ISLAMABAD: The Awami Workers Party (AWP) has vowed to struggle for the establishment of an egalitarian society, free from all kinds of exploitation on the basis of caste, creed, religion and gender.
The AWP passed various resolutions at the open session of its two-day federal congress here on Sunday pledging to unite all progressive forces, working class and peasants and to launch movement for real change.
“The AWP congress is taking place in an environment where millions of people were fed up with the televised squabbles of the parties representing the ruling classes abusing the narratives and slogans of the Left and have raised false hopes, because their actual agenda has nothing to do with their revolutionary rhetoric”, said a resolution.
Marking the completion of the process of the Left party building, the congress elected a 41-member federal committee and nine-member executive committee for next two years.
“The absence of a meaningful Left politics has given way to the spread of populism of the rightist parties, most recently in the form of the so-called ‘revolution’ and ‘azadi’ marches,” said AWP President Abid Hassan Minto.
He said that the AWP was formed with the objective of reviving the Leftist traditions and also inducting a new cadre of youth that can grapple with contemporary challenges and build a socialist politics for the twenty-first century.
Minto said that it was only a party that mobilised working men and women under the banner of an anti-capitalist, anti-feudal, anti-patriarchy and anti-imperialist party that could achieve transformative change in the country.
“It is a party of the twenty-first century ready to meet the daunting challenges of neo-colonial imperialist onslaught, the control of their financial institution on our society, economy and politics, the rising extremism and social and economic crises being faced by the country,” Minto said.
He urged the party leaders and workers to be ready to counter these challenges and build the party as well as launch a struggle for the rights of the common working class people, peasants, oppressed nationals and segments of society.
AWP Vice-President Dr Farzana Bari said that the condition of the working class, oppressed nationalities, women and religious minorities has deteriorated. She asserted that only the Left has a viable programme to extricate society from the clutches of capitalism, feudalism, the military-dominated state and imperialist powers.
Other leaders of the party including secretary-general Tariq Farooq and Chairman Fanoos Gujjar said the terms ‘revolution’, ‘inqilab’ and ‘azadi’ have been thrown about recklessly, as the sit-ins led by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have occupied much of the country’s imagination. Can there be a true ‘revolution’ that is led by landlords, industrialists and religious clerics and devoid of organized working class participation, they questioned.
The congress, through a resolution, called for the release of AWP leader Baba Jan and eight other activists and the annulment of their sentencing of life imprisonment by an anti-terrorist court in Gilgit. They also demanded release of the AWP leader in Sheikhupura and labour leaders in Faisalabad.
The AWP endorsed the right of independence and self-determination of all nationals including Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. The congress also called for restoration of trade unions and ban on retrenchment of employees from public and private organisations.
The party also passed a resolution calling for building good relations with the neighbouring countries and making the South Asian region free from nuclear arsenal.
After the concluding session, workers of the Awami Workers Party held a rally starting from Zero Point to Aabpara Chowk. Hundreds of party workers, katchi abadi residents, trade union workers, farmers, students and women participated in the rally.
The rally was also addressed by Fanoos Gujjar, Akhtar Hussain, Robina Jameel, Bakhshal Thalho, Farooq Tariq, Aasim Sajjad, Farzana Bari, Alia Amirali, and Nisar Shah.
The party’s cultural wing presented songs, classical dance by Amna Mowaz, Areib Azhar, Ammar Rashid.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2014.