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Baluchistan: Numerous protesters carried out a protest rally in the port city of Gwadar on Sunday and threatened to block China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) if the demands to ban illegal trawling in Gwadar and eliminate unnecessary checkpoints, among several other issues are not met.

Hundreds of children were also a part of the protests and reached Gwadar from Turbat, Pasni and other areas of the Gwadar district, carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands as they marched through the streets carrying placards, Dawn reported.

The protesters also chanted slogans opposing the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) projects and the harm they are causing in the region as well as for locals.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), launched in April 2015 was supposed to turn around Pakistan’s economy. Despite all such rhetoric in public from the leadership in both countries that it will lift ordinary Pakistanis from poverty, the CPEC is yet to deliver on its promises.

The Chinese projects are apparently causing the dislocation of the Balochi people from their settlements. For instance, fishermen living in some of the oldest neighbourhoods of Gwadar for centuries are now rehabilitated to the north of Gwadar, Noken Mullah Band. Many view this as a plan to coerce the locals to leave the area.

In July 2022, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, the chief of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) in a video message urged China to stop CPEC projects in Balochistan as it has forcibly displaced lakhs of indigenous people and destroyed their property.

Despite Chinese investments, Baluchistan remains extremely poor with no proper health facilities, education, housing, or even clean drinking water.

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