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Police crackdown on Gwadar fishermen protesters

Police have crackdown to end 59 days of a peaceful sit-in protest in Gwadar by fishermen.

According to reports, police raided the protestors of the Haq-do movement at midnight, fired tear gas, demolished their camps, and arrest at least 12 leaders including top leader Hussain Wadila.

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Moreover, more police personnel had been called for the arrest of Haq-do Movement head Mulana and Jamat-e-Islami leader of the area Hidayat-ur-Rehman Balouch.

Since the second week of November, there had been ongoing protests in Gwadar, Balochistan against the port city’s megadevelopment plans as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Protesters rallied under the banner of “Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek” (Give Rights to Gwadar Movement) to draw focus on the marginalization of residents in the port’s development.

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Most protestors are from Gwadar and the surrounding coastal Balochistan areas of Turbat, Pishkan, Zamran, Buleda, Ormara, and Pasni.

A protestor said that the police lathi-charged him and his workers late at night.

He also claimed that many of their workers had been arrested and their demands are an end to trawling at sea, an end to enforced disappearances, a ban on drugs, and open border trade.

Protesters pointed out that Gwadar fisherman had given up their fishing grounds for the port’s development after being assured that it would greatly improve their economic situation but nothing had been done.

The first round of talks between protesters & provincial government failed when negotiating team from the Government side Provincial Home minister & other officials reached Gwadar to hold talks with Hidayat Rehman.

However, Hidayat did not meet officials stating, “The reason for not meeting the government delegation was to inform them that the proud people of Gwadar have been protesting for 59 days, if you do not respect them, your ministry has no status in our view, the notification does not matter when the fishermen and the people are satisfied, we are also satisfied.”

The crackdown triggered protests in several towns of Makran Division protesters including women & children blocked main highways.

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