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National Party chief warns Imran Khan govt against use of force to quell Gwadar protest

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Balochistan | December 4, 2021 7:19:39 PM IST
As the ongoing demonstrations refuse to quell down in the port city of Gwadar, Pakistan's National Party (NP) president Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has warned Imran Khan government against the use of force to end sit-in staged by the people.

"The people of Gwadar have been protesting for three weeks for their basic human rights and needs. All of their demands are legitimate and within the reach of the rulers, but the provincial government imposed by the 'Thappa mafia' has no mandate to accept the demands of the people. And now they are planning to end the sit-in by force," Dr Baloch said, as quoted by Dawn newspaper.

The NP president warned that if the protesters were thrashed, there would be mass protests in every street of Balochistan for which the rulers would be responsible.

Dr Baloch said that illegal fishing by trawlers, curbs on border trade and unnecessary security check-posts had made the life of the people of Balochistan unbearable and there was immense grief and anger among the people.

He added that the people did not consider the elected representatives as their representatives and were not ready to talk to them.

Amid ongoing protest in the port city of Gwadar, Pakistani authorities have issued orders to send 5,500 police officers from various other districts for maintenance of law and order and on anti-riot duties.

"Except ASP (assistant superintendent of police)/DSP and SHOs, no one shall carry weapon[s]. Two gunmen with each ASP/DSP and each SHO shall accompany the police personnel and ensure their security and safety," the notification said, as quoted by Dawn.

Experts have highlighted how these protests are also unprecedented in nature given that thousands of local women also took part in the demonstrations.

Sirajul Haq, leader of Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, said women's protest in Gwadar reflects the seriousness of "Give Gwadar its Right Movement," according to The News International newspaper.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been marred with controversy since the announcement of the USD 46 billion projects in 2015.

The CPEC project would link Pakistan's southern Gwadar port in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China's western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create road, rail and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.

Since the start of CPEC, it has prompted demonstrations, claiming that projects will not benefit the people of Balochistan while people of other provinces are enjoying the fruits of the mega project. (ANI)

 
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