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Gwadar protesters end sit-in after govt accepts demands

  • These are all legitimate demands, says Balochistan chief minister
  • Fishermen in the coastal city had been protesting against the devastating impact of illegal fishing in the area
Published December 16, 2021

After month-long protests in the port city of Gwadar, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, the leader of the sit-in, has announced to end the campaign after assurance from the government that protesters' demands will be fulfilled, Aaj News reported.

Confirming the news, Balochistan Minister for Planning and Development Zahoor Buledi said in a Twitter post that negotiations between the government and Balochistan secretary-general of Jamat-e-Islami Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman took place in the presence of the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo.

"The negotiation with Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman in the presence of CM has been successful. Govt has accepted all demands of Maulana Sb and the dharna is to be called off," he wrote.

The Balochistan chief minister visited the protest site in Gwadar and informed the participants that their demands had been accepted. Addressing the protesters, Bizenjo said that a complete ban had been imposed on illegal fishing and directions had been issued to the relevant departments.

"These are all legitimate demands," he said.

Earlier today, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and the Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal also held talks with the protesters in Gwadar on behalf of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Speaking to the media alongside Jalal, Umar said: "Health, education, electricity, employment, all these aspects were reviewed during the meeting.

"The people of Gwadar will see the impact of projects being implemented in their daily lives," he said.

"We will continue to work with the provincial government to improve the lives of the people of Balochistan, specifically those living in Gwadar," he said.

Thousands of people had been protesting against the devastating impact of illegal fishing by trawlers along the coast on the livelihoods of local fishermen.

PM Imran promises 'strong action' against illegal fishing in Gwadar

Their other major demands, out of the total 19, included: removal of Gwadar Development Authority director-general, deputy commissioner Gwadar and assistant commissioner Pasni, grant of freedom for fishermen to go to sea, closure of wine shops in Gwadar, elimination of interference in cross-border trade with Iran, the establishment of a university in Gwadar, appointments on empty seats of education department’s non-teaching staff, provision of clean drinking water, priority to locals on jobs for development projects, implementation of quota for disabled people and provision of free 300 units of electricity.

Fishing is a major source of income in Gwadar and the livelihoods of locals are attached to this industry.

PM, Sanjrani discuss Gwadar sit-in

Prime Minister on Sunday took notice of the "legitimate demands" of Gwadar's fishermen, saying strong action will be taken against illegal trawling in the area.

"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," the premier tweeted.

Ministers will hold talks with Gwadar protesters: Fawad Chaudhry

In July, the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs was informed that fishing was the only source of income for the people of the coastal areas.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi informed the committee that bad weather forced the trawlers to come near the Gwadar port area, but no permission had been granted by the concerned authorities for fishing in the area.

He assured the committee to take up the matter at the appropriate level for resolution of the complaint as early as possible.


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