KARACHI  -   Speakers here Sunday at a moot on the occasion of the completion of 50 years of the movement of 1968 said that this movement is still a symbol of struggle against capitalism, imperialism and dictatorship.

According to details, National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) organised a moot at their office on the completion of 50 year to the movement of 1968, which was attended by a large number of workers, home-based workers, youths, intellectuals and social and political activists. They paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the movement and also to the brave political activists, students and workers who had taken part in the movement during 1968-69.

Addressing on the occasion, the speakers said like other movements in different parts of the world, the movement of 1968 in Pakistan emerged as a symbol of struggle against imperialism, capitalism and dictatorship. They said as a result of this movement of workers, Haris, students and people of oppressed class the country got rid of the first military dictatorship of Pakistan and One-Unit. They said in the prevailing circumstances, students, workers, Haris and oppressed people of Pakistan could also be united once again to fight capitalism and imperialism in Pakistan, as well as, any potential dictatorship.

Addressing the gathering Comrade Usman Baloch Veteran trade units said this was the first resistance movement in Pakistan, which was led by the working class and masses, who challenged the military dictator Ayub Khan at the time when his regime was very strong. This movement, basically, was against the undemocratic rule, grip of 20 capitalist families on Pakistani economy, and dominance of imperialist forces and their international monetary institutions over Pakistan.  Students, journalists, workers and Haris played a central role in this movement. This was the first movement against social, political and economic injustice, which was waged against the military dictator of simultaneously in both East and West Pakistan. As a result of 239 martyrdoms during this movement, the military dictator was forced to step down.

Dr Riaz Ahmed Shaikh, Dean of Social work department of ZABIST said General Ayub Khan, the military dictator; however, instead of following his self-made constitution did not hand over the power to the speaker of the assembly, but handed it over to another military general Yahya Khan. However, Gen Yahya due to the pressure of the movement was compelled to hold general elections. This was the pressure of this movement that elections were held on the principle of one person one vote and they were held free and fair to some extent and all the status-quo parties faced defeat in them.

However, the military dictator instead of handing power to the elected representatives preferred to take army action against Bengali speaking people, and this resulted in grave consequences. The political governments that came later also took care of their own class interests and did not follow their own electoral promises and manifestoes about democratic, social and human rights. They provided chance to the anti-people forces to flourish in this country. This resulted in frequent dictatorships, which were challenged and defeated by the people.

Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary NTUF said that the present circumstances seem to follow the suit. He said the worst capitalistic oppression is still present in the country, which is targeting the working class people. The masses are deprived of the basic facilities of life, but the number of the billionaires in this country is rising sharply. The basic rights of the people are being snatched due to the capitalistic pressure and dictations of international capitalist institutions. The elite class is pressing hard the democratic voices and slapping their puppet political organizations upon the masses, which is a bad omen. Today, media is under immense pressure like 1968. There is an unannounced censorship on media. Trade unions are being ended, systematically. Education is beyond the reach of common man. The educational institutions are under tight control. Dark conspiracies are again being hatched to change the federation into a one-unit. This situation sooner or later would result into a big mass resistance movement, which would raze the fortresses of capitalism, imperialism and dictatorship.

National Labour Council general secretary Karamat Ali and other also spoke on the occasion.