In November 2012, the Awami Party, Labour Party and Workers Party merged to form the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in an unprecedented effort to build a genuine Left alternative to mainstream political forces in Pakistan. The party’s programme was designed to bring together the disparate struggles of workers, peasants, students, women and ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan under the banner of a democratic and socialist politics.
The AWP’s political practice is premised on its founding principles of acting as a unifying force for various struggles around Pakistan. It is a practical ethic based on the understanding that the Left needs to evolve beyond its theoretical comfort zones.
AWP members are supporting people’s struggles around the country, from working with peasants on land rights and water access in Buner, supporting the tenant farmer’s movement for land rights in Okara, organizing brick-kiln workers against bonded labor and wage abuse in Punjab, supporting the struggles of textile and power-loom workers in Faisalabad for human wages, social security and improvement in work conditions, organizing peasants and working classes against abuses by elites and for an equitable land distribution in Sindh, standing in solidarity with historically oppressed ethnic groups such as the Baloch, Hazara and multi-lingual communities of Gilgit-Baltistan, to the construction of alliances with trade unions against neoliberal privatization and contract labor across the country.
The AWP stands and struggles for
In Pakistan only 1/3 of the total housing needs are met by the formal sector, which caters mostly to middle and upper classes. Left to their own devices, the urban poor and working classes must meet 25 % of the housing demand on their own. As a result, nearly half the urban population in Pakistan, 30-40 million people, currently live in katchiabadis.
AWP believes that it is a fundamental responsibility of the state to provide housing for the poorest, an obligation enshrined in Article 38(d) of the constitution of Pakistan. It is an obligation that the state is currently failing miserably to provide.The AWP believes that public resources need to be expended towards the provision of affordable low-income housing.
The growing and increasingly dire environmental problems faced by the citizens of Pakistanare an immediate threat to generations. As a party of the present and future, we recognize the need to bring issues such as deforestation, desertification, flooding, water shortages, poor water quality, and the spread of water-borne diseases through wastewater treatment plants and a lack rainwater harvest systems to the forefront.
The organized working class struggles of the 20th century resulted in employment and wage guarantees, health, education and housing. These basic amenities have been steadily repealed due to the neo-liberal counter-revolution, based on privatization, liberalization of financial and trade markets, and the flexibilisation of labour. Today’s working class is informalised and fragmented. We remain committed to the rights of labour and regulation of capital. A minimum wage of Rs. 30,000, enforcement of the 8 hour working day, social security benefits for all and an end to contract labour is what we promise. Furthermore, regularization of domestic work will bring legal protections for millions of exploited workers, mostly women and children.
The state-sponsored politicization of religion, especially since the 1980s, has led to the indoctrination of entire generations of young people, including (but not limited to) the millions of children and adolescents in madrassahs across the country.
The AWP is committed to eliminating hate-based material from educational curricula in madrassahs and beyond, and further to the creation of a uniform system of education based on secular principles in public and private institutions alike
Pakistani society and the wider region has been devastated by wars propagated by states and non-state militants alike. The phenomenon of ‘terrorism’ has spared no one, but affected the war-torn Pashtun and Baloch regions most of all, whilst also exacerbating perennially tense relations between Pakistan and its immediate neighbours. We want an end to all forms of war and terror!
The AWP rejects a myopic view of growth consisting solely of steel and cement. Our growth strategy is focused on human development and fostering creativity. We believe the 64% of the country’s population is under the age of 29 deserves a future that is prosperous, sustainable and focused on well-rounded development of all aspects of their personalities.