There is a saying in America: “With friends like these who needs enemies?” The despicable act of American military and intelligence agencies, of bombing innocent civilians in the Bijaur area of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan, reminds us of this saying.

The bombing has led to the death of 18 people including women and children. The outrage in Pakistan is so deep that even the Government of Pakistan, which accepted the Americans as allies in the “war against terrorism” earlier, has been forced to protest. Over ten thousand people protested against this barbarity in Karachi and protests are continuing in several parts of Pakistan.

To prove its innocence in the terrorist attack in New York on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, the Government of Pakistan was forced to declare itself as an ally of the Bush regime in its “war against terrorism”. Despite misgivings in large sections of Pakistani society about allowing the American military to access Pakistani bases and other resources, the Musharraf government claimed that the operations against terrorists of Al Qaeda in Pakistan would be carried out under the strict control and full knowledge of the Pakistani government. However, the facts are repeatedly showing that Americans have arrogated to themselves the right to bomb and kill civilians in Pakistan, keeping the Pakistani government in the dark. If this is not the mentality of an occupying army, then what is?

Just as the British colonialists came as traders and friends to the Indian subcontinent during the time of emperor Jehangir, and then became the rulers of this vast land, the American military has come in as a guest and a comrade-in-arms against terrorism in Pakistan and is attacking Pakistanis violating their sovereignty. The Pakistani people are justly demanding that the American military and their intelligence agencies be thrown out and not be allowed to use their land as a launching ground for attacks against their own people or any other people.

There is a grave lesson for the Indian people in this as well. The Indian government has recently been carrying out various joint military exercises and has been talking about a strategic alliance with the United States alongside close relationships with a number of big powers including Russia, China, France, Britain and Australia, without ever clarifying what is the strategic relationship with the US and the close relation with other powers. Each of these relationships has been portrayed as an alliance in the interests of both the parties. However, the Pakistani experience once again shows that the peoples of South Asia can never have imperialists as friends and allies.

The people of India and Pakistan have a proud and common anti-imperialist tradition born during the freedom struggle. We also have a bitter colonial legacy which resulted in partition and the coming to power in our two countries of ruling circles who have not been shy of cosying up to the imperialists. They have played into the game of the imperialists of pitting our two neighbouring countries against each other. In the course of pursuing their own imperialist ambitions, they have been striking alliances with the imperialists endangering peace in the region and the sovereignty of their countries.

Lok Raj Sangathan extends the sympathy and support of the Indian people to the fraternal people of Pakistan in this difficult time. Lok Raj Sangathan appeals to all patriotic and anti imperialist forces in India to draw appropriate lessons from Pakistan’s tragedy to resolutely fight for the breaking of the strategic alliance of India with the US imperialists. Let us join hands with the people of Pakistan and other peoples of South Asia to demand the expulsion of US armed forces from the entire sub-continent of South Asia.

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