Pakistan: Maulana Hidayatur Rehman warns Chinese nationals to leave Gwadar Port
Pakistan: Maulana Hidayatur Rehman warns Chinese nationals to leave Gwadar Port Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Balochistan, Pakistan: Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, the leader of the Gwadar Rights Movement, has warned Chinese nationals to leave the Gwadar port area, according to The Maritime Executive. Rehman warned Chinese citizens living in Gwadar that if the government “ignores” their peaceful protests, the public has the right to “pick up and use weapons” to protect their rights.

According to the news, protesters in Balochistan have used Chinese nationals as a “negotiating chip” to ensure their demands are met. As per the Al Arabiya Post, citing The Asian Lite International, Maulana Hidayat Rehman’s recent call to vacate Gwadar was for the less than 500 Chinese residents.


Problems have plagued Balochistan as a result of Chinese presence and ‘complete neglect’ by the Pakistani government. The lack of development and economic growth in the Gwadar port has resulted in a “ground swell of anti-China feeling,” with locals recently asking Chinese nationals to leave within a week, according to the Al Arabiya Post.

According to the news report, Pakistan’s biggest challenge right now is ensuring that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) does not collapse as a keystone of CPEC is under construction in Gwadar port in Balochistan. Protests over the expansion of Gwadar port, an important asset for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, have escalated, potentially affecting economic ties between China and Pakistan, according to Al Arabiya Post, citing the Maritime Executive.

Similar protests led by Maulana Hidayatur Rehman last year lasted more than 32 days. He urged the government to address their concerns, which the protesters have yet to resolve. According to the news, locals in Balochistan are treated as ‘aliens,’ while citizens of China earn good wages, denying local employment. During the third week of December protests, Maulana Hidayatur Rehman reportedly warned Chinese nationals to leave Gwadar within a week. Protesters have been blocking Gwadar’s port entrance and the Gwadar East Bay Expressway, which connects the port to Pakistan’s main highway network, for about two months.

Protesters have demanded that security checkpoints in Gwadar should be reduced and that deep-sea-trawling be prohibited. According to the Al Arabiya Post, they have also asked the government to relax restrictions on informal border trading with Iran. Since 2021, nationals of China have been the terror attacks target in Pakistan.