Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party – Ireland) speaking in the European Parliament about the deaths of workers in Bangladesh due to the collapse of a factory.
In the electoral politics of Pakistan, the political parties, ideology and programme matters little in the final outcome of the elections. In the big cities, the political parties enjoy some clout and their vote plays a decisive role but in the small cities, towns and rural areas the feudal lords, rich individuals and influential families call the shots. The constituency based politics centers around 300 big influential families plus another 1000 families allied to them. There are around 5 to 10 influential families which decide the fate of the constituency. They have no permanent ideology or political affiliations. They change their loyalty according to the situation. They have a history to change loyalties overnight. They have only one aim and that is to protect their own interests and maintain control in their respective areas. In many areas, the different members of the same family contest elections against each other under the banner of different political parties.
These protests could very well mark the beginning of a revolutionary wave in the region and has left the Bangladesh ruling class terrified at facing such a prospect. Though the initial trigger for the movement was the verdict of the war crimes tribunal against the perpetrators of the genocide in the national liberation struggle in 1971, the movement is definitely linked to the frustrations of the youth and the working people of Bangladesh in present day Bangladesh.
The slogan of “revolution” has been misused so blatantly that it has lost its meaning in the context of the Pakistani politics. Every capitalist, feudal and religious politician in the country wants to bring revolution or a change of system; even the most ardent supporters and allies of the establishment in the country are using the word “revolution” to completely discredit it. They all wanted to protect their class interests and the present system and status-quo.
The recent firing at the Line of Control (LOC), demarcating the Indian held Kashmir (Jammu & Kashmir or IOK) and Pakistani held Kashmir (Azad Kashmir or POK) has once again brought into focus the fragile peace relations between India and Pakistan. According to a report in The Hindu, what started the current round of escalation in tensions was a seemingly innocuous incident involving a 70 year old women who crossed the LOC in September from the Indian side (at Charonda Village near Uri) to the Pakistani side to be with her sons and thus exposing the porous borders along the heavily militarized zone