Former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan (Photo:

A suspected suicide bombing killed at least 44 people in Pakistan this week during a rally organised by an Islamist party. More than 100 people were injured in the explosion in the north west Bajaur district—close to the Afghan border.

Some 15 people remain in a critical condition in hospital. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) was holding the meeting that was targeted. State sources suggested that the bombing was likely the work of the Islamic State (IS) group in Pakistan.

But IS had not claimed the attack as Socialist Worker went to press. The JUI party is part of Pakistan’s governing coalition and has been targeted previously by IS. Political tensions in the country are rising as Pakistan moves closer to an election that must be held this autumn.

The country’s Election Commission last week issued an arrest warrant against Imran Khan, the leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party. It is one of hundreds of lawsuits filed against him, and other PTI leaders, in a bid to make it impossible for the party to mount an election campaign. 

But state persecution is so far having the opposite effect, with Khan’s millions of social media followers pledging to take up the battle. Khan was removed as prime minister following a no‑confidence vote in 2022 after his alliance with reactionary generals broke down.

American UPS workers must fight to deliver strikes

Around 300,000 UPS logistics workers were set to strike this week in one of the most high‑profile pay battles in the United States for years. But leaders of the Teamsters’ union announced a last-minute deal to avoid action. The union’s general president Sean O’Brien said it would “set the model for how to get a deal done.”

UPS top boss CEO Carol Tomé said it was “a win‑win‑win agreement on the issues that are important to Teamsters leadership, our employees and to UPS and our customers”. Many workers are arguing for a No vote in a ballot that continues until 22 August.

Joe Allen, a veteran analyst of Teamsters and UPS struggles, wrote, “Given the historic moment of low unemployment, record profits, and public sympathy for UPS workers, it feels like a moment has been missed for real historic victories. It is ironic in this ‘Summer of Strikes,’ that Hollywood actors who play Teamsters on film and TV, are walking the picket line, while the real Teamsters remain on the job.”

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