EX-PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF has not been lying in his political grave for six months and already the lawyers are marching against the new regime of the Bhutto family, headed by President Zardari.
The new president is carrying on from where the old one left off and is refusing to reappoint all of the senior judges jailed by Musharraf and repeal the changes that Musharraf made to the constitution.
It was the struggle against these jailings and the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto that brought him to power.
Yesterday police in Karachi were beating with sticks the lawyers and their supporters who were trying to set off on a four-day march of protest against the government, scheduled to end in a sit-in at the Islamabad parliament on Monday.
Zardari, the new Musharraf, says that the march is destabilising Pakistan and has banned political gatherings across the country, arresting more than 400 of Zardari’s opponents. Earlier, Zardari secured a court ruling banning opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother from holding public office.
Already protesters have gathered in the cities of Lahore and Quetta and Sharif has called on all of Pakistan to join the four-day march.
And already the military are getting ready to launch a new coup, backed by the United States.
The army chief General Ashfaq Kayani had a detailed meeting with Premier Gillani at the PM’s house on Wednesday.
One Pakistani newspaper described the situation as being ‘quite fluid. President Zardari’s gamble is not paying any dividend … And Nawaz Sharif is riding a tiger which has the capacity to go out of control. If all this is making the permanent members of the establishment, ie the military commanders, anxious, it’s quite understandable … the next 48 hours may determine which way the wind is likely to blow.’
Backing the party of order is the United States. Two key US officials – the director of national intelligence and the director of military intelligence – have told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that Pakistan has allowed the Taleban to operate freely from Quetta, while the tribal areas have become a ‘central nervous system’ for al-Qaeda.
US lawmakers and officials also said that the Pakistani movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, has the ideological commitment to replace al-Qaeda as the next major terrorist group in the world.
For the US ruling class Pakistan has become the number one threat and the source of the ‘problems’ in Afghanistan.
To settle the issue, the Senate Commitee was told that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had supporters among the Pakistanis living in the United States who could abet its efforts to carry out a terrorist attack in North America.
The US military and President Obama want to see the return of the military to power in Pakistan, to turn that country into a political prison for the Pakistani masses.
It is also crystal clear that the democratic tasks that were formerly carried out by bourgeois revolutions in England and France, the abolition of feudalism and the introduction of bourgeois democracy are well beyond the capacity of the Pakistani bourgeoisie, that has come onto the scene of history far too late too carry out the national revolutionary tasks.
These can only be carried out by the working class leading the tens of millions of Pakistan’s poor in a revolution that will break up the great feudal estates and the rule of the great families, as well as drive out the imperialist powers and go over to socialist measures, that is the nationalisation, under workers’ control, of the banks and the major industries.
The Pakistani bourgeoisie has come on the scene to late to play any role except that of a lapdog of US imperialism.
It is as Trotsky said in his work the Permanent Revolution. He pointed out that ‘the democratic tasks of the backward bourgeois nations lead directly in our epoch, to the dictatorship of the proletariat and that the dictatorship of the proletariat puts socialist tasks on the order of the day.’ This sentence describes the essence of the situation in Pakistan today.