Lahore rally against
Farooq Tariq 19\09\2010
We had a
very vibrant rally with a lot of slogans and with full enthusiasm. The
rally was organised to demand cancellation of Pakistan debts and
spending it on flood affectees. The main Mall Road was blocked for over
one and half hour and the road saw many red flags raising slogans
against American imperialism, IMF, World Bank and other financial
institutions. One of the main feature of the rally was participation
of women and young activists from different background.
There were several
trade unions who had mobalised their members to attend the rally, they
include Rustam Suhrab Cycle and Motor Cycle Workers Union CBA, Lahore
Gymkhana Workers Association, Railway Wokers Union, Itehad Carpet Union,
Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union. There were many activists of Labour
Party Pakistan and Workers Party Pakistan and also some from Communist
Mazdoor Kissan Party. Progressive Youth front mobalised over 100 youth
from one area of Lahore and National Student Federation
also mobilized their members. Women Workers Help Line and Labour
Education Foundation worked very hard to mobilized those in their out
reach. The activists and leaders National Trade Union Federation,
Pakistan For Palestine, CATDM Pakistan, Pakistan Kissan Rabita
Committee, Tehreek Istiqlal, Pakistan Trade Unions Defense Campaign,
Pakistan Institute of Secular Studies and students of Lahore University
of Management were among others in the rally.
Abid Hasan Minto,
president Workers Party Pakistan came to share his voice against the
repayments of foreign debts. The rally started from GPO Chouck and ended
at Charing Cross on Mall Road. Asim Sajad Akhtar and Naeem Shakir
advocate from Workers Party Pakistan, Abdul Khaliq Shah of CATDM, Bushra
Khaliq secretary Women Workers Help Line, Mohammed Naseeb of Lahore
Gymkhana, Azhar Siddique advocate, Sakhai Mohammed of Railway Workers
Union, Hanif Goraya of Tehreek Istiqlal and myself spoke in the end of
rally and vowed to continue the struggle for cancellation
of Pakistan foreign debt.
The speakers made
it clear that the campaign will not end and we demanded that government
should not take any more loans and say no to the repayments of the
debts. They were say that we have paid enough and we will not pay more.
They criticized the PPP government of assuring the IMF that they will
not go for debt cancellation. "Pakistan has a very strong case for debt
cancellation. People of Pakistan are totally in favor of getting rid of
IMF and World Bank Loan. People are suffering from the conditionalities
of these financial institutions. The new loan on the name of flood will
put more burdens, we need grants and aid and not loan" were some of the
main points of the speakers.
The rally was
organised by Labour Relief Campaign in association with Oxfam. Over 700
participated in the rally on a Sunday afternoon.