Gwadar farm fencing: China and Pakistan’s surveillance tool

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gwadar fencing
Representative Photo

Baloch student and nationalist groups have strongly condemned the construction of barriers by Pak forces on agricultural lands in Gwadar, as it an attempt to displace local farmers from their ancestral lands.

In a statement, the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) said the fencing of agricultural fields by Army is causing immense distress to farmers who depend on these lands for their livelihood. It cited these actions as evidence of Balochistan being under “occupation” of the Pak Army.

The BSO explained that a project labeled the ‘Safe City Project’ was launched in Gwadar in recent years to hasten the exploitation of the area. Initially involving barricading the entire city, it was suspended following resistance from Baloch political groups.

However, the Army has now resumed erecting barricades around a particular section of Gwadar, citing “security” reasons. This section includes vital agricultural fields sustaining local farmers’ livelihoods.

“Gwadar’s puppet representative was present at the meeting where this egregious decision was made and is actively supporting it. The BSO has issued a warning to officials to cease the project or face mobilization against it.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Baloch Yakjehti Committee also expressed deep concern over the fencing. BYC said that this “colonial project” aimed at displacing indigenous populations. The spokesperson said protests and a resistance movement against the fencing would soon be announced.

They highlighted the allocation of 50 million rupees in the 2020-21 federal budget for fencing Gwadar, which was initially halted but is now being revived by the Balochistan’s puppet authority.

The planned fencing of 24 sq km in Gwadar, a key area under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with over 500 surveillance cameras and two entry points has raised fears of increased surveillance and control over locals.

The much-hyped infrastructure projects that the Chinese promised at the cost of the Baloch community have fallen short; locals grapple with basics like clean water and electricity.

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