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HRCP calls for protection of Gwadar people’s interests

QUETTA: The secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), I.A. Rehman, has said the federal and provincial governments should remove reservations of the people of Balochistan regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and ensure protection of interests of the people of Gwadar who were associated with fishing since centuries.

An HRCP delegation comprising Mr Rehman, its central coordinator Hussain Naqi and its vice chairman for Balochistan Sardar Tahir Hussain visited the Quetta Press Club on Sunday evening and discussed the situation in Balochistan with local journalists.

On the occasion, he said the province was facing many problems, including missing persons, human rights violations, dumping of bullet-riddled bodies, unemployment, sectarianism and corruption.

Mr Rehman said that during the visit to Balochistan the HRCP delegation had met a large number of people, including representatives of political parties and the civil society, and discussed the problems of the province.

A majority of the people expressed reservations about CPEC, missing persons, increasing unemployment and non-availability of drinking water in Gwadar, among other issues.

He said that unemployment posed a big challenge as the educated youths were not getting jobs, even though there were thousands of vacant positions in various government departments.

He said the people who talked to the delegation were of the view that without paying a huge amount one could not get a job because the government officials were involved in “selling the positions”.

The people were raising a voice against human rights violations.

Referring to the issue of missing persons, the HRCP secretary general said the commission was taking up the cases of people who had gone missing. “The forcible disappearance of the people and dumping of bullet-riddled bodies should end now,” Mr Rehman said.

Talking about CPEC, he said the government had launched a massive project in Gwadar but had done nothing to provide its people with clean drinking water. “People are facing an acute shortage of drinking water,” he said, adding that the problem should have been resolved permanently long ago.

He said the government had plan­ned to turn Gwadar into a modern port city but had failed to do anything to protect fishing. He said that many old settlements had been affected by the development works at the Gwadar port. “Local people are being displaced but no alternative arrangements have been made for them,” he said.

courtesy : Dawn News

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