A top politician from Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province has demanded that the government make public all agreements signed with China on the Gwadar port and the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Akhtar Jan Mengal who heads the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) told a public meeting in Gwadar that the rights of the Baloch people were being “usurped” in the name of development and they were being treated like “slaves”.
“We want to know all details of the CPEC and other agreements signed by the rulers regarding Gwadar,” he said.
“I demand that all agreements be made public,” he said adding that “whenever we ask for Balochistan’s share in the CPEC project we are told that they are constructing an airport in Gwadar,” he said.
“Our rulers are pleading the case of Kashmir but not paying any attention to problems being faced by the people of other provinces, including Balochistan, where people are deprived of even basic amenities,” Mengal said, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper.
Mengal said that it was important to pass legislation to protect the people of Balochistan and not let them become a minority in Gwadar city.
He said the party will not withdraw from its struggle for the achievement of legitimate rights for the people of Balochistan, protection of its coast and resources.
Mengal said the Pakistan government are trying to snatch the sea from local fishermen who have been using it to earn their bread and butter for centuries.
He said that Balochistan had been producing gas since 1952 for the entire country, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, but was itself deprived of it.
He said Gwadar was a gateway to the CPEC and the ambitious project was signed because of the port but the people of the city had been deprived of even drinking water and the government had done nothing to resolve the issue.