Protests erupt in Gwadar against China’s belt and road plan


NEW DELHI: The backlash against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is growing in Pakistan.
This week, protestors blocked roads, burned tyres, chanted slogans against a severe shortage of water and electricity and threats to livelihoods in Gwadar, the Guardian reported.
Gwadar, a coastal town in Balochistan, is the culmination point of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China is involved in the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea as part of a $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.
“We have been protesting and rallying against the Chinese trawlers, and shortage of water and electricity for over a month now. But the government never paid heed to our demands. We had to observe a complete shutdown strike and we were attacked by the district administration,” said Faiz Nigori, a local political worker.
Two people were injured when the authorities cracked down on the protesters in Gwadar, the report said.
A large number of Chinese experts and workers are employed in Gwadar and the surrounding areas to complete various projects under the CPEC.
In the last few months, there has been an increase in terror attacks targeting Chinese nationals in Balochistan and Karachi who are working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and for private enterprises.
A suicide bombing targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in Gwadar killed two children and wounded three on Friday, police said.
The suicide blast took place at the East Bay Road in the port of Gwadar. Chinese nationals sustained minor injuries, a police statement said
“Two children have been killed and three injured in the attack,” said Liaquat Shahwani, a spokesman for the Balochistan government.
Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant organisation, claimed responsibility for the attack.
At least 13 people, including nine Chinese, were killed in a terrorist attack in restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last month.
The bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the site of the under-construction Dasu Dam exploded on July 14. The bus fell into a deep ravine after the explosion in the Upper Kohistan district.
Pakistan had initially said the accident was caused due to technical problems and later an explosion occurred due to gas leakage. Later, it retracted from its earlier stand and acknowledged it was a terrorist attack.
Chinese nationals also came under attack in Karachi last month when they were fired upon by gunmen from a moving vehicle.
(With inputs from agencies)

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