Pakistan lawmakers discuss Gwadar protests in Senate, denounce rights violations in Balochistan

Islamabad [Pakistan], February 8 (ANI): The issue of protests and sit-ins led by the Haq Do Tehreek (HDT) in Pakistan’s Gwadar was raised in Pakistan’s Senate on Monday. Pakistani lawmakers in Senate denounced the rights violations in Balochistan, The Express Tribune reported. Protests led by Haq Do Tehreek chief Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman have been witnessed in Gwadar for the past year for being denied basic facilities, including healthcare, electricity, and clean drinking water.

In the session presided over by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Mushtaq Ahmed condemned the violation of basic human rights and lamented that more than 18 cases have been registered against the movement’s leader whose charter has gained popularity among the people, as per The Express Tribune report.

On Monday, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan said addressing the Gwadar issues was primarily the provincial government’s responsibility, as per the news report. He made the remarks while holding the discussion on the motion presented by Senator Kamran Murtaza and Mushtaq Ahmed on the recent situation of protests in Gwadar City.

Gwadar has been witnessing protests on alleged illegal trawling in the sea, a high number of security checkpoints operating in and around the city and trade on the Pakistan-Iran Border impacting the residents of Gwadar, as per the news report.

During the session, Shahadat Awan said that local issues other than security or law and order were linked to the provincial government. He stated that the demands of small fishermen in Gwadar were fair. He said that Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif created a special committee to contain trawling.

"On November 21, 2021, the former prime minister created a special committee to contain trawling. However, on December 26, 2022, the Balochistan government requested the interior ministry to control the law and order situation that was aggravated after the death of a police constable," The Express Tribune reported Shahadat Awan as saying.

Earlier, Pakistan Senator Mushtaq Ahmed while presenting the motion informed the house that Gwadar’s Haq Do Tehreek was a just protest in resistance to the mishandling of the stakeholders, persecution of women, children, elderly, and others for raising the demand for their fundamental rights, The Express Tribune reported.

"The Constitutions Articles 16, 17 and 19 allow the countrymen freedom of assembly, association and expression respectively. The locals of Gwadar are being deprived of all these. The Haq Do Tehreek leader Moulana Hidayatur Rehman held three sit-ins to draw the attention of the provincial government," The Express Tribune quoted Mushtaq Ahmed as saying.

Pakistan Senator Ahmed said the Tehreek earlier presented 42-point demands to the Chief Minister pertaining to education, health, border trade, missing persons, water availability and others and termed them legal. Pakistan Senator Tahir Bizejo called on the House to take serious note of the situation in Gwadar, as per the news report.

"Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Qudus Bizenjo had agreed to the demands of the Tehreek but was not implemented afterwards," The Express Tribune quoted Ahmed as saying. (ANI)