LAHORE: The Awami Workers Party (AWP) has pledged to intensify its efforts for creating a socialist society in the country.

The pledge was made at a two-day congress of the party which elected its new leadership for the next two years here on Sunday.

Those elected included Yousuf Musti Khan as president, Bakhshal Thalho as general Secretary, Akhtar Hussain Advocate as SVP, Shehab Khattak and Abdullah Safi as VPs, Aasim Sajjad Akhtar as deputy secretary, Javed Akhtar as secretary organisational affairs and Farzana Bari as women secretary.

It also elected a 53-member federal committee, the party’s highest decision-making body.

In addition to more than 500 delegates to the congress, a large number of observers also attended.

Apart from representatives of party’s sister organisations like Progressive Students Federation, Women Democratic Front, Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Pakistan Kisan Committee, the congress also saw participation from representatives of left wing, socialist and communist parties. Among these leaders were Afzal Khamosh and Taimur Rehman, presidents of the two factions of the Mazdoor Kisan Party, Lal Dino of the Awami Democratic Party, and Dr Khalid of the Communist Party.

Mr Musti Khan vowed to play a vital role in expanding the party in the face of new circumstances and difficulties and in spreading the party’s ideology and programme to working people, and subjugated nationalities.

He said the party would work hard with other like-minded, left and progressive forces to form an alternative socialist society to end the outdated present system and imperialist domination.

He condemned state oppression and violence on the oppressed classes, women, minorities, and the oppressed nations, especially the Baloch, Pakhtuns, Seraikis, Sindhis, and people of Gilgit-Baltistan and the seizure of their resources by capitalists and institutions.

Mr Thalho said the AWP and other left and progressive organisations had proved that the socialist movement was not over.

“We pledge to work with other progressive forces to come up with an alternative socialist economic, social and political solution and to strive for it,” he said.

Mr Hussain criticised conspiracies to usurp the rights of national units and roll back the 18th Amendment. He said Awami Workers Party considers Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir as two disputed regions, therefore in these two regions they should be given full internal autonomy as per the wishes of the people there so that they could run their own internal affairs.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2022

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