HKP: New Left party to strive for labourers’ rights

HKP launch

Haqooq-e-Khalq Party presents a charter of demand including Rs40,000 minimum wage for labourers; it will field labourers as its candidates in the local government and general elections.

HAH Special Correspondent

Faisalabad: A new Left-wing political party has emerged on the murkier political landscape of Pakistan with an aim of organising industrial workers, youth and peasants to struggle for the structural changes and to fight against imperialism and the status quo.

Labourers organise a rally at Sudhar locality of Faisalabad on Thursday against skyrocketing inflation and for basic rights. Photo by HKP

This was announced at a protest rally at the industrial area of Sudhar here on Thursday that was organised jointly by Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) and the newly-formed Haqooq-e-Khalq Party (HKP). Presided over by the LQM leader Latif Baba, the speakers expressed their resolve to fight for their basic rights.

In Faisalabad, also known as Manchester of Pakistan, Sudhar and Dhandro are important areas of the constituency NA-100, populated by labourers. Interior minister Rana Sanaullah was elected from this constituency.

But the ruling elite has never fulfilled their promises and the residents have been deprived of basic health and education facilities as well as the drainage systems.

The new party, hence, decided to give tickets to labourers to contest in the elections and solve these problems.

The participants of the rally chanted slogans against the public representatives as well as civic agency’s apathy toward the working class and their failure in addressing these issues.

They also raised slogans against the ever-increasing prices of essential commodities and energy and presented a charter of demands including the implementation of the package announced by the Prime Minister of raising the minimum wage.

Those who addressed the rally included Ammar Ali Jan, Farooq Tariq, Baba Latif, Rana Riaz, Sheikh Muhammad Nisar, Sheikh Khalid Bhola, Babar Shafique Randhawa, Aslam Mairaj, Akbar Ali Kamboh, Murtaza Bajwa, Dr Alia Haider, Mohiba Ahmed, Naziraan Bibi and other.

They said that since the creation of Pakistan only poor people have been paying taxes on almost everything. Successive governments have overburdened the salaried class and working class to fulfil the conditionalities of the World Bank and IMF, but the state has failed to ensure the provision of basic rights including social security, payment of marriage grants and an increase in minimum wages to them.

Now, the moment has arrived that landed aristocrats, realtors, military and civil bureaucracy, judges, elite politicians, capitalists and feudal lords sacrifice for the country.

They urged the government to give relief to the working class by cutting unnecessary expenditures of the establishment and by refusing to pay the loans. However, what was happening in the reign of Imran Khan is being repeated.

Speakers emphasised the role of labourers in the development of the country. They reiterated that textile, garments, power looms and other industries only work because of labourers and if they are not paid enough to sustain then how can one expect Pakistan to develop?

They demanded of the government to implement the minimum wage of Rs25,000 across the board and raise it to Rs40,000 per month.

They said that their struggle will continue till their demands are met.

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