QUETTA: Opposition Senator Mir Kabir Mohammad Shahi has alleged that the federal and provincial governments are hatching a conspiracy to “separate Gwadar from Balochistan” by fencing the port town in the name of Gwadar Safe City project.

Speaking at a press conference, the National Party senator said that his party and people of Gwadar would not accept the move and resist it all forums. “We will take up the issue at all forums, including the Pakistan Democratic Movement,” he added.

“A fence is being erected around Gwadar in the name of the Safe City project through which the city will be divided into two parts. Those people who regularly go inside the city will be given a card without which no one could enter the city,” he claimed.

During Musharraf regime there was a plan to bring Gwadar under the control of the Centre and now the federal government was implementing the plan, Mr Mohammad Shahi said.

Centre accused of trying to bring coastal city under its control

Unfortunately, he said, the Presidency had become a source of issuing ordinances. Initially an attempt was made to declare the coastal belt of Balochistan the property of the federation through an ordinance and later islands of Balochistan and Sindh were handed over to the federal government through another ordinance.

“The ordinance on the islands of Sindh and Balochistan was not discussed in the Senate,” he said, adding that the “move to hand over Gwadar to the federal government” in the name of security was an interference in provincial affairs.

Mr Mohammad Shahi said that Balochistan was not someone’s estate to hand over its resources to the federation through a piece of paper. “We will not allow the looting of Balochistan’s resources through a presidential ordinance”.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor existed due to Gwadar but the development of the port city had been ignored.

“The people of Gwadar are compelled to purchase drinking water at the rate of Rs2,500 per tanker,” the senator said, adding that there was no permanent arrangement of water supply in the city.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2020

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