|Onslaught against privatisation of Pakistan Steel in the National Assembly|
|Written by Adam Pal|
|Thursday, 20 April 2006 00:00|
The struggle against
privatisation is heating up in Pakistan. Today, all the major papers
contained articles and reports on Comrade Manzoor’s magnificent
intervention in the National Assembly against the privatisation of
Pakistan Steel Mills.
On Thursday April 20 the front pages of all the main newspapers of Pakistan were splashed with headlines and reports about the debate on the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills Karachi (PSM), the largest industrial unit in the country.
The paper with the largest circulation in the country, The Daily Jang, carried the following headline: “The mill with 20 billion annual profit sold for 21 billion.”
The following was written in the widely circulated English language newspaper, The Post:
The oldest and the largest circulated English newspaper in Pakistan, Daily Dawn, wrote the following: “The opposition onslaught was led by former interior minister Aitzaz Ahsan and Chaudhary Manzoor Ahmed… Manzoor Ahmed who opened the debate called the PSM fast track privatization scandalous…”
All the newspapers of Pakistan had similar coverage of the debate in the National Assembly. Comrade Manzoor Ahmed is also the president of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), which has been at the forefront of the struggle against the privatisation of PSM. Over the past year, it has not only been the state, the fundamentalists, and the right-wing parties that have attacked the PTUDC and its campaign against privatisation but also the ex-Stalinists and sectarians. All of these groups were united in their hatred of us as they could see that the Marxists were becoming a mass force due to the leading role they played in the struggles of the working class in Pakistan.
However, the struggle is not over yet. Comrade Manzoor’s speech has inspired the workers and given them confidence in their struggle. We have ordered the video recordings from the National Assembly of Manzoor’s recent speeches, including his speech against the privatisation of PSM and a speech he made on Tuesday April 18 against price hikes and unemployment. Copies of these CDs will be distributed across the country and will be shown in different cities, workplaces, shantytowns, and worker colonies across Pakistan. They will also be shown at the end of the May Day rallies in 27 cities and towns all across Pakistan.
The PTUDC is gearing up for the fight against the anti-working class policies of the Musharraf regime, which are dictated by the IMF, the World Bank and other imperialist institutions.
Comrade Manzoor is scheduled to visit all the provincial capitals of Pakistan over the next 6 weeks. He will discuss the build up for the National Labor Conference this summer with trade union leaders and activists, in order to ensure that all trade unions and workers can be united in the struggle against these attacks, and united in the struggle against the capitalist system.
Perhaps for the first time ever, the struggles of the working class in the factories and on the streets are finding a loud echo in the National Assembly. At least 10 other MPs are actively supporting Comrade Manzoor and are helping to bring the case of the Pakistani proletariat to the House and use it as a podium to spread the message of revolutionary socialism to the farthest and most remote sections of the masses.
We provide below links to the online editions of the major newspapers that covered Comrade Manzoor’s speech:
The Struggle continues!