Imperialist Economic Exploitation: Poverty, Inflation, Unemployment,Insecurity

Imperialist Economic Exploitation, Poverty, Inflation, Unemployment, Insecurity State’s Ignorance Rejected!

Press Release | September 4, 2023

The Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT) and Roots for Equity forcefully and emphatically voices its protest against the intense economic debacle gripping our nation. On September 4, 2023, PKMT has declared a nationwide Protest Day against the ongoing crippling inflation. Protests are being staged in Shikarpur, Khairpur, Ghotki, Haripur, Lower Dir, Mansehra, Sahiwal, Rajanpur, while press conferences are being held in Peshawar, Multan, and Karachi.

PKMT represents the interests of small and landless peasants and workers who vehemently reject the policies of the global capitalist and imperialist system. We stand united against the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), and their agreements, including the SPS and Codex Alimentarius policies, which have plunged workers, the small and landless farmers into depths of hunger, poverty, unemployment, and ever sharpening inflation.

Today, farmers are being compelled to abandon their land, factories are shutting down, and a staggering number of workers are losing their livelihoods. Under the oppressive patriarchal system, women farmers and workers are enduring the double burden of economic hardship, hunger, poverty, and social exploitation. The skyrocketing prices of food and commodities, especially the soaring electricity bills, have pushed Pakistan’s working population to the brink, forcing rural communities to migrate to urban centers and abroad, often resorting to illegal means, even at the risk of imprisonment or loss of life. This crisis has spawned grave social issues and deteriorating law and order situations in the country.

While the IMF-driven conditionalities have led to intense misery in the lives of a vast majority of Pakistani masses, suffer the indignities of poverty, and unemployment the country’s elite class burden the national exchequer with free electricity, oil, gas, and illicit expenditures in the name of state benefits.

We categorically reject the government’s rising utility rates in response to the current economic crisis and strongly condemn the insubstantial and unsatisfactory proposals to address these costs. Rather than imposing additional burdens on the people, we demand the government implement an agricultural tax on landlords owning more than 50 acres of land, especially the minority feudal elite, as well as enforcement of taxation on real estate.

The gravity of the situation demands an immediate shift towards pro-people policies that reject the policies of international financial institutions (IFIs) as the primary culprits responsible for this crisis, alongside the vested interests of the local ruling elite.

PKMT firmly repudiates neoliberal policies, which are inherently anti-farmer and anti-labor reforms, and believes that such measures run counter to the welfare and sovereignty of marginalized segments of our society and our nation. Our country’s land, livestock, and natural resources are being surrendered to imperialistic powers in connivance with local elites, rendering us helpless against imperialism.

PKMT demands that the government promptly renounce all capitalist, feudal, and imperialist policies and IMF conditions. These conditions have been shaped by loans sought by the elite for their luxuries. It is imperative for the state to prioritize the interests of its citizens over those of imperialist countries and multinational corporations. Immediate steps must be taken to create decent employment opportunities for workers and peasants, alongside a just and equitable land redistribution program. Subsidies must be extended to agriculture and agricultural inputs, especially electricity, petrol, and other essential products, in order to bring relief to the working class of our nation.

Released by: Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT) & Roots for Equity

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