GWADAR: A delegation of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) recently visited venue of the around month-long Gwadar sit-in and expressed solidarity with its participants.
The Gwadar sit-in’s participants have been protesting for around a month, demanding for their basic rights under the Constitution.
The PPP delegation comprised some central leaders of the party, including Nayyar Bukhari, Syed Khurshid Shah, Farhatullah Babar, Qadir Patel, Mir Changez Khan Jamali and Saeed Ghani. They announced PPP’s support for the protest of the people and their demands.
They said former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had directed them to visit Gwadar and announce the party’s support for the people of Gwadar.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bukhari said every citizen in the country has rights under the Constitution. “The people of Gwadar have the same rights the people of Islamabad have,” he said. Similarly, he said, the people of Balochistan had the same rights as the people of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Khurshid Shah said the sit-in had highlighted the problems of the people of Gwadar. He said the PPP government had given an NFC award that did not consider only the population for distribution of resources. The PPP government had increased the grant of Balochistan from Rs47 billion to Rs110bn. He said it is very unfortunate that resources and funds for Balochistan are not being used for its people.
He said through 18th Amendment the PPP government had made the chief minister of Balochistan the chairman of the Gwadar port’s Board of Governor.
“PPP stands with you for the rights of the people of Gwadar,” Khurshid Shah said, adding that the call for resuming trade activities in the border areas of Balochistan is a legitimate demand and that the government must ensure resumption of trade activities in the province’s border areas to protect the livelihoods of the local people.
He said it was the PPP government which gave the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project to the country. The people of Balochistan should be given their due share in the economic corridor project, he added.
Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, who is leading the protest, warmly welcomed the PPP delegation by giving its members traditional chadars. He thanked the PPP leaders for extending support to the Gwadar rights movement.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2021