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Awami Workers' Party
عوامی ورکرز پارٹی
AbbreviationAWP
PresidentYousuf Mastikhan
General SecretaryAkhtar Hussain[1]
Vice PresidentAbida Chaudhry
Deputy General SecretaryIsmat Shahjahan
Finance SecretaryShazia Khan
Information SecretaryFarman Ali
FoundedNovember 11, 2012 (2012-11-11)
Merger ofLabour Party Pakistan
Workers Party Pakistan
Awami Party Pakistan[2]
HeadquartersKarachi
IdeologyDemocratic socialism
Progressivism
Political positionLeft-wing
Colors   Red, White
Senate
0 / 104
National Assembly
0 / 342
Election symbol
Party flag
Website
www.awamiworkersparty.org

The Awami Workers Party or People's Workers Party (Urdu: عوامی ورکرز پارٹی‎) is a political party in Pakistan.[3] The party seeks to unify the struggles of workers, peasants, students, women and ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan under the banner of a democratic and socialist political system. After the death of the AWP's founding leader Fanoos Gujjar,[4] Senior Vice President Yousuf Mastikhan became its president.[1]

History

Foundation

The party was formed on November 11, 2012,[5][6] as a merger of Labour Party Pakistan, Workers Party Pakistan and Awami Party Pakistan.[7] While not the first attempt to unify the Left, the AWP generated excitement among progressives due to its promise of building upon the left's best traditions and making adaptations necessary for a viable project.[8]

Federal Congress

The party held its First Federal Congress on September 27–28, 2014 in Islamabad and elected its national leadership following sub-national party elections around the country. Abid Hassan Minto was elected as president, Fanoos Gujjar as chairman and Farooq Tariq as general secretary.[9][10]

The Second Federal Congress was held on October 15-16, 2016 in Karachi.[11][12] Fanoos Gujjar, was elected as the president and Akhter Hussain (former president Sindh Bar Council) as general secretary.[13]

General elections

General elections 2013

In the 2013 Pakistani general election the party received 18,650 votes or 0.04% of the national share.[14]

Elections 2015

AWP took part in the 2015 elections in Gilgit-Baltistan. Baba Jan was AWP's candidate in GBLA-6 constituency. Jan came second[15] to PMLN's Mir Gazanfar Ali. New elections in GBLA-6 were expected to be held in September 2016 after the seat became vacant on Mir Gazanfar's appointment as Governor. But Baba Jan's paper got rejected[16] and Akhun Bhai contested the by polls in place of Baba Jan.[17]

General Elections 2018

In the 2018 Pakistani general election, AWP received 35,870 votes.[18] In July, 2018, at the Karachi Press Club, secretary general, advocate Akhtar Hussain, and senior vice president Yousuf Mustikhan, issued the party’s 10-point agenda as their manifesto. The main focus of manifesto was abolishing the medieval tribal and feudal system in the country.[19]

From the federal capital Islamabad, Ammar Rashid (president AWP Punjab) ran for the National Assembly seat NA-53[20][21][22][23] and Ismat Shahjahan (deputy general secretary AWP), for the National Assembly seat NA-54.[24][25][26]

Fanoos Gujjar contested elections from his native constituency, Buner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[27]

GB Elections 2020

In the 2020 GB Elections, Baba Jan submitted papers as primary candidate for the GBA-6 Hunza seat and Asif Saeed Sakhi[28] as Jan's covering candidate. Jan’s candidature was rejected[29] and Sakhi contested the elections on AWP ticket. He got 2,612 votes and came fifth in the polls.[30]

Notable Events

Blocking of Party's Website

AWP website was blocked on June 3, 2018.[31] On June 6, 2018, party submitted application to Election Commission of Pakistan to urgently remove the block from party's official website.[32][33] On February 18, 2019, AWP filed a petition[34][35] in Islamabad High Court (IHC) against censorship of its website by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).[36][37] On September 12, 2019, the IHC ruled that the blocking of website was in violation of natural justice according to Article 10-A in the Constitution of Pakistan.[38]

Decease of Fanoos Gujjar

Fanoos Gujjar, the founding member of AWP and served as chairman of the party from 2012 to 2016,[39][40][41][12][42] and president of the party from 2016 till his death.[43][44][45] He died on December 1, 2018 due to cardiac arrest in his native village Riyal, Union Council Batala, district Buner. He was suffering from multiple diseases and left with just one kidney since ten years.[44][46]

Departure of LPP member

In October 2019, one member of Labour Party announced its resignation from the AWP. LPP leader and former AWP General Secretary Farooq Tariq alleged that his group was being "witch-hunted" in the party, and said that the party had been reluctant to work with farmers', workers' and democratic movements, or to campaign for the release of political prisoner Baba Jan, a leading AWP member.[47]

Release of Baba Jan and other workers

Baba Jan, the former vice-president AWP and now member of the Federal Committee[48] was sentenced to seventy one years in jail along with 14 people by the Gilgit-Baltistan courts on charges of terrorism for inciting public against the state during the Aliabad incident.[49][50] He was released from jail after nine years on November 27, 2020 after a week-long Aliabad sit in by the families of the prisoners.[51]

Party Leadership

References

  1. ^ a b "Rally protests against inflation, islands' usurpation, feudalism". The News International. 2020-12-06.
  2. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (12 November 2012). "AWP launches struggle for 'socialists Pakistan'". DAWN.COM.
  3. ^ "Pakistan elections 2018: The major political parties". www.aljazeera.com.
  4. ^ Correspondent, The Newspaper's (2 December 2018). "AWP chairman Fanoos Gujjar passes away". DAWN.COM.
  5. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (11 November 2012). "Conference to launch left-wing party today". DAWN.COM.
  6. ^ Rehman, I. A. (15 November 2012). "The left reborn?". DAWN.COM.
  7. ^ Reporter, A. (2 November 2012). "Three leftist parties to merge". DAWN.COM.
  8. ^ Our correspondent. "Awami Workers Party: Interim leaders elected for new party". The Express Tribune Pakistan. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  9. ^ Zaidi, Hassan Belal (29 September 2014). "'Red revolution' comes to Islamabad". DAWN.COM.
  10. ^ "The Left way: AWP vows to struggle for 'real' change, egalitarian society". The Express Tribune. 28 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Campaign: Awami workers stage rain march to Karachi". The Express Tribune. 13 October 2016.
  12. ^ a b Baloch, Saher (16 October 2016). "Left-wing political parties key to counter society's militarisation: AWP". DAWN.COM.
  13. ^ "'AWP only force struggling for rights of the working class'". www.thenews.com.pk.
  14. ^ "General Elections 2013" (PDF). The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
  15. ^ "Nawaz Sharif's party facing acid test in Gilgit by-election". The Financial Express. 31 May 2016.
  16. ^ Correspondent, The Newspaper's (1 May 2016). "AWP leader's papers for Hunza by-poll rejected". DAWN.COM.
  17. ^ "GBLA-6 Hunza: Left wing activist to contest by-polls in place of Baba Jan". The Express Tribune. 11 August 2016.
  18. ^ "ECP - Election Commission of Pakistan". www.ecp.gov.pk.
  19. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (10 July 2018). "Awami Workers Party unveils election manifesto". DAWN.COM.
  20. ^ "ECP - Election Commission of Pakistan". www.ecp.gov.pk.
  21. ^ "The rise of 'aam shehri'".
  22. ^ "Constituency detail | ElectionsPakistan.pk". backend.electionspakistan.pk. Archived from the original on 2019-11-01. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  23. ^ "NA 53 Elections Results 2018". Dispatch News Desk. 23 July 2018.
  24. ^ "ECP - Election Commission of Pakistan". www.ecp.gov.pk.
  25. ^ "Give me your poor and young: Ismat Shahjahan to fight for Islamabad's water, katchi abadis, workers | Samaa Digital". Samaa TV.
  26. ^ "Seven unique candidates making the news this election cycle". DAWN.COM. 21 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Fanoos Gujjar NA-9". Vote For AWP!. Awami Workers Party. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  28. ^ "GBLA-6 Hunza Election 2020". www.electionpakistani.com.
  29. ^ Pk, Voice (8 October 2020). "Protestors demand for release of Baba Jan and others". Voicepk.net.
  30. ^ "GBA-6 Results - Gilgit Baltistan Election 2020 Results". www.geo.tv.
  31. ^ "Study reveals extent of Awami Workers political party website block in Pakistan". NetBlocks. 3 June 2018.
  32. ^ Reporter, A. (6 June 2018). "AWP contacts ECP, telecom authority against website blockage". DAWN.COM.
  33. ^ "AWP appeals to ECP to help unblock its official website". Daily Times. 5 June 2018.
  34. ^ "AWP challenges PTA in court over blocked website". Daily Times. 17 February 2019.
  35. ^ "AWP takes PTA to court for blocking website | Pakistan Today". www.pakistantoday.com.pk.
  36. ^ "Blocking websites unlawfully". DAWN.COM. 24 September 2019.
  37. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (19 February 2019). "IHC issues notice to PTA for blocking political party's website". DAWN.COM.
  38. ^ "Awami Workers Party v. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority". Global Freedom of Expression.
  39. ^ "The left unites: To offer an alternative to status quo, new left party formed". The Express Tribune. November 3, 2012.
  40. ^ "The Left way: AWP vows to struggle for 'real' change, egalitarian society". The Express Tribune. September 29, 2014.
  41. ^ "AWP calls for revival of working class politics". www.thenews.com.pk. September 30, 2014.
  42. ^ "Privatization, Roots for Equity". January 31, 2018.
  43. ^ "Way forward: Fanoos Gujjar takes up AWP mantle". October 18, 2016.
  44. ^ a b "AWP President Fanoos Gujjar dies of cardiac arrest | The High Asia Herald". thehighasia. December 1, 2018.
  45. ^ "Eight-party Left Alliance demands immediate release of all political prisoners". Daily Times. 25 May 2018.
  46. ^ "Fanoos Gujjar was a true leader of working class: Bizenjo". Dawn. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  47. ^ "Fissures in AWP". Dawn. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  48. ^ Mir, Shabbir (9 April 2015). "Case closed: G-B Chief Court acquits Baba Jan, 11 other protesters". Express Tribune. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  49. ^ "Court in G-B upholds Baba Jan's life term". The Express Tribune. 9 June 2016.
  50. ^ Mir, Shabbir (26 September 2014). "Hunza riots of 2011: ATC awards life sentence to activist Baba Jan, 11 others - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  51. ^ "Baba Jan, Iftikhar Karbalai released after 9 years | SAMAA". Samaa TV.