On National and International Situation

Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). But in spite of organic ties with the SACP and COSATU, the ANC-led government is vigorously implementing the neo-liberal policy trajectory and workers’ struggles are facing severe repression. The shocking massacre of 34 striking platinum mine-workers in Marikana near Johannesburg has brought back memories of the brutality of the apartheid era. Adding insult to injury, the ANC government, instead of taking action against the police, chose to invoke an apartheid-era law to implicate fellow strikers for the state brutality that left 34 miners killed and another 78 seriously injured. With the SACP and the COSATU-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers stigmatizing the strikers and the breakaway independent union they have joined, South Africa is now witnessing the birth of a new phase of radical trade unionism and genuine communists are now faced with the task of resisting not just MNCs and the corporate-imperialist drive of recolonisation but also the government that runs with communist support.

25. In Asia, the biggest recent mass advance of the communist movement was witnessed in Nepal where the communist-led mass upsurge succeeded in abolishing the monarchy and initiating the process of republican transition. But the process of constitution-making has made little headway since 2008 even as four Prime Ministers have already held office and almost all possible combinations have already been tried out. Apart from the complexities of coalition/consensus politics, two issues have proved to be particularly thorny – the process of incorporation and rehabilitation of the Maoist military cadre and the mode and degree of federalism to be envisioned in republican Nepal. The first issue has been more or less resolved but the second issue is being hotly debated as hitherto deprived/underrepresented regions and social identities look for a better deal under the new arrangement. Meanwhile, the Maoists in Nepal have undergone a split even as all major parties have agreed to have an interim government headed by the sitting chief justice to oversee fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly. We stand for warm and equal relations between India and Nepal and wish to see the people of Nepal consolidate the gains of the anti-monarchy upsurge and advance as a democratic republic under the leadership of our Nepali comrades. We must also remain vigilant and determined against any possible intervention on the part of the Indian state obstructing the process of Nepal’s republican transition or imposing any kind of Indian domination on Nepal.

26. Pakistan has been passing through extremely tough and turbulent times. The Afghan crisis has spilled over into Pakistan and even as Pakistan collaborates with the US in combating terrorism, the US continues to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and pulverise the country with deadly drone attacks. The Shia community in Pakistan, especially in Baloochistan, faces relentless violent attacks from different quarters. The judiciary in Pakistan has assumed a highly pro-active role – last year it ousted and disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani of the Pakistan People’s Party on charges of contempt of court for not prosecuting President Asif Ali Zardari in corruption cases and this January it ordered the arrest of the incumbent Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on corruption charges. Meanwhile, with the next general elections approaching, which if held on time will be the first instance of an elected government completing five years and paving the way for its successor, a Pakistani cleric holding Canadian citizenship has suddenly surfaced from Canada promising to turn Pakistan into a corruption-free moderate state. The Tahir-ul-Qadri phenomenon, likened by some to the Anna Hazare phenomenon in India, is widely believed in Pakistan to have been propped up by the Army. Former cricketer Imran Khan has also emerged as a significant political player in Pakistan, raising his voice against US drone strikes taking Pakistani lives, but also maintaining an ambiguous relationship with the Army establishment.

27. The US-NATO military campaign in Afghanistan has now been going on for more than 11 years. Even as US-NATO forces are now talking of an exit plan and withdrawing forces by 2014, US has already signed an Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan which will allow