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Gwadar protests indication of local resentment against Chinese predatory policies: Think tank

ANI | Updated: Jan 03, 2022 22:59 IST


Gwadar [Pakistan], January 3 (ANI): The recently-held Gwadar protests were an indication of resentment of local people against Chinese predatory policies in South Asia, according to a Canada-based think tank.
International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) is of the view that similar agitations could break out in places like Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Myanmar.
The protest started by Pakistan's Gwadar residents came to a halt on December 16, 2021, after the government agreed to the demands of the people protesting the illegal fishing of trawlers in Gwadar.
The major demand was to ban the illegal fishing of trawlers at the Makran Coast and to protect the rights of fishermen of Gwadar and other areas of Balochistan, reported International Forum for Rights and Security.
Pakistan's Gwadar residents staged a protest here demanding action against the trawler mafia by Pakistan and provincial governments. Led by Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-i-Islami, the people of the port city launched the 'Gwadar ko haq do' movement in November 16, 2021, according to the Dawn.

The protests were also against the mega-development plans of the port city as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. China's port project started in 2016 in Gwadar and since then it has gained international attention.
"When international media rightly highlighted these issues as stemming both, directly and indirectly, due to unregulated Chinese investment and interference in Pakistan's economy, Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement castigating these media reports as fake news," the think tank said.
"However, there is a view that the Gwadar protests could be an indication of local resentment against Chinese predatory policies in South Asia and that the day was not far off when similar agitations could take place in places like Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Myanmar, once people realize how Chinese investments were ruining their livelihoods," it added.
China has one of the world's biggest fishing industries and the domestic demand for seafood is soaring in the country and much of this demand can be fulfilled by expanding its fishing operations in distant waters.
A study by Stockholm University estimates that by 2030, China is likely to need up to 18 million tonnes of additional seafood to satisfy projected domestic consumption, which it will meet in part by expanding its distant water fishing operations, reported International Forum for Rights and Security.
Earlier, the participants started their procession, carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans in support of their demands and chanting slogans against the provincial government.
Further, the crescendo of voices demanding their rights had grown louder and the mass gathering day after day in the port city had shown no sign of dispersing before the government finally agreed to protester's demands. (ANI)

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