The Rebel Road…

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man. – Ernesto Che Guevara

History of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party.

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Marxism in Our Times

The Communist Party of Pakistan was created in 1948 with Sajjad Zaheer as its General Secretary. An unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government by anti-imperialist officers within the army led to the incrimination of members of the CPP in 1951. This was known as the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case. This eventually led to a ban on the party and its front organisations including the Democratic Students Federation and the Progressive Writer’s Movement, (headed by the world famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz who along with Pablo Neruda won the Lenin peace prize in 1962), Railway Worker’s Union (headed by the leading communist trade unionist Mirza Ibrahim), and Progressive Papers (a network of English and Urdu newspapers set up by Mian Iftikharuddin) in 1954. The Communist Party and the movement went underground.

In order to build up a mass base the CPP began to operate under the cover of the anti-imperialist National Awami Party (NAP) headed by Maulana Bhashani. NAP was a conglomeration of leftist and regional nationalist groups formed in 1957. During the 1960s the CPP built grassroots support within workers and peasants mass organisations.

The Sino-Soviet split divided the Pakistani communist movement into two groups. The Maoists who were critical of Soviet revisionism formed the Mazdoor Kissan Party (MKP) in 1970 under the leadership of Major Ishaq Muhammed. The MKP immediately launched a guerrilla war against feudalism in the valley of Hashtnagar. The Peoples’ War mobilised peasant control of land and its success had an enormous impact upon the entire left in Pakistan. The struggle in Hashtnagar that liberated an area of approximately 200 square miles inspired similar movements all over Pakistan. The pro-Soviet Communist Party Pakistan began an armed peasant struggle in the region of Patfeeder in Baluchistan and also came to control mass based militant workers unions in the cities. The 1970s were a revolutionary period in the history of Pakistan and workers and peasants gained control of major areas some of which remain bastions of working-class power.

In 1977 a US backed counter-revolutionary Marshal Law was declared throughout the country and nearly the entire communist leadership was picked up and jailed. The guiding force of the MKP, Major Ishaq Muhammed, was jailed but refused to compromise. He died in 1982 at the age of 62 succumbing to illnesses contracted during incarceration. After his death, Ghulam Nabi Kalu, a popular communist peasant leader headed the party.

Throughout the 1980’s the MKP and CPP displayed valour and courage in the fight against the theocratic dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq. Hundreds of its activists were arrested and tortured, but refused to bow their heads or submit to the authority of the dictators.

In 1986 the MKP condemned Gorbachev’s policies whereas the CPP continued to support Glasnost and Perestroika. The MKP argued that these policies would lead to the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union. The break-up of the Soviet Union had an enormous impact on the left in Pakistan. A great number of opportunist factions abandoned Marxism and the Communist movement. This was a period of ideological wavering, confusion, desertion, and international isolation. At this difficult juncture in history the Communist Party of Pakistan and the Mazdoor Kissan Party came together to uphold the banner of Communism. In 1995 both parties engaged in criticism and self-criticism. Comrades of the CPP were critical of their significant oversight of the impact of Soviet revisionism. Comrades of the MKP were critical of their significant deviation in characterising the Soviet Union as soviet social imperialist. Both parties came together in a historic union and formed the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party.

Emerging from over 54 years of struggle, the CMKP has been unwavering in its defence of Marxism-Leninism and has upheld the principles of Communism through many difficult periods. As the world moves to the 21st century we are full of enthusiasm and hope for a brighter socialist future.

– Contributed by: Vidrohi


Written by redtribution

August 20, 2007 at 8:23 pm

One Response

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  1. Hi:
    Thank you so much for this. If you have some time, I would like to publish a brief history of the CMKP in the next issue of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies. I think our readers need to know more about your struggle. Our website:
    Masood Raja

    Masood Raja

    April 13, 2010 at 2:04 am

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