Contribution to the 15th International Communist Seminar
“Present and past experiences in the International
Brussels, 5-7 May 2006
Continuous Military Rule in Pakistan – the Challenge for Future!
Communist Party of Pakistan
Author of article: Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik
Chairman of Communist Party of Pakistan.
First of all, I would like to appreciate the effort of the Workers Party of Belgium (WPB) to organize the seminar regularly. I would like to send you the cordial fraternal thanks for your work on behalf of the Communist Party of Pakistan.
I was invited by the Workers Party of Belgium to attend the seminar but due to my health problems, I am unable to attend this seminar, so I will request the organiser of the seminar to kindly depute any comrade, who may read my article “Continuous Military Rule in Pakistan – the Challenge for Future!” at the 15th International Communist Seminar. For better understanding of my this article, the Historical Background, Party History, Our Struggle, Kashmir Dispute, Ideology, Political Activities, Who is Ruling Pakistan, Judiciary vis-à-vis army and How and Why to get rid of Army Rule in Pakistan are the crux to understand the biggest Challenge for Future to Pakistan vis-à-vis “Present and past experiences in the International Communist Movement”.
Present Indian Union, Pakistan and Bangladesh were one under British India prior to August 14-15, 1947. Interestingly, British colonialists reshaped feudalism in the subcontinent, while feudalism was abolished in Britain by the bourgeoisie for the expansion of the market and political hold of this emerging triumphant class. Before the control of the subcontinent by British colonialists, there was no hereditary feudal system in the subcontinent and land belonged to the central power, which was the proper authority to award certain landholdings holding to those it liked, who had provided a particular number of soldiers and certain amount of revenue to the central authority under monarchy. The central authority was empowered to take back land from any one the former wanted. Karl Marx traced the historical and economic background and scientific reasons on colonialisation of India.
However, the disastrous effect of the Second World War on British economy and politics was enormous, and the government in London under the people’s pressure had to leave the subcontinent. But while leaving, the British colonialists divided Indian subcontinent into two separate countries, namely India and Pakistan, on communal line. Later on the former East Pakistan also broke away in 1971 from Pakistan for economic and political deprivation. Now, the subcontinent is divided into three parts namely India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are still under the grip of neo-colonialism, dominated by the United States of America because of its economic and military power.
HISTORY OF COMMUNIST PARTY OF PAKISTAN:
Communist Party of Pakistan (abbreviation: CPP) is the vanguard of the working class and toiling masses plus deprived sections of the society. Anchored on the historic process and dynamics of Marxism-Leninism, the CPP under its subjective condition is in the political arena for the social change, free from exploitation of man by man. Its basic manifesto is to work for the welfare of the poor. Basically, it is a secular party in a Muslim dominated country like ours and we fully believes in keeping the religion separate from the State politics whereas the military rulers of our country are opposed to secular system only for their vested interests.
Before the partition of the Indian subcontinent, the Communist Party of India (CPI) was the main political vanguard of the working class of this undivided country. After the creation of the Pakistan, some old stalwarts of the Communist Party of India formed the Communist Party of Pakistan in 1948, and started its political activities under the very hostile political environment, caused by McCarthyism, which let loose reign of terror in this newly born country, with the active collaboration of pro-imperialist ruling cliques of Pakistan. Frightened of utter failure of the ruling oligarchy and the scope of spread of anti-imperialist democratic struggle in which Communist Party of Pakistan played a key role, the Party was banned in 1954 under American instructions to the Pakistani rulers and its several top leadership including Sajjad Zaheer, Secretary General of CPP and the world fame poet and Lenin Award winner, Faiz Ahmad Faiz were arrested and imprisoned in the so-called Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case.
After its ban, the Communist Party of Pakistan, which operated underground, worked as an integrated Communist force until the Sino-Soviet ideological question, causing rift in international Communist and national liberation movements. Since this quagmire adversely affected the communist movement world over, the Communist Party of Pakistan was also not exception to this conflict, and subsequently the Party was divided into pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese factions. Later on several groups and factions on both sides of the divide emerged, each claiming to be the only genuine communist force.
The reality on the ground, however, was that the underground pro-Soviet Communist Party of Pakistan and the Workers-Peasants Party known as Mazdoor Kissan Party, a mass political front of the underground pro-Chinese Communist Party, were the formidable political forces in Pakistan under their ideological base and tactics.
The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 witnessed a terrible situation in Pakistan. The CPP was badly affected by the break-up of the Soviet Union. It split three times after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Each successive faction abandoned Marxism.
Most of the pro-Soviet communist organizations and their stalwarts in Pakistan deserted Marxism-Leninism. Only the two top notch leaders of the Communist Party of Pakistan, Comrade Imam Ali Nazish and Comrade Syed Rashid Ahmed remained committed to Marxist-Leninist revolutionary ideology. Comrade Imam Ali Nazish, the former Secretary-General of Communist Party of Pakistan and Comrade Syed Rashid Ahmed the member of the Central Committee including some newly inducted members of the Party worked for the merger with Workers-Peasants Party (Mazdoor Kissan Party), and finally the merger saw the light of the day in 1994 since there remained no ideological, political and tactical conflicts between these two Parties the aftermath of the disintegration of the erstwhile Soviet Union that is interpreted as the end of the Cold War.
After the merger, the name of the organization was adopted as Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP) but immediately after the death of Chairman of CMKP, Comrade Imam Ali Nazish in March 1999, this merger only lasted for five years and eventually the CPP, which merged with Mazdoor Kissan Party as an underground party to form CMKP decided in the year 1999 to apart from CMKP and work openly within the down trodden masses and not as an underground party. The CPP after its revival remains engaged in working to bring about social transformation through People’s Democratic Revolution.
It resists imperialist stranglehold on Pakistan, and is opposed to imperialist hegemony in our South Asian region and elsewhere in the world. It is committed to fighting archaic feudalism brought into play by the British colonialists in the 19th century when India was colonial’s for the trading interests of the British East India Company. That time the subcontinent comprised present Indian Union, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Kashmir still remains the bone of contention between India and Pakistan due to hypocrisy of the United Nations. The United Nations is not sincere and serious to resolve the Kashmir dispute despite the passage of two resolutions by itself. Both India and Pakistan are now equipped with nuclear arsenal and the weapons of mass destruction, while more than 70 percent of the people of India and Pakistan lead a very miserable life, below the poverty line and the population of both the countries bears brunt of heavy foreign debts.
Moreover, the South Asian region is under constant nuclear threat because of Kashmir dispute which already triggered three wars between India and Pakistan. The immediate need of the hour is the solution of the Kashmir dispute on the basis of right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, who are the only sovereign to decide their destiny, and India and Pakistan must be pressurized to accept the verdict of the Kashmiri people. It is necessary to mention here that whenever the people of India and Pakistan launch struggle for their genuine economic and political rights, ruling classes of both the countries drag the Kashmir issue to the flashpoint, dynamiting the people’s struggle and manage to maintain socio-economic status quo.
Since Pakistan is a developing country with the relics of backward feudal values and tribalism under enormous imperialist influences, with no strong industrial base and no anti-imperialist national bourgeoisie worth the name to carry out successfully democratic revolution to dislodge Western dominance on the domestic market plus replace feudal and tribal-ridden society with the prerequisites of modern state craft, the CPP has reached a conclusion through the analysis of the objective situation and experiences of other countries that the, “People’s Democracy” is the only path to accomplish the immediate political task. The successful People’s Democratic Revolution would ultimately pave the way for the attainment of socialism at the later stage of development. However, neo-colonial machinations have virtually deterred the bourgeois role at the present complicated international political and economic environment. But despite of all the inherent weakness, if any section of bourgeoisie dares fight imperialist manipulation in Pakistan, the CPP is prepared to join hands with it.
The CPP initiates struggle on different issues related to economy, politics and joins alliances in order to broaden democratic base in the country, which has been very fragile due to imperialist manipulation and continuous military rule in Pakistan. It exposes the rulers, strives to mobilize the people and enhance secularism. Democracy, progressive polity and secularism have been the victim of the pro-imperialist reactionary ruling classes of Pakistan.
Thus, the CPP, which was formed as open party in 1948 but banned in year 1954 and after its ban, the CPP worked as an underground party till its merger with CMKP in year 1994 and after its revival as an open party in the year 1999, it has earned the right over 58 years of struggle to call itself the vanguard party of Pakistan. It has stood firmly with the banner of Marxism-Leninism and upheld the banner of Communism in a difficult period in history.
However, it is on record that the CPP is the only political party in Pakistan who has never ever supported any military regime and military dictator on this count. Even General Musharraf has no moral and political grounds to rule our nation and all the amendments made by General Musharraf in the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 are unconstitutional in the eyes of the Communist Party.
WHO IS RULING PAKISTAN?
Comrade Taimur Rahman, Punjab Secretary of the Communist Mazdoor Kisan (Workers and Peasants) Party of Pakistan, while presenting “On the History of the Communist Movement in Pakistan” at Socialist Labour Party public meeting on 27/09/2001 at Brighton, Britain divided the History of Pakistan into Six Stages, which are as under:-
1) 1947 — 1958: Government of the Secretaries
2) 1958 — 1971: Military Dictatorship
3) 1971 — 1977: Young Bourgeois Democracy
4) 1977 — 1988: Theocratic Dictatorship
5) 1988 — 1999: Degenerated Bourgeois Democracy
6) 1999 –: Military Rule
But in our political analysis, our country Pakistan, unfortunately, is being continuously ruled by Pakistan Army and its secret agencies since our independence from British Empire in 1947 either directly or indirectly or by one way or the others.
Even the late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, father of Ex- Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto ruled Pakistan as the first Chief Martial Law Administrator in the year 1972 in collaboration with army hierarchy.
The Military Rulers of Pakistan has only two main agenda. Firstly – how to prolong their rules in Pakistan and secondly – how to watch the interest of American Imperialism. What ever the USA Government dictates to our military rulers, they are very obedient and sincere to follow it fully.
Sometimes, our military rulers become very fundamentalists and some times they pose as an enlightened and moderate one. In fact our military rulers are neither moderate nor fundamentalist. They are in fact greedy for power only and have to follow that policy what the American rulers dictate to them.
The other political parties like Pakistan Peoples Party led by Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Muttaidha Quami Mahaz led by Altaf Hussain and even Tehrik-e-Insaf led by cricketer Imran Khan are all pro-establishment and pro-Americans political parties in current scenario. So much so, all the religious political parties were all allied and worked under the direction of CIA and ISI of Pakistan Army for fighting against the Communist regime of Afghanistan and at that time the Talibans and Osama Bin Laden was not only the creation of CIA and ISI of Pakistan Army but was also the blue eyed of America Imperialism then.
All the political parties as above referred worked totally under the control and command of G. H. Q (General Head Quarters) of Pakistan Army and its secret agencies for getting share in powers. Furthermore, all these political parties supported the military takeover of General Ayub, General Yayha, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervaz Musharraf on one pretext or the other.
It is on record that Communist Party of Pakistan is the only political party in Pakistan who has never ever supported any military regime and military dictator on this count. Our Ex- Secretary General Hasan Nasir was tortured and murdered in Jail by General Ayub in 1962 and our other Ex-Secretary General Jami Saqi remained more than ten years long imprisonment by General Zia-ul-Haq from 1975 to 1987. Likewise young Comrade Nazir Abbasi, a member of the Central Committee of CPP and others were also tortured and murdered by General Zia-ul-Haq during its military regime.
JUDICIARY VIS-À-VIS ARMY:
Looking, now one other aspect, every one knows in Pakistan that our superior Judiciary has never ever sided with the cases of the downtrodden masses. It always helps the military dictators to rule our country illegally. The every dictator’s action was justified by our superior Judiciary and none of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in this context is appreciable, rather all judgments are deplorable. The rich people with the help of money get every type of judgments they like and whereas, the poor and middle class people are helpless and don’t get justice at all and spend their whole life in futile exercise in the hope of getting justice from these courts.
In our Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 copy of which can be seen on the website of http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/constitution/ the Articles No. 17, 43 and 63 (k) clearly bars any Government employee that neither he can take part in politics nor he can contest the election but surprisingly, the superior judiciary of the Supreme Court of Pakistan knowingly everything allows General Pervaz Musharraf to continue as President.
Dear Comrades, in the case of the Constitutional Petition No. 40/2004 as filed by the Communist Party of Pakistan against the Government employee like General Pervaz Musharraf , the Supreme Court of Pakistan did not dare to ask General Pervaz Musharraf that under what authority of law, he is ruling the country in contravention with the Articles No. 17, 43 and 63 (k) of the Constitution of Pakistan, which clearly bars any Government employee that neither he can take part in politics nor he can contest the election.
That during the hearing of the aforesaid Constitutional Petition No. 40 of 2004 against General Pervaz Musharraf from removing him from the office of President being a Government Employee, when brought to the notice of the Supreme Court Judges that the presence of a Government employee like General Pervaz Musharraf in the Presidency of Pakistan also contravenes and contradicts the principles of law enunciated by the Supreme Court in its earlier reported judgment 2004 SUPREME COURT MONTHLY REVIEW PAGE 164 titled “Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik v Government of Pakistan etc” in which the Supreme Court of Pakistan has held that the Government employees should neither take part in politics nor can even addresses a press conference in any capacity but surprisingly the Judges of the Supreme Court silently ignored their own judgment. Is it not a negation of justice and double standard of superior judiciary of Pakistan? Certainly it is so.
Dear Comrades, during the hearing of CPP Constitutional petition against General Pervaz Musharraf, I personally told the larger Bench comprising of five judges of the Supreme Court that one Retired Chief Justice of Pakistan Dr. Naseem Hassan Shah publicly admitted in one of its interview with Pakistan GEO Television programme known as “Jawab-dah” broadcast in year 2004 that the superior judiciary of Pakistan cannot and could not give the right and correct judgment against military rule by Pakistan army, as on the day of judgment, the army men with guns are behind our corridors and due to fear of death, we can’t do justice. Retired Chief Justice of Pakistan also admitted that the death sentence given to Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was wrong and it was given because of the fear of those army men holding guns in their hands.
The judges after hearing these remarks posed as they are free to give any judgment they like and they have no pressure from Army but after seeing the judgment in favour of General Pervaz Musharraf, one can easily see that what the Retired Chief Justice of Pakistan, Dr. Naseem Hassan Shah confessed in his old age before dying in his interview with Pakistan GEO Television is 100% absolutely correct. The comrades, if interested can see the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in favour of General Pervaz Musharraf as filed by the CPP on the website of Supreme Court http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk//judgment.htm titled “JUDGMENT ON 17TH AMENDMEND AND PRESIDENT’S UNIFORM CASE”.
NOW HOW AND WHY TO GET RID OF ARMY RULE IN PAKISTAN:
The continuous army rule in our country has created unrest and poverty to the highest degree. Most of the agricultural land has been grabbed by the army generals on the so-called national services rendered by them during their employment with Government. All the residential lands for the construction of housing projects in all the big and even small cities has also been allotted, grabbed and looted by all the army officers at a very less price as compared to the market prices and on the other side majority of the civilian population is living without any shelter and or homeless. The Pakistan Army in fact and actually assumed the role of a political party and is no more a professional army now. They have weapons in their hands on public exchequer and ruling Pakistan on one pretext or the other whereas the factual and ground reality is that the Pakistan Army is responsible for all the social-economic and political problems of our country.
The army rule in 1971 had broken Pakistan and Bangladesh emerged purely due to bad and poor political rule of Army and the same situation is now facing Baluchistan, a province of Pakistan. General Pervaz Musharraf by military operations is adamant to crush the genuine movements of the Baluchi People, who are fighting for the rights of their self determination and for provincial autonomy. All the parliaments of our country in the past were rubber stamp but the present parliament is the worst one and the parliamentarians are helpless and they are only protecting the shameful democracy for their own vested interest. The Election Commission is not at all independent in our country. The superior judiciary since independence is working and safe guarding the interest of Army and Military rule in our country. The suicidal cases due to poverty have been considerably increasing day by day.
Dear Comrades, every one in Pakistan knows that the Americans are doing worst to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq and the policies of the American Imperialism are against the sovereignty, integrity and national interest of our country but even then the Army Rulers of Pakistan, knowingly everything, are so selfish and greedy for their vested interests and are helping American Imperialism to carry their evil designs at the risk and security of Pakistan.
The nut-shell of the above discussion is that Pakistan is now facing all types of problems but the question, however, is how to get rid of continuous army rule in Pakistan. All the political parties alliances like ARD (Alliance for Restoration of Democracy in which Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League and other bourgeoisie party) and MMA (Muttaihda Majle Amal in which six religious parties are there) which though poses to the downtrodden masses that they are anti American in policies and anti General Pervaz Musharraf but the true fact is that neither MMA, who have a Provincial Governments in two out of four provinces of Pakistan nor ARD is against the American Imperialism and General Pervaz Musharraf. Both of these political alliances in fact wants sharing in powers and so the Communist Party of Pakistan don’t have at all any political hope from these bourgeoisie and religious parties.
There is one other political alliance on national question of smaller nationality known as “POONUM”. Though this alliance is anti General Pervaz Musharraf but is not effective and not playing any vital and concrete struggle for mobilizing the downtrodden masses against army rule in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, besides Communist Party of Pakistan, there are also other leftist and progressive parties like National Workers Party led by Abid Hasan Minto, Labour Party Pakistan led by Farooq Tariq, Awami Tehrik led by Rasul Baksh Paleejo, Mazdoor Kissan Party led by Afzal Khamoosh, Pakistan Peoples Party (Shaheed Bhutto Group) led by Ghinwa Bhutto, Pakistan Mazdood Mahaz led by Tufail Abbas, Peoples Rights Movement led by Asim Sajjad and Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party led by Sufi Abdul Khaliq Baluch but after the collapse and downfall of the Soviet Revolution in 1990, all these political parties have now different political analysis and strategy regarding national issues and solving the problems of downtrodden masses.
However, with the passage of time, every above left and progressive parties are now seriously thinking for formation of a “United Front” against General Pervaz Musharraf and some initial contacts and steps in this context have already been taken by the Communist Party of Pakistan and other left and progressive parties of Pakistan and let us see whether the left and progressive parties of Pakistan can now play a vital role in overthrowing the continuous Army Rule in Pakistan by mobilizing the downtrodden masses and other sections of people against army with the help of Marxist-Leninist theory and approach.
Communist Party of Pakistan is of political analysis now that in the first phase, the CPP should vigorously fight against the Army Rule in Pakistan and utilize all their sources and energy for overthrowing and removing Army Rule in Pakistan for ever as in Pakistan, the neutral Election Commission, Independence of Judiciary and social economic matters, land reforms and other political matters like trade unionism etc are all related with the complete end of Army Rule in Pakistan and our party honestly feels that if the Communist Party of Pakistan and other left and progressive parties did not play their historical and political role in the current scenario of the prevailing political situation of Pakistan, the sufferings of the downtrodden masses, peasantry and workers classes would increase to the highest degree and that would be a shameful act for all the communists, socialists, leftists and progressive elements of Pakistan.
After having more than 57 years of the Communist movement of Pakistan and the minute analysis of the way and tactics of the continuous Army Rule in Pakistan, the Communist Party of Pakistan is of the considered opinion that revolution at first stage is not possible. The CPP has reached a conclusion through the analysis of the objective situation and experiences of other countries that the, “People’s Democracy” is the only path to accomplish the immediate political task. The successful People’s Democratic Revolution would ultimately pave the way for the attainment of socialism at the later stage of development.
The Future Challenge for the communists, socialists, leftists and progressive elements of Pakistan for bringing “People’s Democracy” is to overthrow the Army Rule of General Pervaz Musharraf for ever and liberate the downtrodden masses, workers, peasantry etc from the clutches of these Army Rulers, who were and are ruling Pakistan on one pretext and the other and for achieving this political objective and purpose, the Communist Party of Pakistan has to adopt a suitable methodology for mobilizing the downtrodden masses, workers, peasantry and other sections of the people keeping only one agenda for removing and overthrowing Army Rule for ever in Pakistan, which in fact has now adopted a role of monarchy to some extent in Pakistan.
Thank you for your kind attention!
(Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik)
Communist Party of Pakistan,
Communist Party Secretariat,
1426-Fateh Jang Chowk,