indianarrative

Pakistan rushes more troops to Balochistan as rights movement spreads wings

Pakistan-soldiers-Peshawar.webp

File photo of Pakistani Army soldiers (Photo: Xinhua/Ahmad Sidique/IANS)

The Balochistan government is sending an additional 5,500 security riot personnel to port city Gwadar in view of the popular protests against the basic rights and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The protests under the banner of Gwadar Ko Haq Do movement have spread from Gwadar to other parts of Balochistan like Turbat, Pishkan, Zamran, Buleda, Ormara and Pasni, covering the entire Makran coast. Moreover, the movement gained momentum with women and traders joining the rallies and sit-ins.

Geopolitical analyst, Mark Kinra told India Narrative that on one side "ministers in the Balochistan government are holding talks with Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, while on the other side, the government's actions are not adding up to a peaceful resolution but an aggressive one".

He explains that the government is trying to resolve the Gwadar protests but is not coherent in its actions. 

"On 24th November 2021, two demands by the protestors were fulfilled and two others were partially met but on 27th November, the Balochistan Governor issued the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2021, prohibiting the holding of rallies and processions on roads, highways and streets. Violators could be arrested without any arrest warrant and sent to jail from three to six months with a fine of Rs 10,000".

In the latest move by the government, the Dawn newspaper reports that the Balochistan's Central Police Office has called for additional police forces in Gwadar as the protests have stretched into the third week.

Kinra says that with the deployment of additional policemen, a pattern seems to be emerging in the government's response to the movement. "Both--the ordinance and bringing in additional police, conveys clearly that both the provincial government and Islamabad are in no way thinking of accepting more demands by the protestors. Pakistan is walking the talk of Beijing which has already termed the Gwadar protests as fake news".

He adds that the move to call in reinforcements in Gwadar "proves that Pakistan is not interested in providing basic rights and livelihoods to the people of Gwadar".

The Gwadar rights movement has caught the attention of China which described international media reports on the issue as "fake news" in an effort to sow disharmony between Pakistan and China.

The Balochistan Post quotes Khalil Baloch, the Baloch National Movement (BNM) Chairman as alleging that Pakistan plans to settle Chinese nationals and Pakistani Punjabi communities in Balochistan in an effort to shift the demographic balance of the region. He also said that the local people are being relocated out of Gwadar.