LAHORE: Fissures appear among the Awami Workers Party (AWP) as one of its components, the Labour Party Pakistan, has parted its way for what the deserters say ‘witch-hunting’ of their supporters.

AWP former general secretary Farooq Tariq announced quitting the Centre-Left outfit along with his colleagues here on Tuesday.

In a renewed attempt to unify the Left forces, three progressive parties – Awami Party, Workers Party and Labour Party Pakistan – had decided to merge themselves in the form of Awami Workers Party for building upon the Left’s best traditions and making adaptations necessary for a viable project back in November 2012.

Announcing an end to the seven-year partnership, Mr Tariq says the AWP was giving a cold shoulder to the movements of farmers, labourers and democrats like the Anjuman Mazareen Punjab and campaign for release of Baba Jan in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“The party won’t be seen in the field and had been confined to drawing-room politics for ignoring the issues of the farming community and workers against what had been decided at the time of merger. But each movement was being seen as a suspicious move.”

According to him, a group that became influential within the party after the death of chairman Fanoos Gujjar not only started a ‘witch-hunt’ of those coming from the Labour Party by excluding them one by one but also grabbed most of the party offices.

He says a committee will be formed to take view of the situation and decide future course of action for the defunct Labour Party workers.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2019