Thu, 20 Jan 2022

Lahore [Pakistan], December 1 (ANI): Hundreds of women along with their children have joined the ongoing protests against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan's Gwadar port city amid demonstrations by fishermen who had been deprived of earning their livelihood after a ban on border trade.

Sirajul Haq, leader of Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, said women's protest in Gwadar reflects the seriousness of "Give Gwadar its Right Movement," according to The News International newspaper.

It happened the first time in the history of Balochistan that women in such a large number took to the streets for the rights of local people in the port areas, he said.

A large number of women and children took to the streets of the port city of Gwadar and other areas of Makran on Monday in protest against the Imran Khan government for snatching the basic rights of the people.

The demonstrators, including female students, political workers and working women who reached Gwadar city from Turbat, Ormara, Jewani, Pasni and other areas of Gwadar district, started their rally from Al-Johar Public School and after marching on various roads and streets reached Marine Drive, according to Dawn.

Protesters were chanting slogans against the provincial government, with most of them carrying placards and banners inscribed with "Gwadar ko haq do" (Give rights to Gwadar), according to a Pakistani publication.

Khalil Baloch, chairman of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) termed the ongoing 15-day sit-ins, demonstrations and rallies in Gwadar as a slap in the face to Pakistan. Baloch said that harassment by the army over a few basic rights has exposed development claims in the name of exploitative projects like CPEC.

The people of Gwadar have rejected these plans and made it clear that the main objective of these projects is to gradually evict the locals and settle the Punjabis and Chinese on a large scale.

The Give Rights to Gwadar Movement is turning aggressive as the organizers have decided to block ExpressWay and all entry points on Coastal Highway to continue their protests. Balochistan Bar Council and Traders Association have also given their support to protesters.

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. (ANI)

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