Politics: (Christian community, katchi abadis’ dwellers to work against unjust economic, legal structures)

ISLAMABAD: Awami Workers Party (AWP) and All Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis (APAKA) on Monday organized a cultural gathering with local Christian community and the residents of katchi abadis to mark the occasion of Christmas and New Year.

The event was organized at a local church in France Colony, F-7/4. Apart from a large local presence, the event was also attended by residents of other katchi abadis of Islamabad, ordinary citizens, and members of National Student Federation (NSF), AWP, and APAKA.

Sheikh Sattar, General Secretary of AWP Rawalpindi/Islamabad invited the participants to make a new year’s resolution to address the economic, political and religious contradictions of society by working together and taking action.

Patras Joseph of France Colony, Chaudhary Boota of G-8 basti, Nur Mohammad of I-11/1 abadi, and Haji Muzaffar of Phatak Colony H-11 spoke on behalf of APAKA and expressed their messages of solidarity with the katchi abadi residents of various abadis.

Fahad Rizwan of NSF referred to the message of Jesus Christ whose whole life and message was one of struggle against injustice and oppression. AWP’s senior leader and Women’s Secretary, Dr. Farzana Bari pointed to the multi-faceted oppression faced by Christian and working class women in Pakistan’s deeply patriarchal society — in their own homes, in the broader society, and in the workplace which is often in the homes of the wealthier classes.

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, General Secretary AWP Punjab and Chairman APAKA also spoke at the occasion. They contested the use of the term “minority” for Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and other oppressed groups and noted: “We will not be able to get rid of hate and violence in our society until we allow all groups and peoples belonging to different faiths and sects to celebrate their traditions and rituals freely and happily.”

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