Featured image: protest in Balochistan. Source: Dawn News
The year 2023 was the deadliest for the repressive forces of the Pakistani State in the last decade, as it lost more than 500 agents and soldiers. There is an elevated number of insurgencies and armed groups operating in the country, with ongoing conflicts in the border with Afghanistan, in the border with Iran, in Balochistan, etc. Recently two simultaneous blasts happened in Balochistan, in offices of electoral parties and with a result of dozens of people killed and other dozens injured. This attack has fully marked the elections day that happened on the 8th of February. So far, Nawaz Sharif has been provisionally declared winner. We already reported on the instability in South Asia.
This growing armed activity is being especially intense in the Baluchistan region, where the people struggle against the State of Pakistan and against the interests of monopolies. In this region multiple contradictions are being sharpened, being a nation oppressed by imperialism where its people struggle for their right to work and live in their lands against the large companies plundering natural resources. Mineral resources are large in Balochistan and there is a great interest of imperialists for them: there is a variety of deposits of great value of gold, silver, copper, iron, lithium, etc. deposits, in more than 1,600 mines. For example, the Reko Diq mine represents one of the largest gold and copper reserves in the world, and is owned by the great Yankee-Canadian monopoly Barrick. Also the Chinese Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC) monopoly is present in the area.
The Pakistani State obeys its imperialist masters and unleashes repression against the people in Balochistan. The figures of the disappeared people stand out. According to democratic rights organizations of the people of Balochistan, there are 23,000 disappeared people since 2011. Mobilizations against such State abuse, even if they are peaceful, are brutally repressed, with arrests for days, torture, etc. The fake encounters are also a method that is being denounced by the democratic rights organizations of Balochistan, and also the numerous extrajudicial murders of young Baloch activists. But even under these conditions the Baloch people dares to protest, and recently made very long marches from their homes to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
But what more stands out is the intense armed insurgency in Balochistan, and that is threatening the interests of Chinese and Yankee monopolies, which are pressing the Pakistani government to increase security in the area, and then also, to increase the repression. Several resistance organizations from Balochistan such as the Balochistan Liberation Front or the Balochistan Liberation Army have been labeled as terrorists in accordance with the laws of various imperialist powers. During this start of the year there have been numerous important armed actions made by the Baloch armed groups. At the end of January there were three coordinated attacks, including a strong attack on a prison, which eliminated 15 Pakistani agents. A few days ago there was another outstanding action, an attack against a police station that eliminated 10 agents.
This intense armed activity has marked the elections held yesterday. The elections from the very beginning have been a process that has clearly been directed and executed as a complete farce by the Pakistani ruling classes and imperialism. From the first moment, Imran Khan has been maintained out of the duel, with constants and sudden criminal accusations such as corruption and leaking of state secrets, and more recently irregularities in his marriage. Some media also wanted to see Khan as a progressive or less reactionary alternative than that represented by Nawaz Sharif, but the reality is that Khan was faithfully committed to protecting the interests of Chinese social-imperialism and repressing the Baloch people. In addition, Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country as a candidate supported by the military, has set everything prepared for the farce that has taken place on February 8. But the masses broadly distrust the electoral promises of the various candidates who have appeared to the elections and they do not believe that their situation will improve after this new electoral farce. The truth is that even many of the bourgeois media point out the lack of total transparency and how all has being set to make Sharif win the elections with the help of the military.
Additionally there is a deep crisis of bureaucratic capitalism in Pakistan. All of the economic indicators are dramatic: 40% of the population lives under the poverty line; inflation has grown up to more than 30%. The people clearly see the situation: according to surveys conducted last week, about 70% believe that economic conditions are worsening. On the other hand, the control of Yankee imperialism over the country is also clear: the International Monetary Fund with Pakistan has lent 3 billion dollars in 2023, after having agreed in July an immediate disbursement of 1.2 billion dollars. This economic crisis is part of the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism, which is also expressed in the serious political crisis in the country. Pakistani ruling classes and imperialism, mainly Yankee, seek to stabilize the country with the latest elections and formation of a new government for the State, although in front of them they have the clear distrust of the people. Also an additional problem now, is that the majority of the candidates elected are “independent”, that means from Khan’s party. But they will be not allowed to form a government, which is only allowed for parties. The biggest party will be the party of Nawaz Sharif, which will form a government, but without the majority in the parliament, totally unstable, sharpening even more the political crisis in Pakistan.
The general situation as we see is an intense general crisis of bureaucratic capitalism in the region of southern Asia, which specifically in Pakistan, is very intense and has no signs of being solved. The only solution is to completely sweep away the origin of the problem, which is imperialism itself and the oppression and exploitation of oppressed peoples in the area.