Protest in Gwadar: ‘Won’t stop until we have peace’: Maulana Hidayat tells WION about the protest in Gwadar
Tens of thousands of men, women and children have gathered in Gwadar, Pakistan for the past month to protest against the Chinese presence in the country. China is developing the main port and leading the infrastructure projects.
For months now, locals have been complaining that the Chinese authorities assign the corresponding jobs to outside workers, leaving residents unemployed and struggling to earn money.
Angered by this and the “trawler mafia”, Maulana Hidayat, the man at the head of the Gwadar sit-in and general secretary of Jammat-e-Islami in Balochistan, told WION that this time the inhabitants are ready to die for this cause because they think that “it is better to die once” than to struggle to survive on a daily basis.
When asked if Prime Minister Imran Khan had reached out to the protesters (as he mentioned in a tweet a few hours ago), Hidayat said that these protests were not made for the Prime Minister notices. “Noticing will not fill the stomachs of us poor people. After the notification, I will see, will the government work on the issues after noticing, then we will decide,” he said.
He also accused the government of being involved in the “trawler mafia”. “The administration is about taking and giving things from/to the Trawler Mafia. The government is also involved. I have been protesting for 29 days and the government has failed to eliminate the trawler mafia. So this tells me that the trawler mafia belongs to the administration and the government,” Hidayat charged.
This time, the locals are ready to continue the protests until their demands are met, especially those related to the border and trawler mafia. “It’s 60-year-old misery, people are burning from within,” Hidayat said, speaking on behalf of the protesters. “They are ready to die and lift corpses. They won’t get up from here anyway because they say they die every day. The protesters believe it is better to die once. C it is the fire within that makes us.”
Read also | Why are the people of Gwadar in Pakistan protesting against the Chinese? Here’s what we know
He accused Imran Khan’s government of neglecting the people and enriching the rich and letting the poor suffer in their daily hardships. “The regional and central administration have no time to come to us and show empathy and work to alleviate the miserable lives of people. Instead, they indulge in their luxury and debauchery If this is the treatment we are going to receive from the administration, then the lava that will erupt in the coming times will be unbearable,” he warned the Pakistani administration.
“I ask the federal and regional administration to take our demands and our situation seriously. So far, we have been peaceful and democratic in our demonstrations, but in the future, if this behavior continues on the part of the administration, in the face of coming demonstrations, inchallah, it would be so dangerous and horrible, that everything would be set on fire, just like our burning hearts.”