A special interview with Adil, leader of Afghanistan Labour Revolutionary Organization Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign launched Nov.19, 2001

Adil is leader of a small left wing organization based in Afghanistan. He is
himself in exile. He was in Jilalabad for three days from 16 to 19th September
to see the mood and to instruct his party men for the future strategy.
It was an illegal entry to Afghanistan. Here is a special report on the
present situation in Afghanistan based on his interview with Farooq Tariq
taken at Lahore on 24th September 2001.


I traveled to Afghanistan on 16th September and reached Jilalabad. The town
was in absolute shock conditions. Everyone from there was talking to leave
Afghanistan as soon as possible. To reach to Peshawar, you need at least
200,000 Afghanis ($2). Then you need another $ 5 to bribe the Pakistan
official at the border to cross. So any one who has this amount is leaving.

An
average wage of an Afghani government clerk for instance at present is
around
300,000 Afghanis ($3) per month. A daily worker in Jilalabad would get
around
Afghani 10,000 to 20,000 ($0.10 to $0.20) per day. So there is tremendous
poverty in all parts of Afghanistan. Wages are not normally paid upto 6
months. People are sick and tired of Talban regime. They can not say it
openly
but now are very sure the regime is going to go away. Most of the shops and
the trading companies were closed in Jilalabad. No one wants to do any
business in the city. It is more like a deserted city.

On Talban military power

There are around 20,000 military men at the disposal of Talban. They have
lost
their best friend Pakistan, so their military assistance is in trouble. On
the
contrary, there are over 25000 military men with Asama [Osama Bin Laden]. They belong to
China,
Algeria, Nigeria and many other Arab countries apart from Pakistan. When
Talbaan say they will not hand over Asama to Americans, it has nothing to do
with their courage or their service to Islam, they are unable to hand him
over
as Asama has more Islamic militants than the Talbaan.

On the Popularity of Talbaan

They have lost support in absolute terms. The people I spoke in Jilalabad
are
openly against the Talban. I think it is only Talibs (the militant students)
who support them. No one else support them in Afghanistan. They are the most
unpopular regime in Afghanistan history. If American comes here they will
loose power not so much of the attack but more because they have no social
basis. It is not like the situation when Russians came to Afghanistan. There
were a lot of people in Afghanistan opposing them. Also Americans and
Pakistan
was against them. But the situation is totally different. Talbaan can not
fight with American for long time. They can not hide for long time. They are
doomed to loose power. Talban are most vicious and brutal government of all
time. We oppose them from the beginning. But American and Pakistan have
supported them from the beginning. They say it today that Talban government
is
no good, we are saying it from the day first.

Three trends within Talbaan

There are three trends within the hierarchy of Talbaan regime. One is the
most
fundamentalist who are totally opposed to the handing Talbaan over to
American. One big group is in favor of handing Asama to American. The third
one is balancing the two groups. It is the third group, which has prevailed
recently in its decision that Asama should leave voluntarily.

The problem is that all the three groups are smaller than the army of Asama
is. Asama is the real ruler of Afghanistan and not the Talbaan.

On Northern Front

There are mix people in the Northern Front. Abdul Rashid Dostum who heads
Junbash Milli Islamia (Islamic National Movement) was a close ally of Babrak
Karmal and Dr. Najib ullah, the former rulers of Afghanistan with the
support
of Russians. He is not fundamentalist and represents Uzbak and Turkmenistan
people of Afghanistan. Another component party of Northern Front is the
party
of Professor Siaf, s Itehad Islami Afghanistan (Afghanistan Islamic Unity).
This is the most fundamentalist party of the Front. Then there is Ahmed Shah
party Shoora Nizaar (Islamic Association).

The same people who did The 11th September event killed him on 9th
September.

Ahmed Shah Massod was killed because the people of Asama knew that he is the
only capable person who can lead a resistance after the 11th September. He
was
supported by many Western powers already. He was a religious fanatic but
recently ha had changed his position to right wing ideas. Hizb Wahdat Islami
is another party, which is part of the Northern Alliance. NF is in full
preparations to attack the Talbaan. There have been fights at Mazar Sharif
after 11th September. 80 Talbaan dead and 200 arrested. The fight is still
going on so Talbaan can loose Mezar Sharif very soon.

Ex general Doostam have got some Western support already and he is moving
forward.

On ex King Zahir Shah

He is an 89-year-old ex king who seemed to get the support of all the
parties
in Afghanistan apart from Talbaan. The flag of Zahir Shah party Are seen
every
where in Peshawar at least. This black, Red and green color flags. Our party
at this time supports him for a transitional period. The American plan is to
hand him powers after the fall of Talbaan and then he can call elections in
one-year time. But it clears that he will not be able to solve the problems
of
the people. There is a Persian saying that the “bad” is in power and there
are
some good coming out of it, it is not that bad. So we have no other choice
apart from supporting him for a transitional period.

On American military intervention

We are totally opposed to American military intervention. But we are in
favor
of an immediate ending of Talbaan government. The situation is like this
that
American was bringing up a dog who has now gone mad. It is the
responsibility
of American to control or kill the mad dog. We will do our part to haunt
down
this mad dog which is dangerous for the Afghan people.

Talbaan were supported indirectly or directly by the Americans and Pakistan
in
the hope of stabilizing Afghanistan but the situation has gone out of their
control.

On Shelter International

This NGO was providing over bread to over 3 million Afghanis. The Talbaan
regime arrested them for no reasons. The food is gone. People are suffering
now. This has even added to the misery of the people and more hatred against
the Talbaan government. They wanted to control the NGO, s working in
Afghanistan. This has not gone well among the normal Afghanis.

Adil told that every one is sick and tired of Talbaan regime. They are sick
of
the war. There is lot people waiting for the end of this government. I do
not
see any possibility of Talbaan remaining in power for a longer time.

American
strategy is to bring Zahir Shah into power. He has already got the support
of
Northern Alliance and other Left and right parties. We are waiting for the
day
to go back to Afghanistan.

Interview by Farooq Tariq
General secretary
Labour Party Pakistan
www.labourpakistan.org

* A somehow shorter and edited version of this inteview was published on International Viewpoint Online magazine : IV # 335 - November 2001.


Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign launched Nov.19, 2001

Become part of the campaign and sponsor it today

Labour Party Pakistan

Labour Party Pakistan in close association with Afghan Labour Revolutionary Organization has decided to launch Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign. The idea to start this campaign was discussed during the visit of Alan McCombes of Scottish Socialist Party. The SSP has already decided to actively support this campaign.

LPP and ALRO are appealing to all the international Left and trade union movement to support this campaign. The main aim of this campaign is to help the Afghan workers in their struggle to survive. It will bring material help for the Afghan workers which will be distributed inside Afghanistan and also in refugees camp in Pakistan. It will help to strengthen the progressive organizations of the Afghan workers. It will collect and bring every day life necessities to the Afghan workers on emergency basis.

The suppression by the religious fundamentalists of all the democratic and human rights in Afghanistan over the years has left the organization of the Left forces in absolute weak position. Many had lost lives for the cause of Socialism in Afghanistan. Rest of them are spending their lives underground even in exile. Their families have been tortured and sentenced to death by the religious fundamentalist. But the so-called victory of the Imperialist forces leaves no better situation for the Afghan Left forces. They still have to make a very difficult life to spread the ideas of Socialism.

To help the Afghan left forces in their struggle to survive and promote their organizations needs an active international support. LPP has been active in promoting the Afghan Left for some years. It has now a plan to produce a monthly paper in Pushto language to help the afghan left in promotion of their ideas and strategy.

LPP has already started collecting cloths, medicine, blankets, shoes and other every day food items to be distributed among Afghan refugees camp through the ALRO and other afghan Left groups.

The LPP plan to send its first truck load of these items on 24th of November.

What can you do?

Sponsor the AWSC formally by paying the initial amount of $ 300 for the organizations and $100 for individuals.

Please help to build this campaign.

1 - Collection of goods: Collect every day items in your country and send the shipment to Education Foundation 40 Abbot Road Lahore, Pakistan

Most of the second hand items like blankets and clothes are available cheaply in Pakistan. If you like, send us the money and we can buy these items for you.

2 - Volunteers: If you have time and money to travel, please come to Pakistan to help build this campaign. We need volunteers from abroad to help this campaign. Please contact us immediately for this.

3 - Donations: Please send your donations to following bank account

Education Foundation Donation Account number 01 7967128 Standard Charted Grindlays Bank, Gulberg Branch Main Boulevard, Gulberg Lahore Pakistan

This is US Dollars account. Comradely,

Shoaib Bhatti Organizer, Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign, (Central Chairman Labour Party Pakistan) Email: labourparty gmx.net Website: www.labourpakistan.org Tel: 92 42 6315162, 6301685 Fax 92 42 6303808

Sponsors so for:

Labour Party Pakistan
Scottish Socialist Party
Women Workers Help Line Lahore Pakistan
Afghan Labour Revolutionary Organization
All Pakistan Para Medical Staff Federation
Pakistan Printing and Graphic Workers Union
All Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Federation
Pakistan Railway Workers Union (democratic group)
Itehad Workers Union Carpet Industries Pakistan

Note: Education Foundation is registered non-government organization set up by the supporters of Labour Party Pakistan in 1993.

* From International Viewpoint Online magazine : IV # 336 - December 2001.


Help Now—Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign needs you support on urgent basis Nov. 27, 2001

* new information about quick transmission of donations to pakistan

Hundreds of ordinary people of Lahore have donated generously to the Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign. AWSC was launched last week by several international working class organizations. LPP is a part of the Campaign and its supporters across Pakistan are collecting cloths, blankets, quilts, jumpers and other cloth items. They are also collecting dry food items and medicines as well. Camps were set up this Sunday at different part of Lahore where hundreds of people have brought every day used items for the Afghan workers. Announcements were made by the mosques appealing people to bring their items in the camps. It is interesting to note that several religious fanatics organizations have also set up camps but it seems that they do not have the success in collecting items as LPP have done.

LPP have now engaged several families to press the cloths and pack them in bags. They will be paid a very nominal cost for pressing over 5000 traditional suits so for collected. The 5000 target is already achieved and many other areas than Lahore have just started collecting the used items.

We plan to send the first truck load of items before the Eid that is 14th of December 2001. We want these items to be distributed before the Eid. So many Afghan families of the workers could also celebrate the holy day of Eid.

What we need now

We need to buy the blankets and quilts that is most needed in winter. We could not collect many, as many workers will have not any spare of these items at homes. We can buy these from the second hand market of Lahore where is available quit cheaply.

We plan to buy at least 4000 blankets, as we would be delivering clothes and blanket to at least 5000 families. The 4000 would cost at least 250,000 Rupees. That is roughly $ 4200. Then we need another $ 800 for the transport cost. So to deliver the items collected and the items we plan to buy need at least $5000 more to be collected.

This is an appeal to all the affiliate organizations and supporters of this campaign to send us immediately an amount possible to the campaign. All the affiliates are expected to send at least $300 each immediately.

The total cost of items collected by LPP could reach to $2000 so for. LPP do not have any cash in hand to send these items. Please raise the issue in your organizations and take emergency measure as we have only 14 days to go.

Please hurry up,

In Solidarity,

Shoaib Bhatti,
Organizer AWSC


AWSC: Afgan Workers Solidarity Campaigne, New Affiliates Nov. 22, 2001

Dear friends,

There has been tremendous response to the Afghan Workers Solidarity
Campaign. Following organizations have decided to affiliate and sponsor the campaign
already

Democratic Socialist Party of Australia
Labour Militant Voice of USA
Internationalism Editing Group Japan
Workers Democracy Network USA
Council of Human Needs USA
Workers International Unity (UIT), all the sections affiliated with this
International also have decided to affiliate with AWSC
ASAP Australia

Labour Party Pakistan have so for collected over 1000 traditional dress for
man and woman and over 500 for childrens. This is beside the shoes, jackets,
blankets and jumpers. On Friday, a mass campaign to collect the used
household items is been organised at different parts of working class localities in
Lahore. LPP target is to collect over 5000 dresses to be send to Afghan
workers.

Please think to be part of this international campaign to help the Afghan
workers in need. Read the details enclosed with this letter.

In Solidarity,

Shoaib Bhatti


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