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Balochistan leader warns Imran Khan government over fishermen rights and CPEC projects

New Delhi, Dec 25, 2021- Maulana Hidayatur Rehman Baloch, the leader of the ‘Give Rights to Gwadar’ movement has warned Pakistan that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and resources of Balochistan rightfully belong to the local people.

Addressing Baloch fishermen in Ormara, he said that nobody would be allowed to rob resources from the Balochistan sea as these belong to the local fishermen. Maulana Baloch was referring to the Chinese commercial fishing trawlers that have been cleaning out fisheries from the Arabian Sea.

He also referred to the fencing being done by the Pakistan Navy, saying: “From now on, if the Pakistan Navy builds a fence, it will have to ask the people of Ormara or else we will cut the fence and destroy it,” reported the Dawn newspaper.

The Pakistani government has fenced off portions where China is building naval or CPEC projects. The local people have been protesting against Chinese projects as these have cut off their access to the sea and have curbed their movement even within Balochistan. The Baloch people also resent that jobs at CPEC projects are not coming their way and are being offered to Chinese nationals instead.

Speaking with India Narrative, Geopolitical analyst Mark Kinra said: “Maulana Hidayatur Rehman is back in the limelight after his partially successful Gwadar Ko Haq Do Tehreek movement. He is not going away from the scene as his agreement with the Balochistan government for the rights of Baloch people have fallen flat as trawlers are still visible in Balochistan waters and businessmen are protesting against bribes and illegal checkpoints.”

Capitalising on regional dissatisfaction among the people of Balochistan, Maulana Baloch said: “Resources of the province are ours, Balochistan is ours, CPEC is ours, the beach is ours and Gwadar Port is also ours.”

Kinra adds that the Maulana, who is a local Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader, plans another protest from December 28 against drug menace in the Makran region. “During the Ormara rally he talked about ownership of CPEC with the people but clearly that was not part of his agreement with the government. He even challenged the Pakistan Navy not to fence any part without the permission of the people but this challenge is an empty threat as was of enforced disappearances,” Kinra says.

The ‘Give Rights to Gwadar’ leader warned the Balochistan chief minister with staging a massive sit-in with one million people in Quetta if their demands are not met. Maulana Baloch said: “Our struggle will continue till all check-posts of security forces are removed and illegal fishing in Balochistan sea waters by trawlers was stopped.” (Agency)

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