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Pakistan: Protests in Gwadar continue as negotiations between govt and protesters fail to make headway

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Balochistan [Pakistan], December 29 (ANI): Gwadar district of Balochistan continues to remain “on the boil” as the Haq Do Tehreek movement entered its second month on December 25, Asian Lite reported. Protesters have been carrying out sit-ins at the Gwadar East Bay Expressway, the road leading to Gwadar seaport and the under-construction Gwadar International Airport.

Haq Do Tehreek Movement continued the protest after the negotiations between the Balochistan government and protest leaders on December 24 failed to achieve a breakthrough. The movement’s head Maulana Hidayat ur Rehman Baloch claimed the government officials who participated in the meeting had “no authority” to implement their demands, as per the Asian Lite report.

Tensions continue in Gwadar, including road blockades, which hamper the movement of Chinese engineers and local labourers working on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in the region. The situation remained tense in Gwadar on Wednesday as the port city witnessed a shutter-down strike and clashes following protests by the Gwadar Rights Movement (GRM) over the non-acceptance of their demands, including an end to “illegal fishing” in the region, The Express Tribune reported.

After the clashes with the protesters, police arrested eight people. Mobile networks and internet services remained suspended for the third day in Gwadar, Pasni and Ormara. Protesters carried out a sit-in outside the Pasni Press Club and blocked the main highway for traffic.

Police personnel were deployed till Zero Point, six kilometers from Ormara city. The protesters have been calling for a reduction in the number of checkpoints, easier border trade, and a total end to deep-sea fish trawling in the sea near Gwadar, according to The Express Tribune.

The GRM in a statement said that the provincial government was responsible for the “worst state atrocities” in Gwadar. A GRM activist has said that the internet and electricity have been shut down for three days in Gwadar to suppress the poor people, as per The Express Tribune news report. Meanwhile, Balochistan government spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah has said the law and order situation in Gwadar was under control as effective measures have been taken.

“So far, hundreds of activists and leaders of GRM have been arrested while several children, women, and the elderly people have been injured [in clashes],” The Express Tribune quoted a Gwadar Rights Movement activist as saying.

“Internet and electricity have been shut down for three days in the port city to suppress the poor people,” he added. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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