Gwadar tense after cop dies in protests against China’s projects in Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 28 (EFE).- Tensions were high in the coastal town of Gwadar on Wednesday, a day after a police officer was killed during a demonstration against Chinese investment projects in Pakistan’s volatile Baluchistan region.

Farah Azeem, a provincial government spokesperson, blamed the officer’s death on the head of a local rights organization. The cop died after being shot in the neck.

According to the spokesperson, the government is considering charging the accused activist, Hidayat ur Rehman.

Rehman has been leading thousands of protesters in the Gwadar port city for over two months.

Gwadar is at the heart of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

The protesters accuse the federal government of overruling their concerns over the project that is known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Azeem told EFE that the situation turned ugly on Tuesday when police constable Yasir Saeed was fired at “by the protesters and a bullet hit his neck.”

The policeman died in a Gwadar hospital.

The spokesperson said the provincial government has directed the police to file a case against Rehman.

The activist claimed that police resorted to violence and fired at peaceful protesters on Tuesday.

He said the two months of protests bore testimony to the fact that the demonstrations had been peaceful.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Gwadar on Tuesday to demonstrate against the $60 billion flagship Chinese project.

Authorities allegedly snapped the electricity supply and mobile networks in the city.

The police have been trying to disperse the protesters since Monday morning.

Some videos circulated on social media Tuesday showed people running amid gunshot sounds.

Demonstrators tried to gather again on Wednesday morning, but the police dispersed them, a Gwadar police officer told EFE on condition of anonymity.

The protesters have been demonstrating in the city for nearly two months, demanding to end illegal trawling in Gwadar’s water, eliminate security checkpoints, and open up trade on the Pakistan-Iran border.

They also demand a clean drinking water supply. EFE


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