Islamabad [Pakistan], September 17 (ANI): Hundreds of thousands of people, including workers and supporters of the National Party, Haq Do Tehreek, and other parties, held a protest rally and staged a sit-in in the Turbat area of Pakistan’s Balochistan against the ban on trade activities at the Pakistan-Iran border areas on Saturday, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.
While carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands, party leaders, workers and supporters marched in Turbat town. National Party leaders led the protesters and chanted slogans against the government.
After marching in the town, the protesters held a sit-in on the main road of Turbat town, where the leaders from different political parties addressed the protesters, according to the Dawn report. They strongly condemned the ban on trade activities that the government has called a measure against smuggling.
A strongly worded resolution was adopted at the protest rally and public meeting. In the resolution, they called the ban “a conspiracy against the people of Balochistan”. They called on the Pakistan caretaker government to review its decision and immediately restore border trade with Iran, Dawn reported.
In the resolution, they said that calling the supply of Iranian oil from the Balochistan border ‘smuggling’ was not supported by facts. The resolution stated, “All transporters operating at the Pakistan-Iran border were registered with the Frontier Corps and local administration, and they crossed into Iran with the permission of the authorities concerned.”
It further said that people arranged thousands of vehicles after their registration as it was a legal trade. The leaders of the protesting parties complained about the sudden change in the government’s stance, calling the ‘legal supply’ of Iranian oil and other items illegal. They demanded that the government should review its policy and allow the border trade.
While addressing a press conference, the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami) President Mir Asadullah Baloch said that the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of families depended on border trade and its closure would not be accepted at any cost.
Baloch announced a strike in the Makran region on September 21. He further said that the Pakistan caretaker government’s role was to hold a free and fair election and it had no mandate to close the border, according to the Dawn report.
Baloch said, “An elected government, comprising public representatives, has the right to take any decision in this regard,” adding that the people of Makran would not accept such a decision. He criticised the caretaker government’s decision for not taking measures to control the rising prices of essential items in Pakistan. (ANI)
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