In news– Since November 2021, there have been continuous protests in Gwadar, Balochistan against mega-development plans of the port city as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC).
About the project-
- The port development at Gwadar is perhaps the single most strategically important project of the CPEC, and Chinese involvement there predates the CPEC by at least a decade.
- Ever since, Baloch nationalists have been angry at their exclusion, and separatist insurgent groups like the Baloch Liberation Army and others have targeted Chinese interests in and around Gwadar.
- As per the Gwadar Ko Huqooq Do Tehreek (Give Rights to Gwadar Movement), there have been marginalisation of the local people in the development of the port.
- The protesters have demanded that more people from Gwadar should be employed by the Chinese company developing the port.
- It also demanded that the government should crack down on foreign “trawler mafia” who are stripping the Gwadar Sea of its marine resources.
India has been concerned that Gwadar, which gives China strategic access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, is not just being developed as a trade entrepot but as a dual purpose port for use by PLAN (the Chinese Navy) and is intended to expand Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region alongside Kyaukpyu in Myanmar and Hambantota in Sri Lanka.
- It is among the least developed even though it is the most resource-rich of Pakistan’s four provinces.
- The main means of livelihood for people in the region is fishing.
- It has the lowest access to drinking water, electricity, and even the gas that is the main resource of the region.
Further reading- https://journalsofindia.com/china-pakistan-economic-corridorcpec/