Although certain regional nationalist movements have played a progressive role (Bangladesh springs to mind) history has proved that these struggles have failed to solve the fundamental problems of the people: the slave like conditions of class oppression. Indeed, it cannot be any other way since nationalism as a philosophy and the national movement as a political force is purely and inevitably a product of the struggle of the local ruling class for monopoly control over the local market.
The state of India (dominated by the nations of north India) and Pakistan (dominated by the Punjab and industrial groups in Karachi) have engaged in a war of attrition for the last 54 years by financing and arming regional nationalist movements against each other.
The struggle of the Kashmiri people, that has occupied the attention of the world recently, is a similar regional nationalist movements that has arisen on the basis of genuine grievances of the Kashmiri people against the chauvinist attitude of the dominant nations in India. However, the support that Pakistan is lending to this struggle is part and parcel of a long policy by the ruling class of Pakistan to undermine India. It is an undeniable fact that the Pakistani ruling class (especially those interests connected to the Pakistan army) has waged a veiled war on India for the last 50 years by financing and arming regional nationalist movements in India (Khalistan, Nagaland, Tamil, Nagaland, Assam etc.). India has done the same against Pakistan.
The ruling class of Pakistan wants to utilize Kashmiri regional nationalism to undermine India. The struggle in Kashmir has been changing in character over the years. What started out as a national struggle of the Kashmiri people (Hindu and Muslim Kashmiris) is increasingly turning into a religious struggle mainly owing to the influence of Islamic religious fundamentalism exported from Pakistan. Therefore, the entire confrontation between India and Pakistan is simply a struggle to grab more land, undermine each otherís government, and consolidate their hold over a greater portion of the sub-continent by utilising the services of arch reactionaries and regional nationalists. The confrontation is a direct outcome of the bankrupt neo-colonial semi-feudal decrepit capitalist system of India Pakistan. Needless to say, this confrontation only benefits the corrupt military oligarchs, capitalists, feudals, and religious fundamentalists of the region. In the last 54 years of this confrontation nothing positive has ever been achieved for the workers and peasants of Pakistan or India who continue to slip ever deeper into poverty misery and destitution. Nothing demonstrates the utter bankruptcy of the ruling class of the sub-continent than the current state of war between India and Pakistan. Nothing demonstrates more sharply the need for a working-class revolution in the sub-continent.
If the ruling class of both states seek to undermine each other by fanning religious fundamentalism, communalism, regional nationalism, the workers and peasants must make a determined struggle to uphold the international unity of all working people against the ruling class of their own country.
When Musharraf (the military dictator of Pakistan) decided to break with the Taliban in order to back the US war against Afghanistan, it was rumoured that the US had secretly promised that they would assist in solving the Kashmir problem. If such a promise was made, it cannot be considered anything other than an empty promise to placate the right-wing opinion in the Pakistan army in light of the highly controversial decision to stop backing the Taliban. Nonetheless, for the last 50 years the Pakistan ruling class has continually appealed to the imperialist countries to "solve" the Kashmir issue. On the other hand, India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is "purely an internal affair". Therefore, the presence of US troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan aggravated the possibility of an imperialist brokered deal to "solve" the Kashmir issue. The ruling class of India was quick to pre-empt such a possibility by provoking a state of war and moving troops into the region. The pogroms organised by the BJP in the state of Gujrat reflect the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in order to prepare the political forces to bully the smaller nations into submission and also pressure its arch enemy, Pakistan. However, as appalling as the policies of the BJP are (the pogroms they have organised against Muslims in Gujrat, the chauvinistic bullying of small nations, the policy of military brinkmanship to pressure Pakistan, the aggressive nuclear sabre rattling and so on) these do not change the character of the confrontation on the part of the Pakistani ruling class.
The common view about war is that war occurs as an squabble between two countries, much as a squabble between two individuals, as a result of some misunderstanding or some specific issue. In a word, that war occurs as a kind of exception to the general course of state policy. This view was countered by Otto Von Clauzewitz who explained that "war is the extension of politics by violent means." Therefore, war cannot be separated from the politics of states. The politics of the state are determined by the type of economic system and the interests within the framework of that economic system of different classes. The character of the war, therefore, is determined by the aims and objectives of the classes involved in the war.
The confrontation over Kashmir is the extension of the politics of the military oligarchy that has ruled Pakistan for the last 54 years. They envisage a domain of influence stretching from Afghanistan to Kashmir. They believe that this will give them "strategic depth" vis a vis India.
Therefore, regardless of whether it is India or Pakistan that strikes first, this does not change the character of the war. Regardless of who strikes first the aims and objectives of the classes waging the war do not change. In the final analysis it is the aims and objectives of the classes fighting the war that determine its character and not who strikes first.
Therefore, all talk of Pakistan fighting a "war of defense" covers the objective reality that the Pakistan ruling class is engaging in this confrontation for the purpose of acquiring, in their own words, "strategic depth", or in other words, a sphere of influence stretching from Afghanistan to Kashmir. Since 1998, this confrontation between the ruling class of India and Pakistan has reached the level of a nuclear confrontation. The people have a right to ask what has this confrontation brought to the workers and peasants of Pakistan and India after 54 years of exploitation and oppression.
This predatory war is unacceptable to the workers of Pakistan.
The imperialists correctly estimate that instability in the region will assist the rise of the right-wing in Pakistan. Already Musharraf has moved troops away from the border with Afghanistan thus weakening the position of the US and UK troops against the Taliban. Furthermore, war with India, even the threat of war with India, has always strengthen the right-wing forces in the administration in Pakistan. Last but not least, the imperialists will gain nothing new from fanning a war between India and Pakistan. They already have full access to both markets and are active in building their monopolies all across the sub-continent. In fact, war will undermine the safety of their investments and the stability that they require in order to make a consistent profit (especially from India). Therefore, all foreign powers are interested in bringing peace to the region.
At the same time, in the eventuality of a conflict between India and Pakistan nearly all foreign powers will back India and not Pakistan. The reasons are quite simple. India is a lucrative thriving market of a billion people and 20 million middle class consumers. Its highly developed bourgeois democratic and secular institutions make it ideal for foreign investment. Pakistan on the other hand, is considered a comparatively smaller market (1 million consumers), where the structures of power are not secure, investment is not secure, the threat of a Islamic fundamentalist coup in the army is a real possibility. Pakistan was only inches away from being branded a "terrorist state". Even Pakistanís traditional backer in the region, China, has made secret statements of support to India. Therefore, Pakistan does not have the international backing to wage a sustained war against India.
1) Threat of war to pressure the Pakistan army to clamp down on the
2) Cross border surgical air strikes against the training camps Jihadi groups.
3) Ground based commando raids against Jihadi camps
4) Full scale invasion of Pakistan controlled Kashmir
5) Movement of armour across Bahawalpur, cutting Pakistan into two.
6) Strikes (possibly Nuclear) against Pakistani nuclear facilities and or the military industrial complex
Pakistan - Military options (in order of level of commitment to war)
1) Call off attacks by Jihadi groups till the return to a "state of normalcy."
2) Low intensity paramilitary war (Jihadi)
3) Defence against a ground or air invasion restricted to the Kashmir border
4) Cutting off India supply lines in Kashmir
5) Pincer move to capture Srinagar
6) Use of Nuclear weapons
Therefore, the workers of Pakistan must declare war on this predatory war. In the eventuality of the outbreak of war, they must concentrate their energies to convert this war into a revolutionary civil war against the military oligarchy and ruling class of Pakistan. The war will expose all the contradictions of the system. We must utilize these contradictions not to narrow the social chasm between the ruling class and the working class but to widen it and utilize all means at our disposal to convert the social chasm into a revolutionary conflagration.
We are ready to unite with all the forces in India that are prepared to declare war on this predatory war and are struggling to destroy the Hindu fundamentalists and the ruling class of India. At the same time, we are working in Pakistan to hold back the hand of Islamic fundamentalists against India. Only working class internationalism can create a lasting peace in the sub-continent.
Bourgeois pacifists and various other reformists talk of "opposing the war". But they do not accept that the capitalist system and the ruling class has given rise to this war in the first place. In order to uproot the basis of war, we must declare a revolutionary war on the war itself. This means that we not only "oppose the war" but that we spare no effort in converting this war into a revolution. That is why we use the phrase "we must declare war on this predatory war".
If we fail to do so, we will be giving in to opportunism that threatens to engulf all the people of Pakistan and India in a nuclear conflagration that will destroy the lives of millions of people.
Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!!!
Down with Bourgeois Nationalism!!!
Long live Socialism!!!
Communist Workers and Peasants Party, Pakistan
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