We have just received this extremely important report
from the comrades in Pakistan. It indicates that the assassination of Benazir
Bhutto has had the effect of a catalyst that is impelling the masses onto the
revolutionary road. The situation is now beginning to resemble that of tsarist
Russia after Bloody Sunday in 1905. The Pakistan Marxists of The Struggle are
playing a leading role in the mass movement, as this report clearly shows. By
combining transitional democratic demands with the idea of socialist
revolution, they are gaining the ear of the masses and preparing the ground for
major revolutionary developments in this huge Asian country of 160 million
Big protest on January 3rd in Rawalakot (Kashmir) organized by the Pakistani Marxists of The Struggle against Benazir Bhutto’s assassination
There was an immense outpouring of anger and sorrow as the
masses in Pakistan heard the news of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The
Marxists intervened massively all over the country in the protests leading the
movement, in many areas. Where they intervened the mood changed from one of
mourning to one of determination to put an end to the rotten feudal/capitalist
system through socialist revolution.
The brutal assassination of Benazir at the hands of the
Pakistani state is not the first incident of deliberate targeting of the
leaders of the masses in this country. Her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was
hanged and her two brothers were cruelly assassinated. However, the mammoth
reaction of the downtrodden masses after this cold-blooded murder has never
been seen before on such a scale in this part of the world.
For the poverty-stricken and impoverished people of this
country Benazir personified a dream, a dream of a prosperous and bright future
that would lift them out of their filthy and miserable lives. When the
reactionary elements of the State took away what seemed their only hope, the
masses came out in huge numbers to show their grief and anger against the
State. Most of the state apparatus was reduced to ashes throughout the country,
especially in Sindh. The banks, which are a symbol of capitalist exploitation,
were also the main target of the anger of the masses.
On 28th, 29thand 30th of
December there was effectively no government in the country. All the state
functionaries were hiding away from the wrath of the masses and whole country
had come to a standstill. During these days the focus of attention was on
Naudero, the ancestral village of the Bhutto family, where Benazir was laid to
rest on 28th December 2007. All the power had been shifted towards
the leadership of the PPP, which held its Executive Committee meeting in
Naudero on 30th December.
Our comrades had arrived in Naudero before the meeting in
big numbers and had joined the thousands of people in mourning. The prevailing
mood was one of grief. But the arrival of our comrades changed the mood from
one of mourning to one of revolutionary ferment when the comrades started
shouting revolutionary slogans. Comrades led by Rauf Lund raised slogans like
"Benazir tere khoon se, Inqilaab aye ga" [Benazir from your blood, revolution
will come] and "Zinda hai Bhutto Zinda hai" [Bhutto is alive, is alive] the
whole atmosphere was charged once again and people instead of crying vowed to
take revenge for their murdered leader.
These slogans instantly spread like wildfire and the whole
of Naudero and Garhi Khuda Bux were resounding with these chants. The same
slogans were also raised during the press conference of Asif Ali Zardari and
from there through the TV cameras reached the whole world.
Simultaneously with these mass public activities, the
Pakistan Marxists were intervening energetically in internal Party meetings at
a leading level. A meeting of the Sindh council was held in Larkana on 6th
January in which Comrade Riaz Lund, who is contesting for a seat as Member of
National Assembly, presented a revolutionary programme for the PPP in this hour
of crisis, which was supported by most of the people present. At a meeting of
the Punjab Executive of the PPP on 7th January 2008 in Lahore,
Comrade Manzoor presented a revolutionary alternative to take revenge for this
assassination and stressed that this incident clearly shows that now no
compromise is possible between the classes.
The mood of radicalisation after the assassination has also
affected the youth. A big shift in the leadership of the Punjab Peoples
Students Federation (PSF) took place on 8th January. Comrade Zohaib
Butt was appointed the Secretary General of Punjab PSF in a meeting in which
student leaders and office bearers form the whole province were present. In this
meeting students vowed to take revenge for this killing by working towards a
socialist revolution and they will hold "Intiqam-e-Benazir" (Revenge for
Benazir) conventions in all the districts of the Punjab. It was also decided
that a new revolutionary manifesto of the PSF will be published in a few weeks.
Leaflet on the assassination
A leaflet on the assassination of Benazir was published by
comrades of The Struggle and the PTUDC together with the Punjab PSF in
big numbers. People eagerly snatched the leaflet from our hands and the quarter
of a million copies of the leaflet we had printed were exhausted immediately.
This leaflet of the Pakistan Marxist tendency was the only literature in the
country that was produced by anyone. It put forward a revolutionary alternative
and stated that the revenge for this killing could only be a socialist
This leaflet was also reproduced in the Sindhi language and
was distributed throughout the whole province massively. It was also reproduced
in many cities by contesting candidates of the PPP and was distributed in huge
numbers. In Karachi people asking for copies of the leaflet besieged our
One of the demands in the leaflet was to form resistance and
protest committees to organize the wrath of masses. Many such committees were
formed around the country independently and then linked up with our comrades,
who are giving them the necessary aims and leadership. Most of these committees
are active and are effectively working in their areas.
Protest rallies all over the country
Comrades led a number of rallies in all the major cities and
towns in which thousands of people participated.
Just after the news of the assassination of Benazir reached
Kasur Comrade Manzoor came out with his comrades on the streets where thousands
of people joined him. He then led a rally of nearly 5,000 people through the
streets of Kasur. All the markets were shut down and the whole city was
paralysed by a general strike as the rally marched round the city.
The next day, after the burial of Benazir, another gathering
was arranged to offer funeral prayers in absence in Kasur, after which a huge
rally of nearly 10,000 people marched round the city. At the end of the rally
comrade Manzoor vowed to take revenge for this brutal killing through a
socialist revolution. He said that the dark forces of fundamentalism created by
the Americans and the Pakistani State want to hijack the future of the masses.
But they do not realise that the masses will not sit back now. They will come
out to take the revenge for their misery and wretchedness.
In Lahore the comrades of the PTUDC distributed thousands of
leaflets in the factories and among workers of various departments. A huge
number of leaflets were distributed at Railways Workshops in Lahore where
thousands of employees were present and were mourning this murder. After
reading the leaflet they began to organize without their traditional leadership
and decided to organise a demonstration. After this decision a big protest
rally was held after the funeral prayers, which was led by Comrade Siddiq Beig,
Secretary General Mehnat Kush Union on the Pakistan Railways and comrade Ilyas
In Sialkot a leaflet was reproduced in big numbers and was
distributed among the people. Big rallies were held after the assassination in
which comrades actively participated. Several Protest Committees have been
formed in Sialkot and Daska in which revolutionary alternatives are being
discussed along with planning agitational activities.
Rawalpindi is the city where Benazir was assassinated. Her
father Z.A. Bhutto was also hanged in this city. This city was one of the most
ravaged by the angry workers. Comrades participated in all the agitational
activities and distributed leaflets in big numbers.
In Attock comrade Perveiz Malik was one of the main leaders
of the agitation activities throughout the whole district. Various
commemorations were being held in which revolutionary slogans were raised.
In Faisalabad our comrades participated in the various
rallies and distributed leaflets. Workers from textile industry participated in
One of the largest rallies in the Punjab was held in Jhang,
which was led by comrades of the Struggle. The comrades raised revolutionary
slogans and said that the only way forward is through revolution. Huge banners
of the PTUDC with revolutionary slogans were also present at the rally.
Multan is a stronghold of the PPP. After the news of
assassination came through various protest rallies and demonstrations were held.
Also many memorial meetings and seminars were held following the assassination
of Benazir. All these activities were centred around our comrades who presented
a revolutionary programme to the workers.
Comrades in the BZU University Multan led a rally of
hundreds of students from the university and marched round the main areas of
the city. Comrades channelled the wrath of the students and led them towards
organizing themselves in resistance committees.
A big rally was organised at Nawa Shehar on 3rd January
in which nearly 4,000 people took part. The rally was led by Comrade Ilyas
Khan, a veteran leader of the PPP and leading comrade of the Struggle who
addressed the workers and told them that revenge is only possible through a
In Kot Addu, a town with a large number of industrial
workers, big rallies were organized. Comrade Ali Akbar from the PTCL and
Comrade Shehryar of the KAPCO led the workers in various rallies and
demonstrations. Rallies were also organized in the adjoining cities of Layyah,
Alipur and Kloorkot.
In D.G. Khan our comrades led the students of various
colleges and blocked all the main roads to protest this brutal killing. All
markets were shut down when the comrades led the rally onto the streets of the
city. Memorial meetings are being held in all the colleges in which the
revolutionary programme is being discussed.
In Jampur our comrades blocked the main roads in protest
against this brutal killing. Rauf Lund, a leader of the Struggle, led thousands
of people in a rally after he came back from Naudero. Memorial meetings are now
being held in all the adjoining cities and villages to condemn the
In Rahimyar Khan our comrades led huge rallies in the city
and presented a revolutionary programme to take revenge. A heavy crackdown
against PPP workers was launched after the rallies in which nearly 300 workers
were arrested. Around 25 comrades have been falsely accused of "terrorist
activities" and are now underground at various places in the city. Comrade
Haider Chughtai is wanted by the Police who have been searching for him all
over the city but so far he has not been arrested.
In Sadiqabad comrade Qamar and Abbas Taj led thousands of
people through the city along with the local leadership of the PPP. At the
rallies after the marches speakers condemned this act of the State and said
that this blood will not be forgotten easily and the masses will take revenge
for this blood. The main crossing of the city was named after Benazir Bhutto.
In the Sindh region several activities were organised. In
the city of Dadu all the state buildings were reduced to ashes. Also the homes
of leaders of the right wing Muslim League (Q), which was termed as the Qatil
(killer) League by Zardari, were burnt. Comrades here distributed leaflet in
Sindhi and Urdu and organised students and workers in committees.
In Mirpur Khas comrades of the Para-medical Union and other
associations organized the people in committees and distributed hundreds of
leaflets. In Khairpur, a city that was also one of the most ravaged, the
comrades organized resistance committees. In Thatta big rallies were organised.
In Hyderabad the comrades reproduced the leaflet in Sindhi
in big numbers. Comrade here led students of all universities in protest rallies.
A big meeting was held at the Jamshoro Power Station in which the comrades of
the PTUDC presented a revolutionary programme.
In Karachi on the day of the assassination the city was a
complete inferno. Banks and government buildings were ransacked and there was
some tension between the communities along linguistic lines but the PPP
supporters cut across these arsonist elements demanding a free and fair
investigation of the assassination of Ms. Bhutto. Comrade Riaz Lund, a
steelworker and Marxist, who is contesting elections in the NA-257
constituency, organized many memorial meetings along with District President
Raja Razaaq, Rafiq Baloch and other party leadership in Karachi.
Leaflets are being distributed in all the homes in the
constituency which has 385, 000 voters. Also leaflets are being distributed at
memorial meetings being held in other parts of Karachi. A big meeting was held
by the union of the PIA workers in which comrades spoke for a revolutionary
alternative. Resistance committees are also being rapidly formed in the Malir
The first protest committee in the country was formed at
Pakistan Steel where comrade Lal Khan, the leader of the Struggle, was present
at the time of the incident. This committee is leading the workers of the Steel
Mill in all agitation activities. A revenge convention by the BNT is also being
planned in Labour Square where thousands of workers from various industries
Balochistan, where war has been raging and many lives lost,
also saw many protect activities. Despite the difficult conditions, the
comrades of the Struggle led huge rallies in the Province’s main city of Quetta
to protest the killing. Comrade Nazar Mengal, Secretary General of the Peoples
Labour Bureau Balochistan, along with Arbab Sardar Ali and Ali Ahmed Parkani
led the rally. The workers of the Balochistan National Party also joined this
huge rally. This shows how the revolutionary class struggle can cut across all
national barriers and unite the working people in common struggle.
Women of the PPP in Balochistan also led a protest rally
from the MPA hostel. This rally was led by comrades Nasreen Taj, Rubina Mengal
and Shakeela Baloch. The rally turned into a mass meeting at Manan Chowk. Ali
Ahmed Parkani, Malik Imtiaz, Nazr Mengal, comrade Afaq, George Gill, Tariq
Riaz, Nasreen Taj and others addressed this mass meeting. Hafeez Mengal was the
stage secretary at the occasion.
Big rallies were also held in the Khuzdar and Qalat
Districts. In the mass meeting in the Qalat district President Arbab Ahmed Ali,
comrade Waheed and comrade Ali Ahmed addressed the people.
In Pakhtoonkhwa (formerly the North West Frontier Province)
agitation activities were held throughout the whole province. Our comrades led
the protests in Malakand, Mardan, Charsadda, Sawabi, Buner, Peshawar, Bannu and
In Kashmir comrades led the rallies in Rawlakot, Khaigala,
Hajeera, Bagh and Muzzafrabad and they also participated in large numbers in
Plandri, Sainsa and Kotli. In Rawlakot a students’ action committee formed soon
after the incident organized a "Revenge Benazir Revolutionary Caravan". This
committee is composed of the JKNSF, JKPSF and JKPSO, the main Student
Federations in Kashmir.
Nearly 5,000 students of the area participated in this
caravan. At the end of the caravan a public meeting was held in which Chief
Guest was Comrade Adil Khan, president of the JKNSF and Tasleem Baghi, Chairman
of the PSO. It was chaired by Comrade Zia ul Qamar.
More than 100 vehicles were present on this impressive caravan.
Stage Secretary was comrade Babrik, while speakers included the central leader
of the PPP Sardar Azeem and Amjad Shaswar, BNT Organizer in Kashmir. All the
demands in the leaflet were presented as resolutions, which were accepted
Initially some local leaders tried to oppose this caravan
but the reply of the masses was that whoever organises such protest activities
would be the real heirs of the PPP. So the people rejected the appeals of the
cowardly opportunists and joined the comrades in the revolutionary struggle to
take revenge for the murder. A meeting of the Student Action Committee is being
held today, 9th January, in which the next plans for protests will
The forthcoming period
The elections have been delayed till 18th
February. Our demand has been throughout the movement for no delay and for
immediate elections, but the decision has been taken. Now the comrades are
focusing on the general election campaign. Several Marxists candidates are
standing on PPP tickets, for example in Kasur, Karachi and even in the tribal
area of Waziristan, on the border of Afghanistan. It is of crucial importance
that the Marxists win some seats, to give the downtrodden masses a
revolutionary voice in the Pakistani parliament.
Lahore, 8th January, 2008