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Friday August 19, 2022

Gwadar protest comes to an end after 32 days

After "successful" negotiations, government accepts "all demands" put forth by leader of "Gwadar ko haq do" movement

By Web Desk
December 16, 2021
Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo (C) signing a deal, with Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami, and the leader of the ‘Gwa­dar ko haq do’ movement, Maulana Hidayatur Rehman looking on, in Gwadar, Balochistan. — Twitter
Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo (C) signing a deal, with Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami, and the leader of the ‘Gwa­dar ko haq do’ movement, Maulana Hidayatur Rehman looking on, in Gwadar, Balochistan. — Twitter

Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, the Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami, and the leader of the "Gwa­dar ko haq do" movement, on Thursday announced an end to the month-long protest by citizens in Balochistan's Gwadar city.

According to Geo News correspondent Nadeem Kausar, the protest lasted 32 days long.

Federal ministers and Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo had arrived at the protest venue a day earlier. Multiple rounds of talks were held after which an agreement was reached between Rehman and the chief minister, which was signed by the latter.

Gwadar's citizens had a long list of demands. These pertained to the shortage of drinking water and the poor state of health and education facilities, as well as the impact trawlers have on the fishermen's earning potential.

Bizenjo said that all demands made by the movement are legitimate.

"Providing people the opportunity for growth, as well as the provision of fundamental rights, are our priorities," he said.

The chief minister directed the fisheries department and the Makran commissioner to take note that a complete ban has been placed on illegal fishing.

Balochistan Minister for Planning and Development Zahoor Buledi confirmed that "successful" negotiations were held in which the government "accepted all demands" put forth by Rehman.

"The dharna is to be called off," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Rehman's name, previously added to the Fourth Schedule, was removed from the list.

PM takes notice of 'very legitimate' demands

A few days ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he has taken notice of the "very legitimate" demands of the Gwadar fishermen, adding that he would take strong action against illegal fishing by trawlers in the area.

"I have taken notice of the very legitimate demands of the hardworking fishermen of Gwadar. Will be taking strong action against illegal fishing by trawlers and will also speak to CM Balochistan," the premier said on Twitter.

Gwadar citizens protest against trawlers

Gwadar has seen protests for the past few weeks, sometimes featuring thousands of women with young children speaking out against the large trawlers.

Locals say the trawlers, which are illegally plundering the Arabian seabed, are making it harder for fishermen to fish in the waters.

Fishing is one of the main sources of income for residents of the area.

Despite protests from local fishermen about the fleets, they said they had received "no response from the Gwadar Development Authority or the Balochistan government".

Anis Tarique Gorgej, the assistant deputy commissioner, said that the local administration is in touch with the protesters and all their concerns will be addressed.

"We are already working on stopping the trawlers and to facilitate trade at the Iranian border,” Gorgej said. "But fulfilling all the demands will take some time.”