Gwadar, the talisman of nationalist leadership part 2

Gwadar is a coastal area which was given as a trust by the Gachki chiefs of Makran to Prince Saeed of Oman on condition of his return while he was in exile in a power struggle. When Gwadar joined Pakistan in 1958, only 20,000 people living there were happy. When Federal Secretary Cabinet Agha Abdul Hameed reached Gwadar on a ship from Karachi, the fishermen there took their boats to the deep sea to receive the ship and the fishermen floated in the sea and took Agha Abdul Hameed's ship to the shore in a procession.

Gwadar, the talisman of nationalist leadership part 2
Gwadar, the talisman of nationalist leadership part 2

There was a world of happiness in the city. The people came to the house of the representative of Amman in a procession of enthusiastic dances. Documents were presented and the flag of Pakistan was hoisted there. The love of Pakistan for the chiefs of Makran, Lasbela and Kharan and their people was expressed in 1947 when the Khan of Qalat, who was the joint head of the Sarawan Jhalaran region, including these three states, announced his accession to Pakistan. After all, these three states announced their accession to Pakistan.

The coastal belt of Balochistan, which includes the cities of Gwadar, Omara, Pasni and Jwani, has long been a symbol of an ancient simple life, with fishing being the only source of livelihood for its population. Since the ocean has a global boundary, a fishing area is designated for fishermen. The West Pakistan government had designated the area three nautical miles, which was also maintained by the government of Balochistan province established in 1971. After that, the federal government issued licenses for fishing in the sea.

In 1987, the Balochistan government extended its boundaries to 12 nautical miles. One nautical mile equals approximately 1860 meters, or about two kilometers. Pakistan's international maritime boundaries are 200 nautical miles. Currently, fishing up to 12 nautical miles is the prerogative of the provincial governments, while the federal government has the authority in the second zone from 12 to 20 nautical miles and the third zone from 20 to 200 nautical miles. The sea of ​​Balochistan consists of 770 km. While the sea of ​​Sindh is 348 km long.

A total of 5,000 fishing boats are registered in Balochistan. These boats do not go very far in the sea and their nets are also of ancient style, from which the small fish or their eggs in the sea are protected. A law has been enacted since 1980 for the breeding of fish that no hunting will take place from June 1 to July 31, because during these months fish and other aquatic life lay eggs and their young grow young. As soon as these two months are over, trawlers leave Sindh for the coast of Balochistan.

The reality of Sindh's own coast is that it has been completely destroyed by these trawlers. They set up a mechanical net called a "gaju net" that pulls the eggs from the bottom of the ocean, retains the appropriate fish, and throws the dead fish and eggs back into the sea. Fearing this horrific campaign, marine life has made its way to Balochistan and India.

No one goes to India because even the slightest mistake can take them into Indian captivity. None of these trawlers are from Balochistan. Now begins the game that stretches from the Secretariat of the Balochistan Provincial Headquarters to the Baloch population of Karachi to Lyari. The trawler, which has to fish 12 km off the coast of Balochistan, contacts the agents in Lyari, who take it to the NOC from the provincial fisheries department.

The protest of Gwadar fishermen has been going on for almost thirty years. They consider the sea of ​​these 12 nautical miles as their livelihood and they know that if these trawlers keep moving here then one day this coast will be deprived of aquatic life like Sindh and like the fishing villages on the shores of Sindh. But the fishermen are extinct. The same will happen to Balochistan. After 12 nautical miles, the sea becomes so deep and noisy that it becomes very difficult to catch fish there, so the federal government has not yet issued any trailer license or NOC in its area.

The fishermen of Gwadar are well aware that the trawlers belong to the whole of Pakistan while the maritime boundaries belong to the Balochistan government and those who give N and C to the trawlers are the ministers who fought the so-called "Sahil Wo Sail" war in the name of Gwadar. Are No matter who the government is in Balochistan, to date no one has been able to get rid of their permanent legitimate and illegitimate income by revoking the licenses of trawlers.

The people of Gwadar, Pasni, Omara and Jeoni were well aware that the leaders who have not been able to stop the exploitation of trawlers for the last 30 years, if the future of Gwadar came into their hands, they would sell it at exorbitant prices. I got this impression when work started on Gwadar Port in 2000. Went there several times during these days. The Sanghar Housing Scheme had been set up on Mount Batel, the only mountain in Gwadar. There was also a small hotel. Gwadar Development Authority offices were also set up.

Who was in Sanghar Housing who did not get the plot. Both the prime ministers Benazir and Nawaz Sharif had several plots. After repeated visits and discussions with the local population of Gwadar, the impression was given that property dealers from all over the country had invaded Gwadar like vultures and were negotiating lands with the locals. Musharraf was away, a slogan was raised that the population of Balochistan is being made Red Indian. The buying and selling of slogans echoed.

Property boards across the country also went down. Meanwhile, when people from other parts of Balochistan started buying and selling there, the local population of Gwadar started buzzing that this slogan of exploitation was actually used because no one came from outside and we bought these lands cheaply. Sell ​​to property dealers across the country. This fear of the locals came true.

Under these circumstances, the locals of Gwadar are forced to think that they are like a fish in the sea to all these leaders, which the provincial, federal and international powers are fighting for. All have laid their nets. In such a situation, if he does not stand up today, then no one will stand up for his rights. That is why this time it was the first mass movement which stayed away from the nationalist politics of Balochistan and did not allow the nationalist leaders to raise their flag.

Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, the patron and religious figure of Jamaat-e-Islami, became the flag bearer of this movement. He was a native and his life and death depended on these fishermen. He knew neither world politics nor regional conflict. The sit-in started on November 15 and was attended by millions of people. For the first time after a month-long sit-in, the same demands have been accepted which are 100 per cent related to the local population of Gwadar.

For the first time, the end of fishing, which is terribly hostile to aquatic life, has been thought of. Unnecessary check posts which used to tarnish the self-esteem of the people of Gwadar have been promised to be abolished. There is only one lesson of this movement of Gwadar. If the people unite for their own interests then no national, provincial, regional or ethnic leader can bargain for their interests.


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