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Dr. Lal Khan

Dr. Lal Khan
 
 
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Profile

Lal Khan, M.D., is a political activist and Trotskyist political theorist. He is the leading figure and main theorist in the International Marxist Tendency, alongside Alan Woods. He is a doctor of Medicine, although he no longer practices this profession for the sake of his revolutionary activities. In response to the coup attempt of 2002 in Venezuela, he helped found the Hands Off Venezuela campaign. He is currently the leader of the Pakistani Marxist organization The Struggle, and editor of its newspaper.

Early life

In the 1970s, Khan was a student of medicine in college and a political activist in Pakistan when the military coup of General Zia ul Haq toppled the Pakistan Peoples Party government, and subsequently hanged the country's first democratically elected prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.[1] In the aftermath of this event, many PPP workers and activists begun a struggle against General Zia's regime. As a consequence, many of them faced arrests, persecution, torture, and exile. Khan was arrested in 1980 on the charges of leading a student wing which was involved in organizing mass rallies against General Zia's government. He was sentenced to one year in prison, fifteen lashes, and a 20,000 rupee fine. He was imprisoned for a year, then went to university in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad.

He was in the university for four months, and then, due to his involvement in anti-government political activities and the struggle for the overthrow of the Zia's dictatorship, he was sentenced to death, to be shot on sight. As a result of this, he was forced to leave Pakistan, moving to live in exile in 1980 in the Netherlands. During his time in exile, he graduated from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, and continued to reside in the Netherlands for eight more years. In his years of exile, he became acquainted with the works of Alan Woods, a Trotskyist political theorist in the British Labour Party. In the 1988, he returned to his country and quit his profession as a doctor, and has been working full time in revolutionary politics ever since.

Woods and Khan lead the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), an organization for the promotion of socialist and Marxist ideas. In recent years Lal Khan has received media attention for some of his work.

Work for The Struggle

The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) is an international Trotskyist organization which is based on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky.

The late Ted Grant was its chief theoretician and the person who built the organization. Currently, Alan Woods along with Lal Khan are its main leaders and theoreticians. The Pakistani section, The Struggle, is the largest section of the International Marxist Tendency. Lal Khan heads The Struggle in Pakistan and organizes many activities under the banner of the organization.

The Struggle advocates a socialist transformation of Pakistan. It demands the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy under workers control, an end to religious extremism and radicalism, the eradication of unemployment and free accessible education for all Pakistani citizens.

on March 12-13, 2011 the largest congress of The Struggle was held in Lahore . These annual congresses are held to analyse the performance of the International Marxist Tendency and to formulate new strategies for social change and revolution.

Books written by Lal Khan

  • Partition - Can it be undone? This book examines the historical background of partition of the Indian subcontinent, and the formation of Pakistan and India.
  • Lebanon-Israel War. Written in 2009, this book discusses not only the current conflict between Lebanon and Israel in detail, but also looks at the history of wars and revolutions in the whole region. The changing role of Iran in the region and the possibility of an invasion of Iran are also discussed in detail.
  • Pakistan’s Other Story - The Revolution of 1968-69. This book examines the student and political activism of the late 1960s which gave birth to a revolution. Khan argues that due to lack of leadership courage, the opportunity to establish a worker's state was lost.
  • Kashmir, A revolutionary way out. This book examines the possibility of the liberation of Kashmir under a united South Asian socialist federation.
 
 
 
 
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