Thursday, June 21, 2007

Farooq Tariq released

I can't see it mentioned in any of the English-language news sites yet, but a contributor to Marxmail brings news that the general-secretary of the Pakistan Labour Party (LPP) has been released from prison after fifteen days. Farooq Tariq is quoted as saying:

It was one of worst jail experience I had during my 30 year of activism. I was released after 15 days when my detention orders were withdrawn by the home secretary of Punjab government on 19th June. It was not due to a mercy of the government but our local and international massive solidarity campaign. Hundreds of protest letters have been sent to General Musharaf with dozens of faxes and messages of protest to different provincial authorities during the solidarity campaign against my detention.

He goes on to describe the atrocious conditions in which he was detained, along with hundreds of other political prisoners from the LPP, the Pakistan People's Party and Muslim League, who were among other things deprived of water during a sweltering heatwave. Musharraf is now particularly worried that he may not be able to pull-off a plausible re-election, in light of all the recent upheaval, and so he is considering early parliamentary elections with the hope that opposition parties in the assembly will nominate him. The US administration is determined to support General Musharraf, but is again saying that civilian rule of some kind would be 'preferable', which indicates which way they think the wind is blowing. Of course, the reason we don't get to hear very much about these things is that the news is already copiously occupied with the far more vital story of 'raging' protests in Pakistan against Salman Rushdie for accepting a title from the blood-drenched British ruling class (or something like that, I'm not really paying attention).