Tehreer Square in Faisalabad

Posted on 12 mars, 2011

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VIEWPOINT | For the last eighteen years, Javed has been a textile worker. Father of four, he works fifteen hours a day. His monthly wage is Rs. 8,000 (circa $ 70).

A six-lane motorway passes through central Punjab.  We are on our way to Faisalabad, a two-hour drive from Lahore. Lush green fields surround the motorway, as far as one can see, on both sides.   Scattered villages consisted of little cottages and peasants, silhouetted against morning fog here and there, dot the horizon. No woods as such but trees line the motorway and visible out there. The car-stereo is playing Abba. My Labour Party Pakistan-comrades tell me cheerfully that Abba is being played as I live in Sweden.

In the heart of Faisalabad, the traffic is indeed heavy. As we approach Faisalabad —Pakistan’s third largest city after Karachi and Lahore— rally had already began to march. One of country’s major industrial city, Faisalabad hosts bulk of Pakistan’s textile sector. We park the car as the demonstration begins to march on one of the city’s main street. As my friend Farooq Tariq opens the rear window, workers rush to the car to collect red flags.

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