(Jubilee Debt Campaign):
The people of Pakistan have suffered from a crippling national debt for 40 years. The global financial crisis, the horrific floods of 2010 and the so-called â€˜war on terrorâ€™ have all made Pakistanâ€™s debt spiral out of control.
This debt has done little for the majority of Pakistanâ€™s people. It has increased inequality and deepened impoverishment. Today, 50 million people live below the poverty line. Over 20 percent of government revenue is spent on debt payments â€“ more than on health and education combined.
In September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed the latest in a long-line of â€˜bailoutâ€™ loans, paying off reckless lenders, whilst keeping Pakistan trapped in debt. As a condition of the loans, public spending will be cut and prices for food and fuel increased. Meanwhile, richer companies and individuals continue to pay too little in tax. The people of Pakistan must be free to decide upon their own economic future â€“ a future without the crippling burden of inherited debts and IMF-imposed conditions.
On his speaking tour of UK, Abdul Khaliq from CADTM-Pakistan, would be examining the impact of sovereign debt on life in Pakistan, and the struggle against it. He will tell us the stories from Pakistan we do not hear in the news â€“ the impact of debt on peopleâ€™s lives, the extreme economic policies pursued in the name of paying unjust debt, and how people are struggling for a fairer society.
Foula Farmakidi from the Greek Debt Audit Campaign, which campaigns for debt cancellation and a public debt audit committee. This seeks to reveal the source of Greeceâ€™s debt, towards democratic decision making about what to do with it, and holding those responsible to account. Foula will report on the devastating social impacts of the crisis on Greece, and the resistance movements pushing for people centred solutions.
Dr Fayaz Ahmed, Country Director for Islamic Relief Pakistan, will explain how an audit into Pakistanâ€™s debt is needed to tackle the crisis, alongside other measures such as creating a tax system where large corporations and richer people pay their fair share.
Tim Jones from Jubilee Debt Campaign will show how Pakistanâ€™s experience is replicated across the world, from Tunisia to Ireland, Jamaica to Greece. And how the inspiring struggles in these countries point towards a world which does not suffer from unjust debt.
Habib Malik from Islamic Relief UK, an international aid and development charity which aims to alleviate the suffering of the worldâ€™s poorest people. Islamic Relief is pushing for measures to tackle Pakistanâ€™s debt crisis, including a public audit into the debt.
Rabnawaz Akbar, Labour Party Councillor Rusholme Ward and a Jubilee for Justice signatory.
Afzal Khan, Labour Party Councillor for Cheetham Ward, and the first Asian and Muslim Lord Mayor of Manchester from 2005 to 2006.
Birmingham: 28th October, 7pm â€“ 9pm
Aston University, Lecture Theatre MB108, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
With Abdul Khaliq (CADTM-Pakistan), Tim Jones (Jubilee Debt Campaign), and Reyhana Patel (Islamic Relief Worldwide).
Manchester: 29th and 30th October, 7pm â€“ 9pm
29th October – Trinity United Church, Cheetham Hill Road, M8 9LG
30th October – Pakistani Community Centre, 612 Stockport Road, M13 0RQ
With With Abdul Khaliq (CADTM-Pakistan), Tim Jones (Jubilee Debt Campaign), Habib Malik (Islamic Relief UK), Rabnawaz Akbar (Labour Party Councillor), and Afzal Khan (Labour Party Councillor).
Bradford: 31st October, 7pm â€“ 9pm
Carlisle Business Centre, Carlisle Road, BD8 8BD
With Abdul Khaliq (CADTM-Pakistan), Tim Jones (Jubilee Debt Campaign) and Habib Malik (Islamic Relief UK).
London: 2nd November, 2.30pm â€“ 4pm
NewVic College, Prince Regent Lane, Newham, E13 8SG
Part of the Shared Planet conference, see www.peopleandplanet.org
With Abdul Khaliq (CADTM-Pakistan), Foula Farmakidi (Greek Debt Audit Campaign), Dr Fayaz Ahmed (Islamic Relief Pakistan), and Tim Jones (Jubilee Debt Campaign).
Glasgow: 6th November, Venue TBC, 7pm â€“ 9pm.
Please check back here for venue details, which will be added soon.
With Abdul Khaliq (CADTM-Pakistan), Alys Mumford (Jubilee Scotland) and Habib Malik (Islamic Relief UK).
Source: Jubilee Debt Campaign-UK