GWADAR: Protesters in Gwadar continued their sit-in for the 23rd day on Tuesday despite Balochistan government sharing a list detailing progress made on their demands.
The protestors, which also include women and children, have been demanding among other things, access to clean drinking water and an end to “trawler mafia”.
Local Jamaat-i-Islami leader Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, who is leading the the Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek (Give Rights to Gwadar Movement), told Dawn.com the protest would continue until the acceptance of two major demands — action against “trawler mafia” and resolution of issues on Iran border — from the overall 19 demands.
The protestors, which also include Ormara and Pasni residents, have blocked the Makran Coastal Highway passing through Gwadar.
Meanwhile, Balochistan’s director general of public relations released a list, available with Dawn.com, that showed progress made so far on the protestor’s demands.
The demands and progress made, according to the authorities, are as follows:
End to illegal trawlers: Office of director general of Fisheries moved to Gwadar and patrolling increased to check on illegal trawlers
Freedom for fishermen to go to sea: Elimination of special token system to go to sea. Fishermen are now allowed to go without any permission
Elimination of unnecessary checkposts on major roads: All unnecessary checkposts removed
Closure of wine shops in Gwadar All wine shops closed on government instructions
Elimination of interference in cross-border trade with Iran: End to all kinds of interference and establishment of trade markets at border
Establishment of a university in Gwadar: Appointment of a vice chancellor for Gwadar University, classes to start soon
Appointments on empty seats of education department’s non-teaching staff: Selection process for appointment completed, officials sent for appointment
Curtailing the sale of fake medicines: Inspection of Gwadar’s medical stores completed
Waivers and subsidies on utility bills: Policy on issue to be clarified soon, chief minister has written a letter to Quetta Electric Supply Company
Release of seized cars and boats by coastguard: Legal team formed on the issue
Provision of clean drinking water: Supply of water initiated, water project to be completed soon
Priority to locals on jobs for development projects: Special desk formed on the issue in district commissioner’s office
Implementation on agreement with Dar Bela affectees: Compensation paid to affectees, separate area being selected for land compensation
Compensation paid to Expressway affectees: Compensation paid to affectees, special measures being taken for remaining people
Removal of cases on protest leaders and names from Fourth Schedule: Matter sent to the provincial cabinet
Damages for losses due to storms and illegal trawlers: Survey completed of fishermen’s losses, matter of compensation sent to Provincial Disaster Management Authority and orders issued for immediate compensation
Removal of DG GDA, DC Gwadar AC Pasni: Officials changed and replaced with capable individuals
Implementation of quota for disabled people: Orders issued for strict implementation of quota
Open Kulki point for transportation of oil and essentials: Kantani point completely opened for transport and distribution of oil and essentials
On Saturday, Adviser to the Chief Minister for Home Mir Zia Langove said the government had accepted all the demands and urged Rehman to call off the sit-in.
In response to a question on police personnel being sent to the area, he said the decision had been taken for maintaining law and order in Gwadar and the government was not in favour of ending the sit-in by force from day one.
Adviser to the Chief Minister for Home Mir Zia Langove has claimed that the government has accepted all demands of those who have launched the Gwadar Ko Haq Do movement.
Speaking at a press conference after meeting the leader of participants of the sit-in on Saturday, he urged Maulana Hidayat-Ur-Rehman to call off his 20-day sit-in as the government had already agreed to resolve all issues.
Mr Langove said the government had already started taking steps to resolve the issues.
He said that action was being taken against illegal trawlers involved in fishing in Balochistan waters. However, he said that it would take time to deal with the mafia involved in this business.
“DG Fisheries is conducting an operation against trawlers. Pakistan Navy and MSA have also been asked about the operation,” the adviser said, adding that border trade had already started after opening the border with Iran.
In reply to a question, Mr Langove said that the decision to send 5,000 police personnel to Gwadar had been taken for maintaining law and order in Gwadar and the government was not in favour of ending the sit-in by force from day one.