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Article

20 Aug 2021

Author:
Shah Meer Baloch, The Guardian

Pakistan: Protests against China’s Belt and Road break out in Gwadar

"Protests in Pakistan erupt against China’s belt and road plan", 20 August 2021

Protests have erupted in Pakistan’s port city Gwadar against a severe shortage of water and electricity and threats to livelihoods, part of a growing backlash against China’s multibillion-dollar belt and road projects in the country.

This week, demonstrators including fishers and other local workers blocked the roads in Gwadar, a coastal town in Balochistan. They burned tyres, chanted slogans and largely shut down the city, to demand water and electricity and a stop to Chinese trawlers illegally fishing in the nearby waters and then taking the fish to China. Two people were injured when the authorities cracked down on the protesters.

On Friday a suicide bomber killed two children, in an attack on Chinese nationals driving along the main expressway to the port, according to a senior Pakistani official. [...]

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which like other militant groups in the region accuses Chinese of exploiting Balochistan’s mineral resources, and has previously attacked Chinese nationals and the Chinese consulate in Karachi.

This week’s protests had been largely peaceful. [...]

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