QUETTA: Haq Do Tehreek Chairman Maulana Hidayatur Rehman has warned if Gwadar’s issues are not addressed, they would not hesitate to initiate an armed struggle.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, he said the demands for which they held extended sit-ins in Gwadar remain unresolved.

He claimed the “trawler mafia” continued to operate in the province’s waters, resulting in a loss of livelihood for local fishermen.

Mr Rehman, who is also the Jamat-i-Islami Balochistan general secretary, emphasised that this situation continues despite the presence of fisheries and other relevant officials.

He cautioned that they would resort to “an armed struggle” if their peaceful efforts were overlooked.

“We have organised extended sit-in demonstrations at approximately nine areas of Gwadar and various other cities. These protests aim to prevent the intrusion of the trawler mafia into Balochistan waters, address the issue of drug smugglers, eliminate unnecessary checkpoints, and address various other concerns,” Mr Rehman said.

He added that former chief minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo had signed an agreement and pledged to curtail the trawler mafia’s fishing activities and abolish unnecessary check posts. “However, no concrete action has been taken to date.”

“We will continue our peaceful, democratic struggle within the Constitution as it directly concerns the survival of the local population,” he said.

According to Mr Rehman, he conveyed these demands to the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, “but unfortunately, no measures were taken”.

He pointed out that both previous and present governments have shown indifference to the trawler mafia and accused the Fisheries Department of accepting bribes from each trawler.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2023

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