After a break of eleven months, Haq Do Tehreek led by Maulana Hidayat resumed its protest in Gwadar
After a break of eleven months, Haq Do Tehreek (HDT), led by Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, Secretary General Balochistan of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), resumed its sit-in against Chief Minister Mir Qudoos Bizenjo in Gwadar town, because the latter had not carried out the 11-point charter of demands agreed upon with the former in December.
“We have waited for 11 long months for our demands to be implemented, but the chief minister failed to implement them except by taking some small steps for the border trade with Iran and illegal fishing in Balochistan territorial water as eye wash,” Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman said speaking to Bol News.
He said that after a few months, the people of the area started facing problems in border areas while all the corrupt people in the Fisheries department and other concerned organisations were posted, adding that the people of the fishing mafia from Sindh have been placed in Gwadar, and the racket of “Bhatha Khoori” is at its peak at the cost of the poor fishermen of Gwadar.
Maulana was otherwise a common man and was known as a JI worker. He ascended to the peak of fame when he mobilised the people of Gwadar and adjoining towns in December last year, raising his voice over illegal fishing of big trawlers from Sindh with the connivance of the government of Balochistan, issues on the border, security check points and problems of local fishermen.
After marathon meetings with the chief secretary and other officials, CM Bizenjo accepted all 11 demands of HDT and reached a written agreement promising to implement these demands within a month. Before the new sit-in, the government of Balochistan representatives and civil administration held three meetings with Maulana Hidayat and his colleagues, seeking time for implementation over the demands, but the latter announced the protest while refusing the government’s request to delay the protest for a month. However, the government removed the Secretary of Fisheries, Babar Khan, and Director General Tariq-ur-Rahman, and posted new officers.
The HDT demands include, stopping illegal fishing in the Balochistan area; transfer of all corrupt officials of the Fisheries department from Gwadar, and action in future against responsible ones if illegal trawlers are found in illegal fishing; joint patrolling to check for illegal fishing; devising a plan for close coordination between Fisheries department and representatives of local fishermen; taking up the suggestion of extension of Balochistan territorial waters from 12 to 30 nautical mile to proper forum; and free movement of local fishermen in the sea.
In addition to this, the demands included, abolishing border trade unions or committees; restoration of border trade in accordance with the rules and regulations devised by the district administration; transfer of all border trade regulation powers from the Frontier Corps to the civil administration; bringing token, messaging, listing, tagging, etc. systems to an end and implementation within a month.
Furthermore, the HDT also demanded the constitution of a joint committee for conducting a survey of security check posts in all three districts of Gwadar, Kech, and Punjgoor and the removal of them in the light of its recommendations; a special package for the local fishermen; compensation for the affected people by the construction of the expressway; withdrawal of cases against HDT leaders and workers and the removal of the name of Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rahman from the fourth schedule; compensation to fishermen affected by the recent storm; implementation of job quotas for special persons; keeping the sanctity of “Chadar and Chardevari” throughout Makran; provision of firm assurances of no action against the leaders and workers of HDT; and release of fishing boats and launches of fishermen and vehicles impounded by Pakistan’s Customs and Coast Guards.
Maulana Hidayat held a sit-in on Thursday (Oct. 27) at Wahi Chowk along with thousands of people, including women, and issued an ultimatum that if the Balochistan government further fails to implement these demands within the next three days, they will announce their future line of action, including the blockade of CPEC projects and Gwadar port. Delivering a harsh speech, Maulana, who otherwise is a fiery speaker, burst out against Chief Minister Bizenjo for his inability to make any progress regarding the demands.
He said that Bizenjo promised in the first phase of protest last year that he would fulfil these demands within one month, but failed to do so for eleven months. He alleged that Bizenjo is a corrupt person, incompetent, and powerless chief minister who sleeps the whole day while a notorious person belonging to the land mafia, Ali Hassan Brohi (Zahri), runs the affairs of the government. He said that Chief Secretary Balochistan also dances to the tune of others, having no interest in resolving the issues of the people of the province.
He added the 32-day long sit-in for the rights of local people gave awareness to the people of the area, particularly the youth, to stop paying visits to the drawing rooms of affluent and influential people who sat in the assemblies for decades but did nothing and lived an honourable life to become the master of their destinies. He said that disabled people are not those who have no eyes or limbs, but those who are devoid of courage.
Maulana also asked the people to boycott the main stream media for their disregard of the issues of Balochistan and its people, as TV channels and newspapers are pursuing anti-Baloch policies. He said these TV channels do not want to show to the people of other parts of the country the plights of the Baloch people. He also threatened that in the coming days the people would stop the cable network in Makran and other areas in protest against the attitude of the mainstream media.
The illegal fishing mafia has become so strong that it can replace the fisheries ministers and department officials at any time on the basis of money. The members of this racket pay money even to local leaders of political parties and NGO personnel, besides local administration and concerned people. The people sitting in the CM’s secretariat, including Ali Hassan Zahri, the husband of BAP Senator Sameena Mumtaz, Jameel Bizenjo, the brother of the CM, and some MPAs, are running the affairs of the Fisheries department.
According to the Fisheries department officials, 1500 to 2000 trawlers from Karachi are allowed to fish illegally in 12 nautical miles (Balochistan territorial water) with modern gadgets once a month. This also destroys the marine life, and each trawler pays Rs 3 million per month.
In December’s last protest, the CM Bizenjo, who was surrounded by contactors and traders, was forced by Islamabad to visit Gwadar and engage Maulana Hidayat. This time, however, the chief minister sent his representatives to seek time for implementation and persuade Maulana to not stage a protest, avoiding making direct contact with the protestors.
Maulana, who challenged the local political parties and became the crowd puller through the protests, has obtained majority seats in recently held local body elections by defeating the political parties. He is predicted to become a member of the provincial or national assembly in the plate form of Haq Do Tehreek in the next general elections.