National Sections of the L5I:

Pakistan: the programme of permanent revolution

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The working class and the rural and urban masses must now be won to the struggle for power – to end the rule of capital and establish a working class state that gives land to the peasants. As the Russian Revolutionary Leon Trotsky argued in 1917 the revolution must be “made permanent” – i.e. it must continue from the national democratic struggle to the struggle for working class power and world socialist revolution.

This can be done! The working class can be won to action aimed at their self-emancipation – if revolutionaries advance a programme of action that links the struggle for democracy with the struggle for power:

• For an all out general strike to bring down the military regime!
The working class responded to the repression in Karachi with heroism and defiance. By paralysing all the main cities it showed it has the power to bring down the regime – now it must take the indefinite action that can bring down the government.
• No to a “civilian government”! Yes to a revolutionary constituent assembly!
This great mass movement must oppose all attempts at installing an undemocratic “transitional” civilian government. Such a call is designed to demobilise the masses, just at the time when they should be going on the offensive. We fight for the popular movement to convene a democratic assembly elected by local assemblies and recallable by them.
• Continue the struggle against capital! For an agrarian revolution!
The immediate tasks of the constituent assembly must be to reverse the neoliberal programme of the Musharraf regime, bring the criminal military junta to justice. To sweep away the military dictatorship and ensure it can never be replaced, we fight within a constituent assembly to continue the class struggle against the capitalists and the big landlords by enacting an agrarian revolution that will give the land to those who till it, encouraging the peasants to organise cooperatives if they so wish.
• For committees of action of both workers and peasants!
In every workplace we fight for the formation of workers committees to organise mass action to bring down the regime. We fight for the formation out of these of city wide, regional and national committees of action to organise a national struggle for working class power. We fight for similar committees in the countryside as organs of agrarian revolution.
• For a workers and peasants government based on councils of delegates and a mass people’s militia!
Only the working class, allied with the poor peasants and the urban poor can form a government that will solve the great questions facing the country. To do so requires more than parliamentary elections – which cannot transfer power from one class to another – it requires a socialist revolution: the disbanding of the bourgeois state machine and its replacement with councils of recallable delegates.
• Workers control of production, nationalisation of big foreign multinationals!
The workers committees must combine the struggle against the regime with the struggle against capital. They should fight for nationalisation of major industries and banks, without compensation, and for them to be placed under workers control. We fight for an economy democratically planned for need, separation of religion and the state and equality of all faiths before the law.
• For workers self defence squads!
We fight to defend the mass movement from repression by the army or reactionary thugs like the MQM. To this end we fight for the arming of the working class and the disbandment of state instruments of repression – the police and ISI security services.
• For rank and file soldiers’ committees in the army!
For soldiers to disobey any orders to turn their guns on the people! We fight to organise the rank and file soldiers in the army who have no interest in maintaining the rule of this corrupt dictatorship.
• Bring women into the struggle! For equality and liberation!
Women must be brought into the struggle for an end to military rule. This struggle must go hand in hand with the fight for the social, political and economic equality of women.
• Down with imperialism!
Victory to the resistance in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan! The struggle against Musharraf is part of a global struggle against imperialism – and his overthrow will be a huge blow to US domination and the so-called “war on terror.”
• For a new world party of social revolution – the Fifth International!
The struggle in Pakistan is part of a global struggle by the working class against capitalism. To lead this struggle workers need a new global party of socialist revolution, fighting on every front to turn the struggles of today towards the conquest of power by the working class. In the history of the workers movement there have been four such internationals – today we must forge a new party, the Fifth International, to fight for socialism in the 21st century!
• For world revolution and socialism!
The struggle in Pakistan can be the first step in a world socialist revolution – if the working class come to the head of the struggle and fight for a workers state and win the peasants to the side by fighting for an agrarian revolution! This can be the first act in a world revolution against capitalism! A victory of the workers in Pakistan can inspire socialist revolution in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. For a socialist federation of South Asia!