For the first time in Gwadar’s history, hundreds of women took part in a protest organised by Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek’s (Movement for Gwadar’s rights). The sit-in has been taking place for the past several days. The protesters demand that additional check-posts be removed at Pushkan, Gwadar city, and Sarbandan; the opening of the Pak-Iran border for trade; the complete removal of fishing trawlers; and the provision of basic facilities in the area, including clean drinking water.
Women who took to the streets on Monday said that the breadwinners of their families were without jobs which is why they have no option but to come out on roads. Women have never held such a huge protest in Gwadar before.
The movement is being led by Maulana Hidayatur Rehman Baloch, the secretary-general of Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Balochistan chapter. According to recent reports, the organisers have announced that the coastal highway will be blocked at five places on Friday if the demands are not met until then. Earlier, he had complained that the mainstream media was not covering the Gwadar protest adequately.
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.
Last week, the government had ordered the closure of all wine shops, one of the protester’s demands, but this was termed inconsequential.
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 the abolition of the token system. However, the protestors say the authorities have not acted,