Balochistan [Pakistan]: Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, leader of the Gwadar Rights Movement, has cautioned Chinese nationals to evacuate the Gwadar port area.
Rehman cautioned Chinese nationals dwelling in Gwadar that if the government disregards their peaceful demonstrations, they are entitled to resort to arms in order to safeguard their interests. As reported, Chinese nationals have been utilized as a ‘bargaining power’ by Balochistan protestors to ensure that their demands are met.
As per the reports, Maulana Hidayat Rehman’s call was made to leave Gwadar for the 500 Chinese residing there.
Balochistan has experienced difficulties due to the Chinese involvement and the Pakistani government’s complete disregard for the region. Due to the lack of economic growth and development associated with Chinese colonialism in the Gwadar port, a “ground swell of anti-China feeling” has grown, leading to locals demanding that Chinese nationals leave within a week.
And currently, the biggest challenge for Pakistan is to ensure that the Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will remain safe as the keystone of CPEC is under construction in Gwadar port in Balochistan.
Demonstrations against the growth of Gwadar port, a key component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, are intensifying, potentially jeopardizing the economic relationship between China and Pakistan, according to the reports.
In 2022, a protest by Maulana Hidayatur Rehman lasted for 32 days, and he also urged the government to take action on this issue, which was impossible for the protesters to sort out.
Reports of media also depict that Balochistan’s local citizens are treated like aliens; on the other hand, Chinese people are getting good salaries.
Maulana Hidayatur Rehman reportedly advised Chinese nationals to evacuate Gwadar within a week due to the protests that have been taking place for two months. The demonstrators have been blocking the entrance to the port and the Gwadar East Bay Expressway, a major link between the port and Pakistan’s main highway system.
Protesters have demanded that the government reduce security checkpoints in Gwadar, terminate deep-sea trawling, and relax restrictions on informal trading with Iran, as reported.
Additionally, they have called for increased safety measures to protect Chinese citizens in Pakistan in light of the terror attacks that have occurred since 2021.