National Sections of the L5I:

Solidarity with Baloch student long march!

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

The League for the Fifth International sends its solidarity to the Baloch student long march for education from Multan to Islamabad. The protest is directed against the neoliberal policies, which hit the working class and oppressed nations' students particularly hard in the current period of economic and health crisis. They have led to a massive increase in student fees and other expenses. It has become impossible for most students to meet their education expenses. Due to these policies, scholarships for students from the periphery and underdeveloped areas have been abolished – one more example of trying to overcome the economic crisis at the expense of the unprivileged sections of society.

This long march is against the government's anti-education policy, which is depriving Baloch and students from what were formerly called the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, FATA, of equal education in the form of scholarship deductions. But this march also appeals to the students, workers and women of Punjab, calling on them to join this long march and the struggle to fight together against the neoliberal attacks that are on the rise everywhere.

Baloch students face the brunt of underdevelopment and attacks on their education, but we have seen that they have fought back very courageously against all the attacks in Baluchistan and other parts of Pakistan. Thus, we have seen the uprising of the Baloch nation started with the Bolan medical college protest and then a big uprising against online classes. This struggle continues in the shape of the fight for their right to higher education.

This march is also directed against the racist attitudes that Baloch students have been facing for years in educational institutions in Punjab. Baloch students live in fear, especially those who dissent and mobilise for basic democratic rights. Their fate is no different from that of the Baloch activists living in Baluchistan, as the recent abduction of Sana Ullah Baloch, a student at Allam Iqbal Open University, demonstrated.

The Baloch students' long march for education calls for the restoration of scholarships and an increase in places for students from Baluchistan and the Ex FATA. It demands better educational institutions in Baluchistan and Ex FATA. We fully support those demands as part of the wider struggle against national oppression and capitalist exploitation.