Islamabad: Months of long sit-ins and the protests in Balochistan have rattled the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government and forced the authorities to deploy thousands of additional police in the region, a news article in Policy Research Group read.
Gwadar has been pitched as a key node of the Belt and Road-linked China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The residents of the port city in Balochistan province on December 16 called off their sit-in after negotiations with the government. For several weeks, thousands of people have been protesting, demanding basic rights to support the "Gwadar ko haq do" movement in the port city.
Pakistani officials had claimed that Gwadar and CPEC would transform the region's economic geography by providing China's landlocked Xinjiang region.
Among other things, thousands of residents were demanding access to clean drinking water and an end to the "trawler mafia". The demands also included the removal of additional check-posts at Pushkan, Sarbandan and Gwadar City and the opening of the Pakistan-Iran border.
Pakistan's Opposition Leader in National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, had described the protests in the port city of Gwadar as a "watershed event" in the struggle for basic rights in the country.
After nearly a month-long protests in the port city of Gwadar, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has finally taken notice of ongoing demonstrations by the people in the southwestern province over a slew of issues.
"I have taken notice of the very legitimate demands of the hardworking fishermen of Gwadar. Will be taking strong action against illegal fishing by trawlers and will also speak to CM Balochistan," Imran Khan tweeted on Sunday.
The people of Gwadar had rejected plans and made it clear that the main objective of these (CPEC) projects is to gradually evict the locals and settle the Punjabis and Chinese on a large scale.
The Give Rights to Gwadar Movement had turned aggressive as the organizers have decided to block ExpressWay and all entry points on Coastal Highway to continue their protests.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been marred with controversy since the announcement of the USD 46 billion projects in 2015.
The CPEC project would link Pakistan's southern Gwadar port in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China's western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create road, rail and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.
Since the start of CPEC, it has prompted demonstrations, claiming that projects will not benefit the people of Balochistan while people of other provinces are enjoying the fruits of the mega project.