Hundreds of women have taken to the streets in Gwadar, the coastal city of Balochistan which is known as the centre of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to protest against illegal trawling, unnecessary security check posts, water crisis and other issues.
The protest rally was organised by ‘Haq Do Tehreek – Give rights to Gwadar’.
The movement led by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Balochistan Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, has been staging a sit-in in Gwadar for the last two weeks. After a march of about three kilometres, the rally turned into a public gathering near Gwadar Development Authority Park on Marine Drive.
Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman said that the participation of women in the protests has strengthened their movement. “The historic women’s rally will usher in a new era of rights in Balochistan,” he said.
He added that the authorities in Quetta and Islamabad have seen that Gwadar’s children, women, elders and youth are all determined to achieve their rights through peaceful struggle.
He said that the rulers now have no choice but to listen to Gwadar and solve the problems of Balochistan.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has said that a large number of the people of the coastal belt of Balochistan are involved in the fisheries sector for which government is taking significant steps for the development of this sector.
“In the Gwadar district, orders have been issued to Fisheries Department, Pakistan Navy, Maritime Security and other concerned agencies to take stern action against illegal trawlers entering Balochistan, to protect the interests of Balochistan’s fishermen,” he said.
The Balochistan CM said that most of the demands of the participants of the ongoing sit-in in Gwadar have been accepted, which includes removal of security check posts, a complete ban on liquor trade in Gwadar city, protection of fishermen and abolition of the token system.