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AWP stands in solidarity with relatives of those who lost their lives in terrorist attack

Awami Workers' Party Press Release - January 20, 2016

By Lahore AWP federal secretariat

The Awami Workers Party stands in solidarity with the relatives of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack at the Bacha Khan University, Charsadda. The AWP strongly condemns the attack and expects that the authorities concerned will fix responsibility of failure to thwart the terrorist attack on the university.

The party calls upon all democratic and pro-people forces to come together and critically examine the manner in which the National Action Plan against terrorism has been implemented in the last year and the military operation against terrorist outfits carried out so far.

The party's stance on the NAP has been clear from day one and has been borne out by the manner of its implementation. It believes that no action plan could succeed in eradicating terrorism if solutions proposed in it emerge out of an incorrect reading of the country's political history and if identification of problems is done singularly from the perspective of the political and civil-military establishment.

For it to be successful, the NAP needs to acknowledge that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militant outfits are an outgrowth of the establishment's policies of strengthening proxies to suppress internal dissent from pro-people and progressive forces and to further its regional designs.

The value of this acknowledgement cannot be stressed enough. It will highlight the pressing need to hold the establishment (both its elected and unelected arms) accountable to the Pakistani people regardless of their religious associations or ethno-linguistic identity and put a question mark over the legitimacy of the military-led operations in Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the Rangers-led operation in the Sindh province and the strengthening of police forces and the establishment of counter terrorism departments in the provinces.

These actions cannot be legitimised by the mere presence of elected governments at the federal and the provincial levels because:

i) The FATA and Balochistan (alongside Gilgit Balitistan and Azad Kashmir) lack true representation in the federal set up and are run as colonies of the federal government either de jure (the FATA, GB, Azad Kashmir) or de facto (Balochistan)

ii) The political history of the country testifies to the fact that when it comes to national security and foreign policy the military establishment does not submit itself to the will of the people. The parliament has yet to hold an open debate on military operations.

In these circumstances, the AWP demands an explanation from the authorities as to why militant outfits continue to operate inside the country with impunity despite a huge spending on building up the military's operational capacity. It should be clarified on the outset that an explanation resorting to the involvement of a foreign hand will not be acceptable.

The AWP stands in opposition to right wing extremism. It has emerged out of a progressive tradition of political action that intends to put an end to all forms of exploitation and to transform the society and the economy of the country along egalitarian lines. It considers terrorism as a political problem, requiring a political solution. It calls upon the political and the military establishment to recognise its failure in addressing the problem and let pro-people forces hold an open national debate on all aspects of terrorism, including the continuous collusion and linkages between state institutions and their non-state proxies. The failure of the NAP should lead the way for holding of a National Debate on State and Non-state Terrorism.

Abid Hasan Minto (president AWP)
Fanoos Gujjar (chairman AWP)
Farooq Tariq (General Secretary)

Source: https://www.facebook.com/AwamiWorkersParty/posts/914631151925546.

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