ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is witnessing widespread protests from Gilgit-Baltistan in the north to Gwadar port city in the south with people taking their discontent with the regime to the streets, reported Asian Lite. The report underlined all the protests that the country has been struggling with. In Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) the protests are against Pakistan’s regime-led land acquisition, which was done for the project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Adding to this, the Asian Lite report quoted from Pamir Times in which Engineer Abid Tashi wrote about the state people facing power cut issues from the last three to four decades. In the South, there are sit-in protests in Waziristan despite talks being held between tribal leaders and the government. With the failure of talks the protests that continued from January 10 has urged the government to take action against terrorists.
Due to the protest, traffic movement was stopped and over 8000 shops remained closed, according to the Asian Lite report. In Gwadar port city protests held under the Gwadar Rights Movement leader, Maulana Hidayatur Rahman have demanded that Chinese ships leave the port area, The Asian Lite report said citing the Maritime Executive report.
Further, the protestors have also announced that if the regime keeps ignoring these ongoing peace protests then the protestors will pick up weapons. The Gwadar port protest under Rehman is highlighting local grievances of fishermen. All the way from fishermen`s rights to the share of resources to adequate power and drinking water for the people. Entire families have joined the protest. And these protestors also want the government to ease the restrictions on informal trade with Iran.
The Asian Lite report further claims that while these demands are not directly linked to Chinese projects in Gwadar, experts argue that many locals believe the CPEC is part of the problem. In addition to this all over Pakistan Chinese citizens who work under the CPEC have been facing threats from various terrorist groups in Pakistan. As a result China has been requesting assurances from Pakistan`s regime for the safety of its citizens, according to the same Asian Lite report.
The CPEC in China began work in 2015 but the local resistance has increasingly reduced its pace and further slowed due to former prime minister Imran Khan’s friction with China although the current government looks forward to reviving it again, The Asian Lite report cited a Maritime Executive report. Amid all this, the current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is busy fighting with Khan and the economic crisis and has little to no time to tackle these long-neglected issues of the people and is busy using force to control things that get out of control, the publication reported.
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