Gwadar protest enters day 22 as govt shares list of progress made on demands

Published December 6, 2021
Children holding placards are seen during the sit-in in Gwadar on November 22. — Photo via Maulana Hidayat Ullah Baloch Twitter/File
Children holding placards are seen during the sit-in in Gwadar on November 22. — Photo via Maulana Hidayat Ullah Baloch Twitter/File

Protesters in Gwadar continued their sit-in for the 22nd day on Monday despite Balochistan government sharing a list detailing progress made on their demands.

The protestors, which also include women and children, have been demanding among other things, access to clean drinking water and an end to "trawler mafia".

Local Jamaat-i-Islami leader Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, who is leading the the Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek (Give Rights to Gwadar Movement), told Dawn.com the protest would continue until the acceptance of two major demands — action against "trawler mafia" and resolution of issues on Iran border — from the overall 19 demands.

The protestors, which also include Ormara and Pasni residents, have blocked the Makran Coastal Highway passing through Gwadar.

Meanwhile, Balochistan's director general of public relations released a list, available with Dawn.com, that showed progress made so far on the protestor's demands.

The demands and progress made, according to the authorities, are as follows:

  • End to illegal trawlers: Office of director general of Fisheries moved to Gwadar and patrolling increased to check on illegal trawlers
  • Freedom for fishermen to go to sea: Elimination of special token system to go to sea. Fishermen are now allowed to go without any permission
  • Elimination of unnecessary checkposts on major roads: All unnecessary checkposts removed
  • Closure of wine shops in Gwadar All wine shops closed on government instructions
  • Elimination of interference in cross-border trade with Iran: End to all kinds of interference and establishment of trade markets at border
  • Establishment of a university in Gwadar: Appointment of a vice chancellor for Gwadar University, classes to start soon
  • Appointments on empty seats of education department's non-teaching staff: Selection process for appointment completed, officials sent for appointment
  • Curtailing the sale of fake medicines: Inspection of Gwadar's medical stores completed
  • Waivers and subsidies on utility bills: Policy on issue to be clarified soon, chief minister has written a letter to Quetta Electric Supply Company
  • Release of seized cars and boats by coastguard: Legal team formed on the issue
  • Provision of clean drinking water: Supply of water initiated, water project to be completed soon
  • Priority to locals on jobs for development projects: Special desk formed on the issue in district commissioner's office
  • Implementation on agreement with Dar Bela affectees: Compensation paid to affectees, separate area being selected for land compensation
  • Compensation paid to Expressway affectees: Compensation paid to affectees, special measures being taken for remaining people
  • Removal of cases on protest leaders and names from Fourth Schedule: Matter sent to the provincial cabinet
  • Damages for losses due to storms and illegal trawlers: Survey completed of fishermen's losses, matter of compensation sent to Provincial Disaster Management Authority and orders issued for immediate compensation
  • Removal of DG GDA, DC Gwadar AC Pasni: Officials changed and replaced with capable individuals
  • Implementation of quota for disabled people: Orders issued for strict implementation of quota
  • Open Kulki point for transportation of oil and essentials: Kantani point completely opened for transport and distribution of oil and essentials

On Saturday, Adviser to the Chief Minister for Home Mir Zia Langove said the government had accepted all the demands and urged Rehman to call off the sit-in.

In response to a question on police personnel being sent to the area, he said the decision had been taken for maintaining law and order in Gwadar and the government was not in favour of ending the sit-in by force from day one.

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