Lahore-At a time when the government is trying to woo the Faizabad protesters into giving up the so-called siege of Islamabad, there is another group that is trying to find its way into mainstream politics: The Left. Some say the group has been active since the 1920s yet has been unable to found a footing in the country’s political environment.

Sunday’s discussion on “The Left in Pakistan” at the 3rdFaiz International Festival were supposed to deliberate upon the whole idea of what is Left, what does it mean to be a Leftist, what does it mean to be a socialist or a Marxist. The questions, however, remain unanswered as the session turned into a heated debate between the panelists and the audience.

Singer Jawad Ahmad, who was one of the panelists, defined Left as someone who adheres to social reforms under a capitalist environment. He called for a struggle against class systems based on the principles of Karl Marx.

“We have created our own party and we will make sure that people get their due rights. We have to make sure that people’s needs are fulfilled,” he said.

“A political party is a platform for the masses to present their demands to the legislators.”

The singer also disagreed over what he called the “flawed views of the so-called leftist who have no clue as to how to work for the welfare of the masses”.

While Jawad urged people to enter politics, other panelists decried the state’s treatment of Balochistan. “Politics of ideology still exists. It hasn’t died down. Nowadays, people identify themselves as Punjabi, Sindhi, Pakhtuns and Balochis. There is no Pakistani,” said Asim Sajjad.

Abid Mir and Ammar Ali Jan voiced their concerns over the “miseries of the farmers in Okara” and said they were being suppressed by the authorities.

“The action was taken because people raised their voice. The same has been happening in Balochistan. We have been systematically cut out from the mainstream,” said Abid Mir.

The end part of the session went a little haywire as one of the attendees entered into a heated debate with Jawad. The latter ended the segment with a poem.