GWADAR: The road link of Gwadar and other parts of Makran division with Karachi and other areas has been cut off for over 48 hours due to protests against the alleged enforced disappearance of two youth.

Locals and victims’ relatives have blocked the coastal highway and the M-8 motorway for the last two days and have demanded the recovery of Zakir Abdul Razzaq and Lala Rafique.

The coastal highway has been blocked at Zero Point of the Turbat-Gwadar-Nalent link road, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on both sides of the highway.

Passengers travelling in coaches and buses have been facing severe difficulties as they have been waiting for the highway to be reopened for the last 48 hours.

The closure of roads has severed the land communication between Gwadar, Karachi, Pasni, Ormara and Iran.

Additionally, a shortage of essential commodities has emerged in Turbat and Gwadar.

Traders and business community leaders have expressed apprehension that the shortage would worsen if the roads were not opened.

District administration’s negotiations with the protesters have so far remained fruitless as the missing persons’ heirs have refused to open the highway till the recovery of their loved ones.

The protestors have camped at the highway and announced the indefinite closure of both roads till their demands are met.

The protesters, including women and children from all over Gwadar and other areas, are sitting in the camp carrying placards and banners.

The relatives have claimed that the two men were forcefully taken away by security forces three months ago, and their whereabouts were still unknown.

They added that officials reassured them that the two men would be released after ten days, but it hasn’t happened.

If the two men have committed any crime, they should be presented in court and punished through legal means, the protesters demanded. Haq Do Tehreek Chairman Hussain Wadila and Balochistan National Party-Awami Central Secretary General Saeed Faiz have also visited the protest site and expressed solidarity with the families.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2024

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