Home Latest News Gwadar Protests End after Government Accepts Demands

Gwadar Protests End after Government Accepts Demands

by Newsweek Pakistan

Screengrab of protesters in Gwadar on Dec. 10

The demonstration, which lasted over a month, concluded following meetings between organizers and government officials

A little over a month after residents of Gwadar took to the streets to demand the government ensure their fundamental rights, organizer Maulana Hidayatur Rehman of the Jamaat-e-Islami announced an end to the demonstrations following successful negotiations.

“The negotiation with Maulana Hidayatur Rehman in the presence of [Balochistan chief minister] has been successful. Government has accepted all demands of Maulana sahib and the dharna is to be called off,” read a posting on Twitter by provincial planning minister Zahoor Buledi.

In a separate statement, Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said that the protesters demands had been legitimate, adding that the government’s priority was to ensure they had access to all basic necessities and opportunities for growth.

According to the agreement signed between the government and the protesters, authorities have agreed to fulfill the following demands:

  • A complete ban on illegal trawling in Gwadar.
  • Cross-border trade with Iran to be supervised by the district administration.
  • Formation of a committee to eliminate unnecessary checkposts in Makran division.
  • Announcement of a “special package” for Gwadar fishermen by the chief minister.
  • Victims of terror at Expressway to be adequately compensated.
  • Cases against protesters to be dropped immediately.
  • District Commissioner’s office to formulate an action plan to assist fishermen affected by the typhoon.
  • Disability quota to be implemented in federal and provincial departments.
  • Coast Guard, customs to assist in releasing seized boats.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, earlier this week, took notice of the protests that commenced last month and announced that he would ensure “strong action” against illegal fishing by trawlers and would also speak to the Balochistan chef minister to resolve “very legitimate demands.”

The protests attracted thousands, including women and children. The demonstrators’ primary demand was an end to illegal trawling, which they said harmed their livelihoods, as the practice was reducing available stocks off the Gwadar coast. Organizer Rehman had earlier said that the crowds were willing to disperse but wanted guarantees from the government that their demands would be fulfilled.

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