GWADAR: Hundreds of children took out a protest rally in the port city of Gwadar and joined the Maulana Hidayatur Rehman-led sit-in that entered its 18th day on Sunday, with protesters threatening to block China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) if their demands are not met within a week.

Maulana Rehman, the head of Haq Do Tehreek who came to national attention when massive peaceful protests swept Gwadar, has once again staged a sit-in for the implementation of the agreement reached with the provincial government in December last year after a month-long sit-in.

The children reached Gwadar city from Turbat, Pasni and other areas of Gwadar district and marched through the streets carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands.

They chanted slogans against the government and the authorities concerned for not implementing the agreement signed by the government to ban illegal trawling in Gwadar and eliminate unnecessary checkpoints, among several other issues.

Hundreds of children join Gwadar sit-in

Addressing the rally, Maulana Rehman, who is also general secretary of Jamaat-i-Islami’s Balochistan chapter, strongly criticised the government and said the people of Makran had been protesting for the last two weeks, but no government official came for negotiations, which reflected the non-serious attitude of rulers.

He warned that if citizens’ demands were not accepted and the agreement with the Haq Do Tehreek was not honoured until Nov 20, the expressway, Gwadar port and CPEC projects would be closed.

He said the movement he had started could not be abandoned now, and the children who were participating in the rally would lead the protests in future, as they also knew the rulers were not taking steps to resolve the problems of their parents.

“If Pakistan is for sardars, nawabs, generals and judges, then we do not accept such Pakistan,” Maulana said, urging the people to prepare themselves for a long, peaceful struggle.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2022

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