Pakistan is a democratic Islamic country with 182 registered political parties. Since 1947 many parties in power were either right or centrist. However, Pakistan People’s Party was a center-left democratic party that was in power. ZA Bhutto being a socialist came up with a popular narrative of Roti Kapra Makan. Deconstructing this slogan comes from the idea of Karl Marx a German philosopher who wanted to uplift the working class.
Pakistan has a slowly growing number of registered Left-wing political parties. Left-wing or left is a political ideology that usually consists of anarchists, communists, socialists, democratic socialists, social democrats, left-libertarians, progressives and social liberals. In the very beginning, the Left was introduced to deal with issues like racial conflicts, and union and workers’ issues.
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Different ideologies mean different views
A major number of people in Pakistan are not aware of the different political ideologies due to a lack of education, people mainly support a specific political ideology just because that party has ruled in Pakistan. But a small number of people are inclined toward the left in Pakistan. Political parties like Mazdoor Kissan Party, Haqooq e Halk Movement, Pakistan Awami Party and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement are some of the most prominent left-wing parties in Pakistan. All these parties stand different agendas, for instance, Mazdoor Kissan Party is a socialist movement started in 1968 with an agenda to bring a socialist revolution and uplift the working class.
Similarly, the Pakistan Awami Party also wants to uplift the lower class by ending the capitalist and feudal system in Pakistan. But some Left parties stand for a particular ethnic group in Pakistan like the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement which stands for the rights of Pashtuns in federal areas. The main agenda of PTM is to give rights and stop violations of human rights and killings of innocent people in Balochistan. Usually, the people inclined toward the Left are influenced by people like Che Guevara, Karl Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong.
But the world is ruled by the Far Right or Right-wing political parties, and they see the Left as a disease, just as the United States of America sees Communism as a disease. By looking into various studies on why the world’s leaders and many countries come to the conclusion of nationalism, The idea of a state, in the eyes of leftists, is very different from the rightists. The Far Right believes and focuses on the narrative that countries are not equal. They are differentiated on the basis of the economy, military power, and geography. This makes the masses think of themselves as superior and see others as inferior.
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In Pakistan, religious extremism is a big hurdle for the Left to succeed
The Left in Pakistan is accused of being Anti Religion and trying to make Pakistan a secular state. But many of the Left inclined people in Pakistan still believe that Pakistan is a secular state and Muhammad Ali Jinnah always wanted a secular state.
Within this, some left-wing parties succeed in securing political seats in Pakistan Mohsin Dawar from constituency NA 48 won the election from his party, the National Democratic Movement, and became a Member of the National Assembly. The Left in Pakistan has also been an active participant in student politics. From raising the voice of students to doing protests against the education mafia.
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The Left in Pakistan has also played an important role in uplifting women in Pakistan. All the women’s marches and feminist movements in Pakistan are due to the effort of the Left-inclined people in Pakistan. The Left Wing is an unknown ideology to many in Pakistan but slowly they are getting some recognition.
The writer holds Journalism certifications from LUMS and UCP. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.