Fishermen in the coastal city of Gwadar continue to protest against the construction of East-Bay Expressway which has cut off routes to the Arabian sea, thereby affecting their livelihood, DawnNewsTV reported.
The protest entered its 12th day on Friday with demonstrators camped on the Mulla Moosa bend of the larger Fish Harbour road. A day earlier, they had surrounded the deputy commissioner's office, forcing the additional deputy commissioner to meet with them and listen to their demands. He had assured the fishermen that their demands would be presented to the chief minister.
The East-Bay Expressway project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. According to details shared by the government, this "6-lane expressway along with a provision of 30 meters wide railway corridor will connect Gwadar Port with Mekran Coastal Highway through the 2,300 acres Free Trade Zone of Gwadar Port".
Several political party workers, including those belonging to Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), and National Party (NP) have also joined the protest in support of the fishermen.
Examine: A highway where the sea should be
The fishermen had called for a strike, refusing to undertake any fishing activities on December 27 and 28. Due to the cessation of fishing, not only were the fishermen themselves deprived of the earnings secured after hours of hardwork, but the economy also suffered a significant loss.
Exporters and factory owners who contribute to foreign exchange reserves were adversely impacted due to the fishing strike, incurring losses in the millions.
On December 27 when the market did not have fish, the daily shipment from Gwadar which would export fresh fish to Dubai, Riyadh, Kuwait, among other destinations, could not export fish to any country.