heart of the city. The
PTUDC poster was fly-posted for three days in all the main centres in
the city. The venue of the meeting was reprinted on the poster in the
space provided. The meeting took place at 11.00am on Sunday, 28th
October. The comrades took special security measures and no
assistance was either sought or accepted from the state. The meeting
was attended by135 people, predominantly youth.

Comrade Ali Raza chaired the meeting. The meeting began by the
recitation of a revolutionary anti-war poem by comrade Kabir Ahmed.
The first speaker was comrade Hameed Khan, the organizer of the PTUDC
in Quetta. He explained the background to the conflict, the history
of the 1978 Afghan revolution, the causes of its defeat and the role
of the CIA, the ISI and Saudi intelligence agency in propping up
Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist groups
in this region.

He condemned the imperialist aggression on the innocent
impoverished people of Afghanistan. He also emphasized that the
fundamentalist actions of terrorism only result in the strengthening
of the imperialists. He said that condemnations are not enough,
neither is the stale pathos of peace going to end this barbarity.


Hameed Khan explained why a revolutionary programme and workers'
unity and struggle were necessary to defeat imperialism. He said that
Afghanistan and Pakistan have become a single war zone. Hence the
workers of all nationalities, religions and races of the region have
to unite to fight and transform the war into a class war if we are to
win.

The other speakers included, Waheed Baluch [PTUDC],
representatives of the BSO, JKLF and Habib Jalib the BNM senator from
Baluchistan in Pakistan's suspended senate.

The main speaker and chief guest was comrade Lal Khan who had been
invited to come down from Lahore to address this public meting.

The leaders of the two main nationalist Parties in Baluchistan the
BNM [Baluch Nationalist Movement] and PKMAP [Pakhtoon Khawa Mili
Awami Party] also attended the meeting. There was also presence from
other left parties.

This was the first ever anti-war public activity launched from the
left in this war zone since the commencement of the hostilities. The
youth and workers from various sectors were very enthused by the
meeting. All the fears of fundamentalist aggression were dashed by
the success and the courage generated by this meeting.

The participants vowed to continue the struggle and take the
Marxist position on war to wider sections of the Pashtun, Baluch and
workers of other nationalities in this war zone. Several more such
meetings are now being organized in different towns and cities of
Baluchistan.

Report by comrade Abid,

Quetta, Baluchistan,

November 2nd, 2001

See also: S11 attacks and
consequences - Special coverage

Note: The Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC)
have launched their own web site,
www.ptudc.org. The PTUDC has been
campaigning for the defence of trade union rights in Pakistan for a
number of years. Now the situation has become even more complicated
with the war against Afghanistan. The PTUDC has condemned terrorism,
but is also actively campaigning against the war inside Pakistan
itself. Thus they face the wrath of both the state authorities and
the Islamic fundamentalists. They need your help in their campaigning
work. You can help by publicising their material and by going to
http://www.marxist.com/wellred/ptudc.asp
to make a financial contribution to their campaigning work.


See also:
http://www.marxist.com/S11_attack_special.asp
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