What has happened in recent weeks in Afghanistan has worldwide repercussions. The rout of US and British imperialism represents a historic humiliation and a turning-point, highlighting the paradox of our times: the deepening crisis of the ruling class on the one hand, and the desperate lack of a coherent socialist alternative. A twenty-year war costing billions of dollars, the lives of hundreds of US and British soldiers and of thousands of Afghans, subjecting the civilian population to indescribable hardship, has ended with a reversion to the status quo in 2001: the tyranny of the dreaded Taliban. While the voices of Afghan trade unionists are for the moment silenced under Taliban terror, we welcome three Marxist activists from regions bordering Afghanistan which are the home of millions of Afghan refugees.
Hameed Khan lives in Quetta, Baluchistan – a region with a burning national question of its own, an armed separatist movement and an occupying Pakistan army. He is president of the Baluchistan Professors’ and Lecturers’ Association, a leading activist in the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), and a frequent contributor to the Jeddo-Jihad(The Struggle) and Asian Marxist Review.
Farooq Sulehria is a Pakistani long-time socialist activist who has lived in in Kabul and has an intimate personal knowledge of the terrain. Aman Kafa is an Iranian Marxist, a regular participant in WIN meetings, a leading member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran (Hekmatist official line), and an active trade unionist in Britain.