Women protested in Turbat against forced labor of drivers by Pakistani army on Goldsmid’s border which separates Western Balochistan from Eastern Balochistan.
Women staged a sit-in at Shaheed Fida Chowk in Balochistan’s Kech District on Wednesday, closing all business centers and traffic was suspended in the city. The protest was held against harassment of oil traders and unwarranted round-up of vehicles by Pakistani forces.
According to women participating in the sit-in, “our husbands and brothers bring oil and other food items from Iran to feed their children.”
They said that FC officials sometimes force the owners of these vehicles to do forced labor on the border, sometimes their vehicles are confiscated in the name of tax.
“Our children have not returned home for 21 days, FC personnel are forcing them to work,” said a woman participating in the sit-in protest.
They appealed to the Baloch parties to be their voice. According to them, they have been protesting in Turbat before but have never been heard.
The women participating in the protest said that we should be given the same rights as Pakistan does business and trade with its neighbouring countries. “Our people are being treated worse than the enemy,” they said.
It may be recalled that earlier in May this year, 6 oil traders were allegedly killed by Pakistani forces in Apsi Kahen village of Tump in Balochistan’s Kech district.
All those killed by the forces were from western Balochistan who used to trade petrol and diesel in the border area, local sources said.
It is to mention that Balochistan is divided by Goldsmid line between Iran and Pakistan. The habitants on both sides of the border belong to Baloch ethnic group and due to the poverty, lack of facilities and other opportunities people from the both sides rely on trading goods.