After 33 days, the Balochistan Ko Haq Do movement has finally come to an end after the government struck a deal with the protestors, assuring them that all of their demands will be met immediately. Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman, the leader of the movement, warned the government officials that if they reneged on their promises, he will carry out a “million march” to provincial capital Quetta within a month.
After prolonged negotiations with the government, the leaders of the Haq Do movement agreed to end their historic 33-day long protest. Chief Minister Balochistan Qudduz Bizenjo, Provincial Minister Zahoor Buledi, Syed Ahsan Shah and deputy commissioner Gwadar met with Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman and handed over the written agreement to him. The deputy commissioner read the agreement out loud for the people.
The government has accepted all of the demands of the protestors, including cracking down on the trawling mafia, eliminating unnecessary check posts and reopening the border trade with Iran.
A copy of the written agreement was posted on social media. In the agreement, the government assures the protestors that it will crackdown on the “trawler mafia” in the Baloch Sea. The government says that it will form a patrolling team comprising of government officials and local fishermen that will continuously patrol the warm waters in search of trawlers. Anyone found engaging in the illegal practice will be dealt with thoroughly. The agreement also says that the local fishermen will be free to go to sea and the locals will not be unnecessarily restricted in case of a VIP movement.
The government further agrees to reopen the border trade with Iran and abolish the infamous token system. Furthermore, the responsibility for handling the border trade will be wrested from the Frontier Corps and handed over to the district officials. The government says that it will carry out the measures within a month.
The government has also accepted one of the primary demands of the protesters: the elimination of unnecessary check-posts in Gwadar, Turbat and other areas of Kech. In the agreement, the government says that it will form a committee and carry out a survey to see whether the check posts are needed in these area. If not, then they will be immediately closed and the forces stationed there will be withdrawn.
The government has agreed to withdraw all the complaints and FIRs against the Haq Do movement participants and its leaders and assured them that no retaliatory arrests or any other measures will be taken after the protests are over.
Chief Minister Balochistan Quddus Bizenjo addressed the protestors after the deal and said that the government needs time to complete its demands. He also asked the protestors to end their protest and go home to which the protestors unanimously replied: “NO!”
Maulana Hidyatar Ur Rehman was called on the stage to announce the end of the protest. He urged the protestors to go home and wait for the government to follow its promises, but the protestors were adamant. They were not ready to go home. They said that considering the government chequered past, we don’t trust its “hollow promises.” They said that we won’t budge until we see real, palpable actions.
The protestors are yet to be calmed.