Pakistan on Tuesday witnessed massive protests in its port city of Gwada on the southwestern coast of Balochistan against the ongoing Chinese investments on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, ANI reported. Pakistanis shouted the anti-China and anti-Imran Khan slogans as they condemned the Pakistani Prime Minister-led government for allowing $60 billion worth of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as they argued that the initiative will strip them off their livelihood and create the acute shortage of electricity and water within the region. Local fishermen also protested against belligerent acts of Chinese trawlers that devoid them of fishing. Protests, organised by the political parties, civil rights activists, fishermen, have been ongoing for weeks at the Y Chowk on Port Road in Gwadar, a coastal town in the restive Southwest Balochistan province of Pakistan.
It is to mention that CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction through out Pakistan staring in 2013. The value of CPEC, which was originally valued at $47 billion, is worth $62 billion as of now.
Pakistan’s government ‘not concerned,’ allege protesters, Pak PM says ‘will continue to support Chinese businesses’
Asserting their demands to the Imran Khan led government, the protesters stated that the Islamabad government must scrap unnecessary security check posts, ensure the availability of drinking water and electricity, and prevent the eviction of big fishing trawlers from Makran coast and opening of the border with Iran from Panjgur to Gwadar, a report carried by Jang newspaper revealed. Speaking with the local Pakistani outlets, the Head of the ‘Give rights to Gwadar’ rally Maulana Hidayat ur Rehman said that the Pakistan’s government has not been concerned about the demand of the citizens and must focus on meeting demands of the protesters. Else, he added, the demonstrations will continue. Rehman stressed criticising the Imran Khan government.
However, in his statement earlier Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan clarified that his government would “continue to support Chinese businesses in Pakistan”. Furthermore he said that the issues will be resolved immediately related to the road connectivity and provision of utilities being faced by investors from China. He, although did not speak about halting the project altogether as demanded by the protesters, PTI reported.