December 6th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, leader of the Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek, on December 6, Monday, said their protest would continue till the Balochistan government implemented their two major demands of revoking licences of ‘illegal’ fishing trawlers and ending interference in local markets at the border with Iran.
On December 4, Mir Zia Langove, Adviser to the Chief Minister for Home, had said the provincial government had accepted all 19 demands put forth by the Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek which had blocked the Makran Coastal Highway for the previous three weeks.
“The provincial government says it has accepted our demands but it has little say in having decisions implemented,” Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, also a local leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, told Voicepk.net by phone from Gwadar. He accused the government functionaries of lying about the implementation of their major demands related to livelihood of Gwadar residents.
The Balochistan government had also released a list carrying details of the progress made on each of the protesters’ demands.
Regarding the demand of ending ‘illegal’ trawlers, the provincial government said the office of director general of fisheries had been moved to Gwadar, adding that patrolling had been increased to monitor the trawlers.
“The trawler mafia is still active and no licenses have been revoked, as yet” Rehman said, pointing out that the provincial government was now telling them that the federal government had powers to revoke such licences.
He also disputed claims by the provincial government of elimination of passes or tokens for local fishermen to go to sea. “Local fishermen still have to get the tokens,” he added.
In response to the government’s claim of removal of unnecessary checkposts, Rehman said only check posts on main provincial highways were removed while those in cities remained. “People still face problems because of these checkposts in the cities,” he said, adding that the citizens still had to show their identity cards while entering schools, hospitals and parks.
Asked whether negotiations with the provincial government were still on, Rehman said Balchistan Chief Minister Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo had personally called his fellow partyman leader Liaqat Baloch for talks in Quetta on December 6 (today). However, he said any decision to call off the protest will be made by leaders of the Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek.
Meanwhile, Siraj-ul-Haq, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, has warned of a countrywide protest if the demands of the Gwadar protesters were not accepted.
The provincial government has moved over 5,000 police personnel to the coastal city to prevent any ‘untoward’ situation. The government was not in favour of ending the sit-in by force, Langove told reporters on December 4.