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“Broad Left” a new slogan for social-democracy

Posted by Taimur Rahman on October 8, 2008

During much of the twentieth century social-democracy was internationally defeated by Marxism-Leninism. Around the world the working class movement was dominated by communist parties. However, the breakup of the Soviet Union and the perceived defeat of Marxism-Leninism has once again offered social-democracy a new lease of life. Today we are witness to the periodic revamping of social-democracy as the “broad left” in order to resurrect their fortunes.

Marxists have identified social-democratic politics as the “bourgeois politics of the working class”. They have considered them agents of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement. Lenin declared that the struggle against imperialism was a sham if it was not combined with the struggle against opportunism within the working class (read social-democracy).

In Pakistan as well we see a revival of this social-democratic trend under a new name every few years. When I joined left wing politics there was the charcha about the National Workers Party. Three left-wing parties got together to form a new party. They said goodbye to Marxism-Leninism (although many continued to consider themselves as communists) and formed what they considered a “broad left” party.

Then the old professeran group got together and wanted to form a broad left debating forum that would eventually lead to a party. But they couldn’t agree on whether or not there was such a thing as imperialism. The result was the Awami Jamhoori Forum. I often wonder why they don’t join the NWP since their politics is scarcely any different.

Even more recently members of the communist party that had given up politics more than a decade ago decided that the time for broad left politics had come. They formed the Inqalabi Jamhoori Workers Committee and are working incessantly for a “broad left” party.

But what are the principles of this “broad left”? Each of them explain that a broad left party will not be a Marxist-Leninist party. But it will be a party that includes Marxists (or even mostly Marxists). It will only exclude anti-Marxists. In other words, it will include everyone that is centre or centre left but it will exclude right-wing people.

I once asked in a straight forward manner, will such a broad left party uphold the point of view that the emancipation of the working class requires the dictatorship of the proletariat (i.e. the class rule of the working class). I received the idiotic response that the broad left is opposed to all forms of dictatorship, whether of the proletariat, military or mullah. Now one really has to scratch one’s head and wonder where these so-called former communists have been living if they do not even understand the distinction between the concept of the dictatorship of a class and dictatorship of the bourgeois military.

Bourgeois democracy and military dictatorship are two different forms of the class rule of the bourgeoisie. As far as Marxism is concerned they are two different forms of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Similarly, the dictatorship of the working class (i.e. the class rule of the working class) can also assume different forms (ranging from the more democratic to more authoritarian).

Only those that are completely unversed in Marx’s use of the term dictatorship of the proletariat can confuse the concept with military dictatorship. One certainly does not expect those that have been members of the communist party for nearly their entire lives to make such idiotic statements. Such statements are normally the exclusive preserve of those that learn about Marxism from Time magazine or Reader’s Digest.

In sum, such a broad left party is opposed to Marxism. A working class party cannot be forged out of such confusion. It can only be forged in the ideological struggle against such confusion. Such a party would descend into complete chaos. The Marxist section would be working towards the building of an organization that is working towards the smashing of the current state. The other section would be opposed to any politics that aims at anything further than extracting concessions from the state.

Furthermore, given the stronger financial resources of the social-democrats and the support that they receive from the liberal sections of the bourgeoisie (with whom they are connected with a thousand different threads), the Marxist section of the party would not be able to dominate in such an organization. Hence, the dissolving of a Marxist party into this broad confusion would only lead to the liquidation of the Marxist vanguard.

This criticism of social-democratic politics is well-established among communists. But let us also turn to the situation in Pakistan. What are the options for a broad left organization? The National Workers Party, Labour Party, and Awami Tehreek are sitting inside the right-wing APDM. They are aligned with the most right-wing opponents of the democratic government. How can the CMKP form a broad left party with these organizations when we have a fundamental disagreement with their choice of friends and enemies. Can we form one party when they are sitting with the Jamaat e Islami and under the patronage of General Hameed Gul raising slogans against the democratic government, and we are opposing the APDM tooth and nail.

Furthermore, historically their attitude towards us has been one of hostility to the point that preferred to make an alliance with the openly pro-military (Sherpao) MKP than with the CMKP. In other words, they can sit with anyone, from the fundamentalists to the pro-military parties, but they don’t want to sit anywhere close to communists.

And what is most disturbing of all is that all of these alliances and mergers add no new forces to the left. These are the same faces that we have seen for the last two three decades. Few new people have been added to their ranks at all. In other words, all these efforts represent a reshuffling, a re-ordering of the same people but along social-democratic lines.

The CMKP is the only Marxist party that can claim to have actually broken new ground and influenced a new generation of activists. Quite frankly, this new generation of activists are completely uninspired by the defeatist social-democracy of the old left. When I walk out of their meetings I feel more depressed than when I go in. It isn’t the size of the meeting nor the age of its participants that leads to this feeling. It is the constance defeatism reiterated a thousand different ways that destroys all morale. How can one build an organization on the basis of such defeatism?

When we started our work, this defeatist left lambasted with the opinion that people will not follow a staunch Marxist party. But the last decade of struggle has revealed the exact opposite. Our ranks have grown with new young people. And the defeatist left has become liquidationist and even capitulated to the APDM in the hopes of a little lime-light.

Let us do away with the illusion of a social-democratic broad left. What we need in Pakistan is a Marxist-Leninist party. What we need in Pakistan is a Communist Party.


Posted in History, International Communist Movement, Marxist Theory, Pakistani Politics, Politics | Comments Off on “Broad Left” a new slogan for social-democracy

Brace Yourselves: We Must Fight the Taliban

Posted by Taimur Rahman on July 1, 2008

“The operation to root out extremists in tribal areas and on the doorstep of Peshawar has begun. There is bound to be a serious blow back. Brace yourselves.”

It seems that fear of suicide bombs has so permeated our society that many of us simply do not have the stomach for a struggle against the Taliban. But whichever way one turns, such a struggle is both inevitable and necessary. The Taliban are not interested in merely staying within the tribal areas. They are not interested in practicing their medieval barbaric ways in their own areas. Far from it. They are interested in spreading their version of Islam not only all over FATA, not only all over Pakistan, they actually believe that their dogma is the panacea for all the ills of the modern world. Therefore, they are an aggressive force that should not be mistaken for traditional tribals.

The Tehreek e Taliban is out to make Pakistan into another version of Talibanized Afghanistan. The fact that they have managed to get to the gates of Peshawar should not be taken lightly at all.

Some people mistakenly allege that the Taliban have captured the mood of resistance of the Pushtun people. But this is so far from the truth that it is almost laughable. If the Taliban had indeed captured the mood of the Pushtun people, it would not have been the case that the people of Pukhtunkhwa would have given a landslide victory to the secular ANP. Far from it. Media reports from the region are demonstrating that the people of Swat have lost their livelihood because of the ongoing fighting. Malam Jaba, Swat and so many other places that were once places where people from all over Pakistan would come and visit, have been turned into ghost towns. People are emigrating out of these
areas because there is no work. Those that remain wish for the old times to return when there was no Taliban and economic conditions were much better.

Another misconception has to do with the view that negotiations are the only or the best way forward. How can the cause of democracy, civil society, equality, or justice be served by not taking any action against those that have torched dozens of girls schools, murdered 28 peace makers, publicly executed their opponents, razed barber shops, destroyed CD and DVD shops, brunt to a crisp
tourist resorts, kidnapped religious minority groups and have brought chaos to the area? How can justice be served by not doing anything about the murder of democratically elected representatives? These last few days extremists broke into the house of Abdul Kabir in Matta Tehsil (who is the brother of PPP vice president Sher Khan). They not only shot him dead, they also shot dead his wife
and his son. This was followed by the killing of another politicians Muhammed Zameer.

Yesterday, when an unconstitutional military dictator gave the go ahead for a military operation, it was an entirely different matter. However, today the situation is entirely different. Today the democratically elected provincial and federal governments have ordered a military operation to establish law and order.

In this regard, it is also quite disappointing to see the response of the PML(N). The tragedy against ordinary people, against women and minorities, and against any form of dissent, is occurring in front of their eyes. They have not come out with any statement against these atrocities. Instead their only
statement is that they have not been taken into confidence and are even threatening to break the coalition at this sensitive moment. In reality they are completely unwilling to take a principled position against religious extremism. They are unwilling to defend the rights of women, minorities, or working people. That is why they are making excuses about not being taken into confidence while remaining completely silent on the gross forms of injustice that the Taliban are meting out to defenseless people.

The lawyers that have stood for the rule of law need to especially understand that the rule of law is being destroyed by the Taliban. The latter do not stand for the rule of law but against it. They stand for arbitrary executions in the most gruesome and cruel manner imaginable. While standing for the restoration of the judiciary, they should equally condemn the Talibanization of Pakistan.

In conclusion, the democratically elected government, despite all their drawbacks must be supported against the Taliban. Pakistan has now made it to 9th position in the most dysfunctional states in the world (we are just behind Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan). The principle reason for this chaotic situation is the growing threat of religious extremism. Although there will no doubt be a blow back to the operation in the NWFP, we have to fight the Taliban. Our survival as a democratic society depends on it.

Posted in Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Brace Yourselves: We Must Fight the Taliban

Two Faces of the “Democratic Movement”

Posted by Taimur Rahman on July 1, 2008

The concept of democracy is one of those murky terms that means all things to all people. Whether it is the occupation of Iraq or the Palestinian struggle against occupation both are conducted in the name of democracy. In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto died for democracy, Nawaz Sharif suffered years of exile for democracy, Imran Khan supported Musharraf to bring about “haqiqi democracy” and then opposed him to bring about real democracy. Even the Jamaat e Islami, that long time ally of General Zia ul Haq, now speaks in the name of democracy. It would not be incorrect, therefore, to consider the term democracy to be a hegemonic concept in the world today.

Literally, the word democracy means rule by the people. According to Ellen Mieksin Wood (“Capitalism Against Democracy”) the ruling classes of ancient Rome were completely opposed to the concept of democracy. In fact, the ruling elite considered democracy no different from “mob rule”. However, modern ruling classes speak in the name of democracy. How did this transition occur?

This transition was made possible because the modern system of parliaments retains the form of democracy but excludes the political content of democracy. The political content of democracy was encapsulated eloquently in Lincoln’s famous phrase “rule by the people, for the people, and of the people”. The form of democracy is the representative parliamentary system. Thus, while the form of democracy (i.e. the parliamentary system) has become hegemonic, its political content (i.e. peoples rule) remains an elusive goal.

Democracy reemerged as a hegemonic concept in the struggle of the capitalists against the feudal monarchy overthrown by the capitalist-democratic revolutions and transformations of 1648 (Britain), 1776 (USA), and 1789 (France). And in the context of the neo-colonial world, it has come to signify the struggle to overcome both pre-capitalist and colonial relations in favour of modern representative institutions of the type found in the West today. In Pakistan, however, it has come to mean almost exclusively the struggle against military rule. Why has the meaning of democracy become so narrow in Pakistan?

The struggles against successive military dictatorships were no doubt successful in so far as they managed to displace the military rulers of that period. However, they failed to bring about any systemic change to the state or social structure of the country. Hence, in a historical sense and from the point of view of a transformation from a neo-colonial state to a democratic state they failed to achieve their goals. As a result of these failures, the expectations, the goals, the vision of the democratic movement shrank, not only in the minds of politicians belonging to various propertied classes, but even in the minds of the rank and file of the movement. Yesterday the word democracy evoked aspirations of land reforms, national sovereignty against imperialism, a welfare state that would supply health, education, and employment, a society that would guarantee equality of all nations, equal of race, gender, religion and caste and so on. Today the word democracy has become narrowed to one singular item: the struggle against military rule. In sum, the reviving democratic movement bears the imprint of yesterday’s failures.

As a result, today the democratic movements finds itself, ironically, in the company of people that were trenchant opponents of democracy yesterday (for instance the Jamaat e Islami). It should be self-evident that not all those that speak in the name of democracy today, objectively stand for its political content. It is because of this disjuncture between the content and form of democracy that the words “democratic movement” are placed in inverted commas in the title of this essay.

It is my contention that there are at least two faces of the so-called “democratic movement” (i.e. the movement against Musharraf). The first is democratic, the other reactionary.

The progressive face of the democratic movement is opposed to the coup because it violated the right of people to be governed by elected representatives, it is opposed to the parasitic economic character of the military, it is opposed to the neo-liberal policies of the regime that resulted in the rising cost of living for ordinary people, it is opposed to monopolistic practices of Musharraf¢s supporters that caused the sugar, wheat, and cement crisis, it is opposed to the wanton murder of people in Balochistan and so on.

The reactionary face of opposition to Musharraf is not primarily opposed to the above mentioned issues. In fact, they have supported or been the direct beneficiaries of many of these policies. The reactionary face of the opposition to Musharraf is opposed to the U-turn on the policies that were continuing from the Zia period. They are opposed to the de-escalation of war with India or support for insurgents in Kashmir, they are opposed to the spread of relatively liberal values on the media, they are opposed to the retraction of support for Jihadi groups, they are opposed to the operation against Lal Masjid, the clamp down on foreign jihadi groups, they are opposed to legislation such as the Women¢s Protection Bill, or the holding of mixed marathons.

While these issues are not mutually exclusive and there are many individuals that straddle the fence, however, at the mass level one can clearly identify these two political trends.

The lawyers movement, that is not outside these society wide influences, is equally ideologically split along these trends. Progressive and reactionary factions are struggling externally against the establishment and internally for the hegemony of the movement.

Since the formation of the democratic government, the lawyers movement has seen a precipitous drop in the participation of PPP. The party in power no longer needs or wants to utilize the street. They wish to utilize the National Assembly. As a result, the lawyers movement on the streets has seen a massive drop in the participation of relatively progressive PPP grassroots workers. As a result in comparison to the protests before the election, the Long March was heavily dominated by right-wing political parties.

The APDM (dominated by the JI and PTI) is attempting to dominate the lawyers movement. The genuine leadership of the lawyers movement including Aitzaz Ahsen, Munir Malik, Ali Ahmed Kurd, Anwar Kamal, Asma Jehangir has come under increasing criticism from the APDM for not undertaking a sit-in at the end of the long march. However, the question of the dharna must be seen in the wider context of the struggle between the reactionary and progressive faces of the movement.

Thus, it is vital to support the relatively progressive face of the lawyers movement and the democratic movement. Support for the progressive face of the lawyers movement will eventually widen the democratic space available to society. It would be a fatal mistake to support the reactionary face of the lawyers movement because it will result in a reversal of the democratic space available to society and society may become dominated by reactionary elements that have been the pillars of past dictatorships.

Posted in Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Two Faces of the “Democratic Movement”

Pakistan: This Independence Day

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 17, 2006

The Facts Speak for Themselves

32.6% of the Pakistani population lived below the poverty line by the end of 1990’s

A girl child in RURAL areas of the country between ages 6-14 is found to be 24 percent less likely to be enrolled in school than a boy child

Infant Mortality Rate (per 1000 births): 83

By the time children reach an age of 5 in Pakistan:

1- 62% are stunted
2- 45% are underweight
3- 12% have already died

31% of the rural population does not have access to any hospital, clinic, or any health facility or health worker

Female primary school enrolment is 40.5% lower than in comparable countries

Poverty in rural NWFP is more than twice that of urban Sindh, at 19%

Lag in Pakistan’s indicators compared to other countries WITH THE SAME INCOME LEVEL:

As Compared to Other countries WITH THE SAME INCOME LEVEL AS PAKISTAN, Pakistan has:

1- 36% lower births attended by trained personnel
2- 11% more babies born with low birth weight
3- 42% lower health spending per capita
4- 1.6 % less of GDP spent on Health
5- 27 more infant deaths per thousand
6- 19 more child deaths per thousand
7- 23% lower share of population with access to sanitation
8- 20% fewer children of elementary school age enrolled in primary school
9- 40% fewer girls of elementary school age attend primary school than in countries with comparable incomes
10- There are nearly 5 more students per teacher
11- Public spending on education is 1.4% lower than expected
12- The share of population that is illiterate is 24% higher than one would expect based on Pakistan’s per capita income, the figure is 32% for women



27% of the male population and 41% of the female population of ages 11-15 is not enrolled in school

42% of the Male population and 73% of the female population( 15+) was illiterate in 2000

SOURCE: Pakistan Poverty Assessment, World Bank
(stats provided by Bhagat Singh)

Posted in Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Pakistan: This Independence Day

Incorrect Criticism of CPP II

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 8, 2006

You wrote “After the split we never asked your Chairman to join our party instead at the flate of your G Secretary he asked us to have a merger again and we told him, it is not so simple and this is not the time.You can confirm it with your G,Sec.”

Then you should also know that it was I who pushed forward the idea of reuniting the CMKP and the CPP in the September 2003 National Council meeting of the CMKP in Multan. It was at that meeting that the National Council entrusted me with the responsibility of writing
a program of a united front which eventually, with some modifications, became the program of the Joint Left Front. It was as a result of the decisions of that National Council meeting that
the general secretary of our party approached you despite all the water that had passed under the bridge between our organizations.

That entire process led in to culmination of the JLF which was so stupidly scuttled by both our organizations thanks in particular to comrade Jamil Malik.

You wrote “Imdad Qazi and Chacha Maula bux were expelled from CMKP without any reason and before the congress they requested to withdraw the expulsion letter but your people refused thats why they walked out and had a seprate congress.confirm it with your seniors if any one left to tell the truth.”

The real question that needs to be answered, aside from why notable members of the current CPP were not able to win leading positions in that Congress, is what was wrong with the 5th Congress such that another Congress needed to be called? What were the ideological
mistakes in that Congress? Why was it so imperative to split the party and why could those struggles not be fought within the party?

There is no analysis of this important question; merely accusations without evidence.

You wrote “Would you please pause for a second and read our email again.In your enthusiasm you have far fetched things and drawn conclusion which we never meant.We just tried to clarify those lies which your comrade Hamza put forward about The disintegration of
Communist Party of Pakistan after the Pindi conspiracy case, about Imdad Qazi and khrushchev’s National democracy.We think It was malicious, dishonest and delibrate.You didnt answer or subsanciate any of those lies but you embarked upon questioning our moral
credibility instead of asking your comrade to stop telling lies.”

My response: Refer to messages number 6108 and 6137. You will see that I have replied to Hamza’s accusations and position before and in greater detail than you have.

I never questioned your “moral credibility”. I did however question the intellectual caliber of your reply, which all on this list will agree, was no different from the one in which you were accused. You will never convince anyone by responding to unsubstantiated malicious accusations with other unsubstantiated malicious accusations. Respond with the truth. Tell us,

1) What was and is the stand of the CPP on the 20th Congress
and on the historic role of Khrushchev
2) Was the CPP following a line of “National
Democracy” “Peoples Democracy” or some other line and what did these
lines mean in political and class terms.
3) Clarify your position on the National Question and in
particular on the current crisis in Balochistan. Do you, or do you
not uphold the right of the Baloch people to self-determination
including secession?

You wrote “We never denied the contribution of Mao in the world communist movement especialy on united front.”
My response: But you are not addressing the critique of Modern Revisionism raised by comrade Mao and Hoxha. Barring their other real or alleged mistakes, there was something of vital important in that critique. Why don’t we start with the “Nine Commentaries on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU by the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag)” which included:
1) The Origin and Development of the Differences Between the
Leadership of the CPSU and Ourselves (September 6, 1963)
2) On the Question of Stalin (September 13, 1963)
3) Is Yugoslavia a Socialist Country? (September 26, 1963)
4) Apologists of Neo-Colonialism (October 22, 1963)
5) Two Different Lines on the Question of War and Peace
(November 19, 1963)
6) Peaceful Coexistence–Two Diametrically Opposed Policies
(December 12, 1963)
7) The Leaders of the CPSU are the Greatest Splitters of Our
Time (February 4, 1964)
8) The Proletarian Revolution and Khrushchov’s Revisionism
(March 31, 1964)
9) On Khrushchov’s Phoney Communism and its Historical Lessons
for the World(July 14, 1964)
What needs clear definition is a statement on the position contained
in these letters. Please read them and comment on them.

Incidentally, the CPI(m) has this to say about the entire Khrushchev affair:

“Once again in 1968, at the Burdwan Plenum on ideological issues, the CPI(M) had to carry forward this relentless struggle against modern revisionism advocated by the CPSU headed by Khruschchev.”

“The 20th Congress of the CPSU must also been seen in this light, as an attempt made in the name of estimating the correlation of forces under changed circumstances. The victory over fascism and the consequent international developments heightened the prestige and increased the influence of world socialism in general and USSR in particular. But instead of utilising these positive factors for enriching socialism, the gross distortion of the Leninist concept of peaceful coexistence and the advocacy of peaceful competition and peaceful transition by the CPSU leadership under Khruschchev, threw the door open for revisionism and class collaboration of the worst kind. As a consequence, many a communist party was virtually decimated leaving the international communist movement much emasculated.”

What is the position of the CPP on the question of the 20th Congress?

You wrote “We never accused any of your leaders after the spilt as Hamza and other members of your party did.”

My response: Do you want me to send you the emails Mansoor Saeed sent me privately?

You wrote “We wanted to send you some of our circulars on national question but now we think it will be an excercise in futality.However we are open to have any idialogical and political

My response: Please post them on our list so that everyone can read them.

In solidarity
Taimur Rahman

Posted in International Communist Movement, Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Incorrect Criticism of CPP II

On Criticism II

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 8, 2006

Ehtisham Sahib, I am delighted to find that you have reconsidered the intent of my criticism. The fault though, comrade, is mine. Having read and been inspired by Lenin, who demolishes his opponents in no uncertain terms, I have also adopted the same kind of intransigient language. Unfortunately, I have not developed the intellectual calibre of Lenin and therefore niether the sufficient sensitivity to our own cultural needs. A man like Lenin can get away with it because he is one of the greatest political minds of the 20th century. A man such as myself finds himself clutching and clasping at straws.

Be that as it may, I genuinely appreciate the fact that you were able to overlook my shortcoming and we can at last get down to the real issue at hand. And because I do not flatter myself enough to believe that my intransigient use of the English langauge in the manner of a poor one-sided immitation of Lenin’s writing is really an issue for the movement in Pakistan, let alone the international communist movement, I think it is time now to continue our analysis of some of the more important points that people have been raising on this forum in the
spirit of scientific inquiry.

I look forward to your continuing contributions on this forum and to hard, honest, and always critical and open minded analysis.

In solidarity
Taimur Rahman

P.S. I would really recommend a book that was fundamental in changing my opinions on the communist movement. It is called “Another View of Stalin” by Ludo Martens and is available free one line at http://www.plp.org/books/Stalin/book.html. If you can spare sometime I highly recommend this book.

Posted in Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on On Criticism II

Incorrect Criticism of CPP

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 8, 2006

Did you pause for a second and ponder as to why I criticized a member of my own party? It is because he attacked you personally in a manner that was under the belt. Your response, however, has taken away from you whatever temporary moral legitimacy you enjoyed. You have resorted with an equally one-sided and personal attack that has undermined whatever possibility existed of a scientific dialogue on the questions of the international communist movement and the communist movement in Pakistan.

I wrote the open letter in order to invite everyone for a scientific dialogue, not for a match of personal mud-slinging and slander mongering. However, it seems that you were unable to resist the temptation to react in kind to comrade Hamza’s vitriolic.

You wrote “You said after 1951 Communist Party of Pakistan disantegerated,if so then who was Hasan Nasir who martyred at Shahi Qila in 1959 by the intelligence agancies and whose name your internal and external represantative is owening proudly.”

My response: Did not Major Ishaq the founder of the Mazdoor Kissan Party fight the case of Hassan Nasir in court when everyone else was too scared to even take his name? Was not his defense vital in exposing the complicity of the Pakistani government in the deliberate torture and death of this great communist hero? Why then would you imagine that the Mazdoor Kissan Party, or for that matter the entire communist movement, would not take the name of Hassan
Nasir with pride?

You wrote “We simply said to that foreign enguiry that CMKP is a Maoist Party.We didn’t meant to accuse or blame as we tell others that Labour party is a Trostkyist party as we claim to be Leninist and Stalanist.we wonder why you got so worked up if we we said you
are Maoist.”

My response: The answer should be so obvious to someone who has served a higher position in the CMKP than I have that it boggles my mind why I should have to answer it. The CMKP was formed as a result of a merger between the CPP and the MKP in 1994 after a two year process of criticism and self-criticism on the part of both parties. Apparently, you only paid lip service to this genuine attempt for unification of the communist movement on the basis of a higher synthesis. If you wanted to correctly represent the CMKP, you ought to have said that it was formed as a result of a merger between the CPP and the MKP in 1994 with an independent Marxist-Leninist position.

You wrote “Now we wonder where were you at the time of Sino-Soviet split.Did you go with pro-soviet faction or the pro- china faction.We feel sorry to say if you went with the pro-china faction then we cant help you calling a maoist,strangly there is no one who is so ashamed to be a maoist and we salute you for your sincerty.”

My response: Why should comrade Hamza feel any “shame” in having sided with one of the greatest communist leaders of the 20th century Mao Tse-Tung in the battle against revisionism that corrupted and destroyed the Soviet Union?

Is there still any doubt in your mind comrade that the de-Stalinization program undertaken by Khrushchev led to the eventual destruction of the Soviet Union?

Where today is the state of the whole people?
Where today is the party of the whole people?
What happened to the vaunted concept of peaceful coexistence (as
interpreted by the revisionists)?
Were the economic achievements of the Soviet Union sufficient to
convince capitalists and imperialists to follow the socialist road?
Did not the Liberman reforms fracture the social capital of the
former Soviet Union into 90,000 particles?
Did not Gorbachev’s continuation of the De-Stalinization
(perestroika and glostnost) lead to the full restoration of
Are you even familiar with these debates?

An entire movement, state, society was utterly destroyed. It was not destroyed by the largest army in the history of the world (fascism) or by the largest nuclear arsenal in history. It was destroyed by the class enemy within. It was destroyed by opportunism within the party. It was destroyed in the name of fighting Stalinism.

It is not sufficient to carry around the banner of Stalin if one does not have even a basic sense of what it was that Stalin fought for.

If the banner of Stalin cannot help you understand the correct position on the national question in Pakistan, you only disgrace that banner.

If the banner of Stalin cannot help you identify that during the transition from capitalism to communism the state can only be the dictatorship of the proletariat, you only disgrace that banner.

If the banner of Stalin cannot help you identify that between socialism and capitalism there can not be lasting peaceful coexistence and that the economic success of the Soviet Union is
insufficient to turn capitalists and imperialists into socialists, you only disgrace the banner of Stalin.

If the banner of Stalin cannot help you identify that the law of balanced development demands not the fracturing and splintering of social capital but requires greater emphasis on the production of the means of production, then you only disgrace that banner.

And so on.

The proletariat does not need people who merely carry banners. The proletariat needs people with a clear understanding of what those banners scientifically stand for.

You wrote “we agree with taimur we were desperate and isolated and thats why we had those discussion for two years and ultimately we merged.We still dont blamed or accuse any one but why Imdad Qazi was expelled from CMKP and why Chacha Maula Bux.”

My response: Were Qazi or Maula Bux expelled comrade or did they walk out? I was standing outside in the CC meeting in which they walked out and then subsequently called for a CMKP congress in Sindh. The Sindh congress certainly cannot claim to represent the majority opinion of the party.

You wrote “we all knew that Afzal Khomosh was hobnobing with the esteshment and so was doing your chairman Sufi with Jamali who was the then Chief minister of Balochastan.”

My response: The question comrade Imdad failed to answer even as far back as 1998 when he started his campaign was, did Sufi’s personal contacts with Jamali result in him advocating an opportunist line within the party? In the first press conference after the coup (two days after the coup Oct 14th) Sufi Khaliq immediately declared that the CMKP was opposed to the military takeover. Did Sufi Khaliq ever advocate support for Musharraf or for the PML(Q)? If so, provide the evidence.

When Khamosh opted to support Sherpao and embarked upon an opportunist program in the 6th Congress 2003, I publicly resigned my post as President of the Punjab at the Congress. It was only to continue the internal struggle to the final conclusion that Comrade Hamza correctly persuaded me to withdraw my resignation. On July 12th 2003 during the Punjab Committee meeting the internal struggle came to its final conclusion. It was comrade Hamza who physically defended me against those who would have liked nothing better than to break a few bones in my body. In sum, comrade Hamza, myself and so many others conducted a life and death struggle against opportunism within the CMKP. Can it be said with any degree of fairness that I deliberately sheltered opportunists or opportunism within our party? Can it be said with any degree of fairness that I sheltered the opportunism of Khamosh? But I suspect you do not even have an inkling of this struggle.

You wrote “Is ther any doubt about it,Do you know your Chairman Sofi Khaliq more then us.”

My response: If you know him so well why were you making such a strong effort to convince him to join the CPP after the internal split that the CMKP suffered? Your actions speak louder than your words.

You wrote “we are sorry to say hamza as you claime that national democratic line of khurshchever was adopted by the CPP,you are politacally nillitrate..What i feel sorry about you is that you only read the read book as most of the maoist have done..”

My response: Well this is the first time I’ve heard this accusation (that Maoists merely read books). And just when I thought I heard everything.

Perhaps it would be wiser comrade to elaborate on the line that the CPP followed and follows instead of merely abusing comrade Hamza.

You wrote “with love,lol we never thought you can be that fool and lier. Central Secretariar. Communist Parety of Pakistan.”

Is this a Communist Parety or a Communist Parody because frankly and unfortunately it is beginning to sound more like the latter? Kahan Faiz Sahib, Sibte Hasan, Sajjad Zaheer, Hassan Nasir, Major Ishaq, Eric Siprian aur kahan yeh “debate”…

Still hopeful for a meaningful scientific dialogue on the real questions pertaining to the international communist movement

Posted in Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Incorrect Criticism of CPP


Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 8, 2006

Articles such as “China’s ‘Sky Train’ — fast-track to genocide” areexactly why the politics of the Green Left Weekly are deserving of the gutter of history. As usual the LPP gorges on the gutter politics of imperialism under the guise of left-wing phraseology much like the

Please read Micheal Parenti to understand the real situation in Tibet.

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

Posted in International Affairs, International Communist Movement, Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Tibet

Discussion on Communist Party of Pakistan

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 4, 2006

First a short note to comrade Ehtisham.

Dear comrade, you have not touched a sensitive nerve. We are just as comfortable taking criticism as we giving it. Besides even if you did touch a sensitive nerve, why should you stop. If you feel you are correct, you should pursue your point of view with full vigor. Perhaps in the course of time we will be persuaded to what you have to say.

I would prefer that you continue posting on our list but not take our remarks personally. I apologize for offending you. The intent is not to offend but to discuss matters. However, I cannot deny that at times I lose my patience. In my defence I can only offer the fact
that I am also human. Anyway, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us concentrate on the content rather than on the unconvincing form of my critique.

Comrade Hamza you wrote: “The CPP was disintegrated in 1951,due to the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case.After 1951,there was no Party,no CC or other instituation.”

I have a few questions in this regard.

1) While it is true that the CPP suffered a major blow after 1954 (when the party was outlawed), do you think it is correct to say that “there was no party”. If there was no party, why then was Hassan Nasir tortured to death?

2) Doesn’t your analysis ignore the CPP in East Pakistan?

3) Wasn’t the decision to join NAP reached by the remaining cadres of the CPP?

Hamza wrote: “When Qazi Removed from Dy.secertryship due to his pro-establishment contacts”

I would be very interested to know about these “pro-establishment contacts”? If you have some hard evidence I think you should share it with us and make it public to warn others.

Hamza wrote: “Qazi Imdad was not a Communist he was a narrow nationalist and was member of G.M Sayed’s Party Jai Sindh.” So what you are saying is that the CMKP voted a “narrow nationalist” into the position of the Deputy Secretary of the CMKP? Perhaps you can explain why this occurred?

Further, wasn’t Major Ishaq also a member of Taluh-e-Islam before he joined the left? Clearly you cannot hold one’s former party affiliations against current political position.

What is the evidence that Imdad Qazi is presently a “narrow nationalist”? Clearly if he was a “narrow nationalist” he would have jumped at the opportunity to defend the right of the Baloch and Sindhis to self-determination. The fact that he didn’t, proves otherwise.

Let us not raise accusations that are unjust. Let us seek the non-partisan truth.

Posted in History, Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Discussion on Communist Party of Pakistan

Differences with Jamil Malik

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 3, 2006

First let me try to answer the questions raised by comrade Vegard.

1) “What will happen if these forces [MMA] gain access to Pakistans nuclear-program if they take power??”

After the Dr. A.Q. Khan incident the gov. of Pakistan gave “guarantees” to the USA that these nuclear sites could not be used in a manner that would be deterimental to US interests. I suspect that the level of control the US excercises over these nuclear sites is greater than the average Pakistani suspects. The possibility of these devices falling into the hands of the MMA, at
this stage, are very slight. In all probability they will be destroyed or scuttled if ever there is a chance that the MMA was close to taking power.

2) “Another question, is Musharraf considered by Pakistanis as a Islamist, a religous leader with “good” ties to the Mullahs, or is he a opportunistic army general serving the interest of imperialism?”

Definitely the latter.

3) An about the CMKP and CPP relations, I have understood so far that the CPP grew out of CP India in 1948. Then after the sino-soviet conflict, it split into MKP and CPP. And about in 1990`s the MKP and CPP joined forces in CMKP. But did all members of the CPP join the CMKP? Are the members and leaders of todays CPP, with mailadress: cppak@yahoogroups.com, members who didn`t want to join the CMKP?

No. All the members of CPP joined the CMKP. There may have been individuals who disagreed with this decision (on both sides) but they never presented their opinions in the form of an organized platform. For all intents and purposes the merger was next to unanimous and a historic advance at the time.

Jamil Malik’s cpofpakistan@yahoogroups.com is a recent breakaway from the CPP (which in turn broke away from the CMKP in 1999). All the parties arguing on this forum were members of the CMKP after the 1994 merger.

4) “Does it serve the workin-class and the peoples interest if Balochistan is to get autonomy? Maybe the communist in Pakistan could discuss and answer that.?”

Frankly, that would hardly constitute a discussion because everyone agrees on the question of autonomy. They do not however, agree on the right of self-determination or on basis of the conflict (i.e. the extent of the “foreign hand”).

Now to turn to Comrade Jamil Malik’s message

1) “Imdad Qazi also joined CMKP but none said that CMKP is a “Maoist Party” then. However, in year 1999 Imdad Qazi and Maula Buxsh was expelled from CMKP on the reasons known both to CMKP and Maula Buxsh and Imdad Qazi.”

In fact, not only was this objection not raised at that time, it was also not raised during the time when comrade Imdad Qazi split from the CMKP. In one word, the basis of the split was hardly over the question of the alleged Maoism of the CMKP. Comrade Imdad Qazi and Maulah Bux Khaskheli were not expelled from the CMKP comrade Jamil Malik. They chose to leave. Please recall that they campaigned to reconvene the 5th party congress (1998) by gathering signatures of the delegates to the 5th congress. When the demand to reconvene the congress was rejected by the central committee Imdad Qazi and Maulah Bux Khaskheli walked out and called for a new congress of the CMKP despite the decision of the CC (please note that even then the congress convened was of the CMKP). It was at this alternative congress that the 36 odd present delegates (if I am not mistaken) took the decision to revive the CPP. (The number of delegates is actually irrelevant because I would support even one person if they were really standing for Marxism-Leninism). The first time I have heard about the “Maoism” of the CMKP as the basis for the split was in Mansoor Saeed’s recent statement. However, if that is the position of the CPP then they should state it openly and without hesitation. Let us have an open debate on this issue and we will defend our position with logic and facts.

2) Comrade Jamil Malik wrote “Is he [Mansoor Saeed] spokesman of CPP led by Imdad Qazi or is an employee of the Central Secretariat of CPP led by Imdad Qazi?”

Comrade, this comment is below the belt. I think you owe Mansoor Saeed an apology for this personal insult. Whatever mistakes Mansoor Saeed may be making, you cannot take away from him the work he has done in the context of progressive television in Pakistan. Especially the work he has done for the translation and dubbing of the documentary series “The Ascent of Man” and “Cosmos”.

3) Jamil Malik wrote “It is a closed chapter from our side and every on this forum knew that a rift was created last year (2005) on Hisbah Bill and on the matters of Provincial Autonomy and Baluchistan within CPP and the result was that the communists within CPP, who believed in two lines struggle expelled Imdad Qazi due to his pro-establishment and pro-Musharraf role and elected Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik as the Chairman of CPP.”

First, the conflict over Balochistan was an after-thought on your part comrade. As an impartial observer I felt that you only opened this debate after you had been told repeatidly to obey party discipline and not support the Hasba Bill. On that issue I still support the position of Imdad Qazi. He was right and you were wrong.

Second, your interpretation of the “two-line struggle” misrepresents the teachings of Lenin and Mao.

Third, the alleged expulsion of Imdad Qazi is as much news to me as the “Maoism” of the CMKP is. Name the members of the CC and PC, of the CPP supported you?

Fourth, have you realized your mistake on the Hasba? Are you ready to make a self-criticism on this position? If so, would you be prepared to submit this in writing?

Jamil Malik wrote: “Is it possible in Pakistan that all the left and progressive political parties can be united on one platform so as to form one left political party in Pakistan as the scattered left and progressive parties have yield no positive results in the Pakistani politics yet?”

No this is not possible comrade because those who have left communism are not ready to accept anything less than complete capitulation from Marxism as a prerequisite for unity. Given the current ideological alignment of parties, such a unity (i.e. the formation of one political party of the left) would essentially constitute the complete liquidation of the small communist parties left in Pakistan.

Small and ineffective as we may be comrade, the real hard work in front of us is continue to ideologically struggle for the dominance of Marxism-Leninism against variants of social-democracy. Failure to understand this essential task is what led you to pursue steps that
scuttled the consolidation of the Joint Left Front. But you have not understood your error in this regard because you still continue to harbour illusions about these “left” parties.

Jamil Malik asked “Or if not in one political party, can left and progressive parties are competent enough to form an effective united alliance against the current military regime?”

We did form such an alliance comrade (the Joint Left Front) but it was primarily your impatience that led to serious raptures in the relationship we built after enormous efforts.

PONM, ARD, AJT I think we should join PONM and the ARD. If the AJT is ready to talk to us on the basis of equality, we should be ready to join that as well. Membership of one front does not preclude the opportunity to join other fronts. Why should we leave any anti-establishment forum
or alliance without communist influence?

Jamil Malik asked : “Presently in Pakistan, there is no effective role of left and progressive parties and groups against the military regime of General Pervaz Musharraf and American Imperialism and can we play an effective role now, if so, how and why?”

Little Red Riding Hood got into a lot of trouble by taking short-cuts. Similary, we communists should not expect any other results from similar shortcuts. We have to first and foremost build Marxist-Leninist unity on the basis of ideological clarity. It is the low ideological level of the movement as a whole that condemns us to factionalism.

Which is why this forum and this debate in particular is proving to be a great asset for ML unity. I hope that we communists continue to participate on this forum with a scientific spirit.

Posted in Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Differences with Jamil Malik