State must heed Gwadar’s legitimate grievances 

Lahore, January 02, 2023 (PPI-OT):Having closely followed the recent mass demonstrations in Gwadar, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) believes it is now imperative for the state to shed its tacit policy of relegating Balochistan to second-class status.

While HRCP deplores the violence that left one policeman dead during the recent protests, we also urge the provincial government to protect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly by refraining from mass arrests and use of force, and focusing instead on more effective methods of crowd control. In the medium term, however, the onus is on the provincial government to negotiate with the protestors and give their demands a fair hearing.

Their legitimate grievances – which are not new – centre on demands that any citizen of Pakistan has a right to make: the right to security of person, freedom of movement and peaceful assembly, access to clean water, education and healthcare, an end to enforced disappearances, and greater economic opportunities and livelihoods. Moreover, the unofficial media blackout of Balochistan and its problems must end and the region’s problems given the attention they have long merited.

For more information, contact:
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)
Aiwan-i-Jamhoor, 107-Tipu Block,
New Garden Town, Lahore-54600
Tel: +92-42-35864994
Fax: +92-42-35883582