stop the war
This is Mustafabad
By: Farooq Tariq
Mustafabad is a working class locality of Lahore. Situated in Eastern Lahore, most of the inhabitants are working at railways, irrigation workshops or in informal sector. In one part of this locality, Labour Party Pakistan have a mass base. LPP have led several movements in this area and the local councilor is a member of the LPP.
Today, on 23rd November, the local unit of LPP decided to set up three camps for the Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign. The purpose was to collect cloths, dry food items and blankets etc. We set up three camps as a dress rehearsal for the next Sunday when we plan to set up several more in the area.
Three local mosques were asked to announce the setting up of the camps and appeal to the community to donate. They did several times today. We had also done home to home campaign during the last few days and asked them to dig their homes for any items that is not very much in use. The word was already spread of the camps.
On 8th of November, Alan MCcombs of Scottish Socialist Party had opened the first LPP local office. Over 50 comrades were present on the occasion. The office was declared storage for the items collected until sent to Afghanistan.
Today, it was a joy moment for every comrade involved in the campaign. We collected goods worth over a US $1000 in few hours. It was a queue of people to bring men, women and children cloths, shoes, blanket, quilts and dries food items. No one of us had expected such a massive response by the community. Only LPP was seen active in doing some thing concrete for the Afghan workers. A worker commented, "that is what Pakistan People Party was doing at some time, where are they now, lost some where" LPP is the new PPP, "he said. One of our friends told us that his mother was so keen to give something that she has given his new cloths to you.
The quality of the cloths was not bad at all. It was not that the not useable cloths were handed over to us to get rid of them, but many were just washed and ironed to hand it over to us.
A woman brought three new quilts and two blankets and told us that you are doing what I should have been doing.
There were banners hanging over all the three camps explaining the reasons why LPP is collecting these items. The chairs and tables for the camps was not rented but donated by a furniture rental.
A young boy was so much motivated that he went around several houses to bring many worthy items. My daughter Mashal of 8 years told her mama Shahnaz, that she has enough shoes and that Afghan women need it, you must give at least three shoes. This was out of seven she had. Shahnaz was one the first one to donate to the campaign already many household items. Mashal was successful to convince her mama and brought her three new shoes to the camp with a pride.
It was a very good rehearsal for the camps that we are planning for Sunday. It showed that it was only a matter of initiative and many working class families were looking for a way to help the Afghan masses. There was a support for the religious fundamentalist. Since the fall of Kabul, the forces are quite depressed and are not doing activities anymore. So LPP initiative took a lead and the won the respect of the community with all the donations it got today.
The target is to collect at least 5000 traditional Shalwar Qamees (dresses) for men and women and children. We are at present close to 2000 already beside all the shoes, blankets and other items. Now a process of iron and packing is starting from tomorrow and hopeful, LPP first consignment will depart from Lahore till 15th of December.
Other units of Lahore LPP are also planning for Sunday. The leaflets are distributed already in several areas.
Come and Join the campaign
Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign launched
Become part of the campaign and sponsor it today
Labour Party Pakistan in close association with Afghan Labour Revolutionary Organization has decided to launch Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign. The idea to start this campaign was discussed during the visit of Alan Macomb of Scottish Socialist Party. The SSP has already decided to actively support this campaign.
LPP and ALRO are appealing to all the international Left and trade union movement to support this campaign.
The main aim of this campaign is to help the Afghan workers in their struggle to survive. It will bring material help for the Afghan workers which will be distributed inside Afghanistan and also in refugees camp in Pakistan. It will help to strengthen the progressive organizations of the Afghan workers. It will collect and bring every day life necessities to the Afghan workers on emergency basis.
The suppression by the religious fundamentalists of all the democratic and human rights in Afghanistan over the years has left the organization of the Left forces in absolute weak position. Many had lost lives for the cause of Socialism in Afghanistan. Rest of them are spending their lives underground even in exile. Their families have been tortured and sentenced to death by the religious fundamentalist. But the so-called victory of the Imperialist forces leaves no better situation for the Afghan Left forces. They still have to make a very difficult life to spread the ideas of Socialism.
To help the Afghan left forces in their struggle to survive and promote their organizations needs an active international support. LPP has been active in promoting the Afghan Left for some years. It has now a plan to produce a monthly paper in Pushto language to help the afghan left in promotion of their ideas and strategy.
LPP has already started collecting cloths, medicine, blankets, shoes and other every day food items to be distributed among Afghan refugees camp through the ALRO and other afghan Left groups.
The LPP plan to send its first truck load of these items till 24th of November.
What you can do?
Sponsor the AWSC formally by paying the initial amount of $300 for the organizations and $100 FOR THE INDIVIDUALS.
Please help to build this campaign.
1- Collect every day items in your country and send the shipment to
Education Foundation 40 Abbot Road Lahore, Pakistan
Most of the second hand items like the blankets and cloths are available cheaply in Pakistan. If you like, send us the money and we can buy these items for you.
If you have time and money to travel, please come to Pakistan to help build this campaign. We need volunteers from Abroad to help this campaign. Please contact us immediately for this.
Please send your donations to following bank account
Education Foundation Donation Account number 01 7967128 Standard Charted Grindlays Bank, Gulberg Branch Main Boulevard, Gulberg Lahore Pakistan
This is US Dollars account.
Shoaib Bhatti Organizer, Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign, (Central Chairman Labour Party Pakistan)
Website: http://www.labourpakistan.org Tel: 92 42 6315162, 6301685 Fax - 92 42 6303808
Sponsors so far:
Socialist Initiative/Socialist League - Was Tun (Germany)
Workers Solidarity Pakistan (Germany)
Labour Party Pakistan
Scottish Socialist Party
Women Workers Help Line Lahore (Pakistan)
Afghan Labour Revolutionary Organization (Afghanistan)
All Pakistan Para Madical Staff Federation (Pakistan)
Pakistan Printing and Graphic Workers Union (Pakistan)
All Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Federation (Pakistan)
Pakistan Railway Workers Union (democratic group)
Pakistan Itehad Workers Union Carpet Industries (Pakistan)
Democratic Socialist Party (Australia)
Labors' Militant Voice (USA)
Internationalism Editing Group (Japan)
Workers Democracy Network (USA)
Council of Human Needs (USA)
Workers International Unity (UIT), all the sections affiliated with this International also have decided to affiliate with AWSC
Note: Education Foundation is registered non-government organization set up by the supporters of Labour Party Pakistan in 1993.