GWADAR: Police on Thursday arrested veteran politician and Baloch Muttahida Mahaz (BMM) president Mir Yousuf Masti Khan on the charge of making a “provocative and anti-state” speech at a protest sit-in staged by the people of Gwadar.
The residents of Gwadar have been staging the sit-in for the past 22 days in support of their demands under the banner of Gwadar ko haq do movement launched by Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-i-Islami Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman.
Police registered cases against the BMM president under sections 121, 123-A, 124-A, 153, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Police arrested Yousuf Masti Khan from a hotel where he was staying and later produced him before a sessions court. The court remanded him in police custody for one day.
Protest by the residents of port city for rights has been going on for the last 22 days
The Baloch leader reached Gwadar to express solidarity with the people of Gwadar staging the protest sit-in.
The organisers of the sit-in claimed that police had also registered cases against Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman.
They said that police also attempted to arrest the leader of the movement but could not do so due to the presence of thousands of people at the sit-in.
A heavy contingent of police and other law-enforcement agencies was present in the sit-in area, but took no action against the participants of the protest.
Speaking at the sit-in, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, while condemning the arrest of the BMM leader, declared: “We are not afraid of arrests and attitude of Gwadar police. Our peaceful sit-in is being pushed towards violence”.
He said the people of Gwadar had decided to lay siege to the police station against the arrest of Mr Yousuf, but the decision had been postponed on the appeal of the Gwadar deputy commissioner.
“What does it mean to arrest an 80-year-old man?” the Jamaat leader asked. “We are already condemning the FC and others for violating the sanctity of chador aur chardiwari, but today Gwadar police played the role of the FC.
He said that Pervez Musharraf and other generals were violating the Constitution of the country, but they were not declared rebels and traitors.
“We are demanding a ban on foreign trawlers fishing in Balochistan’s waters and opening of border trade with Iran and Afghanistan to ensure livelihood of the people of Balochistan, but we are declared rebels and traitors by the government,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the arrest of veteran Baloch leader Yusuf Masti Khan in Gwadar.
In a statement issued here on Thursday, the HRCP said: “Mr Khan has done nothing more than demanding of the state to give Gwadar residents civil, political and economic rights to which they are entitled to.
“To charge Mr Khan under archaic and repressive colonial laws is undemocratic.
He must be released immediately and unconditionally, especially given his poor health condition.”
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021