ON SATURDAY 21 April, a number of democratic and socialist activists were arrested by the Punjabi Police in Lahore, amongst them Ali Wazir, Bilawal Mandokhel, Muzammil and Ismat Shahjahan, all of them leaders of the Pashtun Protection Movement (Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, PTM), and the Awami Workers’ Party Chairman, Fanoos Gujjar.
These arrests are designed to intimidate and threaten all those who support the developing Pashtun movement and who want to fight for democratic rights. There is a massive police presence at the Punjab University in order to arrest Pashtun students. Earlier, a print shop was raided, leaflets were confiscated and workers in the print shop were injured by the police.
These actions are directed against a mass rally called by the PTM and supported by the Lahore Left Front for Sunday 22 April. After the arrests, the negotiations with the authorities for the rally were cancelled. The movement calls on the people to take the streets tomorrow and to turn out in large numbers to the meeting.
We stand in full solidarity with the movement. We support all protests against intimidation, repression and in defence of democratic rights.
We call on all working class organisations, all trade unions and left parties, all democratic and progressive organisations – organise solidarity action with the Pashtun Protection Movement! Free all arrested activists now! No repression of the mass meetings!
Revolutionary Socialist Movement (Pakistan section of the L5I)
League for the Fifth International
REVOLUTION, International Communist Youth Organisation