“An army of the people is invincible!”

–Mao Tse-tung.

For the majority of Pakistan’s history it has been aligned with the west and the powers of capitalism, most influentially in the Afghan War in the 1980s. However Pakistan had a flourishing communist community during the early days of the nation. This is the flag of the Communist Party of Pakistan, formed in 1948, itself a breakaway from the Communist Party of India. The CPP attracted several notable intellectuals to its cause, such as poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and it effectively organized workers, farmers and students into unions – its student wing, Democratic Students Federation (DSF) became the foremost student group. An ill-fated plot to overthrow the government was unearthed in 1951, and the party, and its related unions were eventually banned, it’s leaders jailed.

The CPP continued to survive after assimilating into other progressive parties such as the Azad Pakistan Party, National Students Federation (NSF) and the National Awami Party (NAP). Being shorn from the limelight it could not keep up a high profile, and it split into several factions mirroring the Sino-Soviet split. Decades after its ban the part was listed by the ECP in the 2013 general elections under the symbol of the sickle, but it has none of the force it carried before.