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Anti-Imperialist Peace Demonstrations in India and Pakistan

19. June 2002

by: CPI(ML)

The CPI(ML) held `anti-war-anti-imperialist` peace demonstration on 13 June in Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Avanigadda and Chennai and several other centres of the country. On this occasion, while addressing the peace marchers in Delhi Party Gen. Secy. Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya called for demobilisation of troops from the Indo-Pak border, complete restoration of all diplomatic ties and resumption of direct bilateral dialogue with Pakistan.

Hundreds of Party activists and supporters carrying placards, banners and flags held an anti-war peace demonstration at Jantar-Mantar and organised the meeting. Representatives of other Communist and democratic organisations including the SUCI, CPI(ML)-Red Flag and CPI(ML)-Unity Initiative also joined it.

Addressing the peace-marchers, Com. Dipankar said, “BJP govt. was itching for war, but thanks to the pressure exerted by the peace loving people in India and Pakistan and the subcontinental diaspora, the war moves have been stalled for the time being and the govt. has been forced to beat a partial retreat … Vajpayee govt. must be pressurised to adopt concrete measures like demobilisation of troops and resumption of dialogue with Pakistan. And to set the stage for free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir, state repression must be brought to an end and general amnesty granted to all political activists who are currently languishing in Indian Jails.”

He noted that “It is indeed ironical that the Bush and Blair administrations, two of the biggest suppliers of weapons to the region, are being lauded as brokers of peace.” Describing the US-UK intervention in South Asia as a `danger to the peace` here, he called upon all peace loving people in India and Pakistan to reject the imperialist intervention and the rulers` capitulation to the imperialists in no uncertain terms and hailed the anti-war peace initiatives taken by the subcontinental diaspora in Britain, Canada and America.

Demonstration in Pakistan:


A peace demonstration called by four Left parties of Pakistan, viz. National Workers Party, Labour Party Pakistan, Peoples Party (Shaheed Bhutto) and Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party held on 13 June demanded an immediate halt to all war preparations from the borders of India and Pakistan. It demanded an immediate withdrawal of all forces from the borders, de-escalation of tension and a right of self determination of Kashmiri nation. It also demanded an immediate withdrawal of all American and other imperialist forces from the region. The demonstration held at Lahore Press Club was part of a larger mobilization of Left forces in Indian sub continent. It was also attended by several trade union federations and social organizations. Renowned human right activists Asma Jehangir also participated in the demonstration.

The demonstrators chanted slogans like, we want bread, not bombs, No to war, yes to peace, No to nuclear madness, Imperialists out of the region, Down with American imperialism, Bush is a murderer, Right of self determination for Kashmir, withdraw forces from the borders and so on. The demonstrators gathered at Lahore Press Club and made a round of the square. Police in large numbers. Over a 1000 demonstrators, mainly left wing activists, social organization members, trade union activists and youth from working class communities, raised sky high slogans which inspired every one and it became a very charged demonstration.

It was the first united action of the left parties of Pakistan, which has helped strengthen the confidence of the left forces. A large numbers of women organization including Women Workers help Line and Women Action Forum were also present.