LAHORE: Having closely followed the recent mass demonstrations in Gwadar, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said it is now imperative for the state to shed its policy of relegating Balochistan to second-class status. “HRCP deplores the violence that left one policeman martyred during the recent protests, also urges the provincial government to protect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly by focusing on effective methods of crowd control,” it said in a statement on Monday.
“In the medium term, however, the onus is on the provincial government to negotiate with the protestors and give their demands a fair hearing. Their legitimate grievances
centre on demands that any citizen of Pakistan has a right to make: the right to security, freedom of movement and peaceful assembly, access to clean water, education and healthcare, an end to enforced disappearances, and economic opportunities and livelihoods. Moreover, the unofficial media blackout of Balochistan and its problems must end given the attention they have long merited,” the statement concluded.