Give Gwadar the right: the biggest and longest sit-in in the history of Balochistan

Gwadar, the backbone of Balochistan’s coastal and C-Pac project, has been witnessing two sit-ins in Gwadar for the past four weeks. Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch, a young provincial general secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Balochistan.

However, they now have the support of people from all walks of life, including the people of Gwadar, so the sit-in can be described as a public sit-in. Although the participation of women especially Baloch women is not a new thing but this is the first sit-in in the history of Balochistan in which the participation of women is in thousands, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch held a historic meeting in Gwadar at the end of September. The attention was drawn to him when he held the largest rally not only in Gwadar city but also in the political history of Makran division.

The Gwadar Haq Do movement, which started two months ago in the remote coastal city of Gwadar in Balochistan, has succeeded in gaining the attention of the entire country. Talks were held with and it was revealed by the provincial ministers that 4 major demands of the participants of the sit-in have been accepted. However, the participants of the sit-in had declared the talks as a failure. There have been four rounds of talks between the sit-in participants.

However, instead of resolving the issue, it seems to be getting complicated day by day. It had been 28 days since the Gwadar sit-in was written. Prime Minister Imran Khan has also taken notice of the sit-in. Other demands include a ban on fishing by trawlers, permission for border trade with neighboring Iran, removal of a check post in Gwadar, problems with the Coast Guard, and a ban on liquor trade in the city.

The background of the movement is as follows: On August 16 this year, a sit-in was called on the Sarbandan Coastal Highway in Gwadar under the leadership of Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch. However, no further progress was seen in this regard. On September 30, Gwadar had the largest rally in the history of Gwadar under the auspices of Haq Do Tehreek. It was declared the beginning of a great movement.

However, no major progress has been made on the demands of the provincial government since then. In the meantime, the first opposition parties in the Balochistan Assembly on 14 September 2021 and later the ruling Balochistan Awami Party and its allies in the province. A long political crisis erupted in the province after a no-confidence motion was filed against former Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan. It ended with the election of Bizenjo as the Chief Minister, but during this time a lot of water had flowed under the bridges in Gwadar.

Meanwhile, on September 31, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch, the spirit of the movement, announced the future course of action through a press conference in Gwadar. Not only was it going on but its intensity is increasing day by day. In connection with the sit-in, a women’s rally was held during the week which was the biggest rally not only in Gwadar or Balochistan but also in the history of the country in which thousands of women participated. That the population of Gwadar will be less than one lakh, therefore the participation of such a large number of people in the meeting held in Gwadar is important.

Maulana Abdul Haq Hashmi, Provincial Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami and Amir-ul-Azeem, Central Secretary General visited Gwadar and expressed solidarity with the participants of the sit-in. Meanwhile, senior Baloch political leader Yousuf Musti Khan also visited Gwadar and addressed the gathering. No case was registered against him but he was released on bail the next day.

The National Party has staged protests across the province against the arrest of Yousuf Musti Khan. They are wreaking havoc on marine life, with dire consequences in the future.

Their second major demand is regarding border trade. Not only Gwadar but also the livelihood of the people of border districts of Balochistan is related to border trade for which the participants of the sit-in want relaxation. However, the lack of solidarity with the sit-in participants by the major nationalist parties in the province is being felt in the political circles of the province as well as the traditional delay in resolving issues by the provincial government. Is visible


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