Prime Minister pledges to take action against ‘illegal fishing’ by trawlers – Pakistan
Noting the “legitimate demands” of Gwadar fishermen, Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged on Sunday to take action against “illegal fishing” by trawlers and would hold talks on the matter with Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo.
Prime Minister Imran’s reaction comes amid ongoing protests by hundreds of Gwadar people, including women and children, in the town. Protesters, who have been on the streets since November 16, are demanding strict measures against illegal trawling, the abolition of the token system at the Pakistan-Iran border and the removal of unnecessary security checkpoints, which impede traffic people in the region.
“I have taken note of the very legitimate demands of the diligent fishermen in Gwadar. I will take strong action against illegal fishing by trawlers and will also speak to CM Balochistan,” the prime minister said in a tweet.
Protesters alleged that authorities had duped them on behalf of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying they had not taken advantage of it despite promises to the contrary. They also want assurances to protect the livelihoods of the fishing community, who lack access to basic facilities, as their livelihoods are threatened due to illegal fishing activities.
It is pertinent to mention that in recent days, #Gwadar has been one of the main trends on Twitter, with social media users sharing photos from the protest and giving their support to the protesters.
The government of Balochistan decided on December 8 to ensure a complete ban on illegal fishing in the waters of the province and asked the Pakistan Maritime Safety Agency (PMSA) and the government of Sindh to prevent fishermen from Sindh to enter the waters of Balochistan, Dawn reported.
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary of Balochistan, Motahar Niaz Rana, to review measures taken to stop illegal fishing by foreign trawlers and fishermen from Sindh.