Rakhshan in hundreds

Protesters Begin Long March From Mashkel To Quetta Over Pak-Iran Border Closure

Rakhshan in hundreds

Locals from the Mashkel area of Rakhshan in hundreds (near the Pakistan-Iran border) on Saturday launched a long march towards Quetta, Balochistan over the the closure of the Pak-Iran Maza Sar border crossing, calling it an essential element for their survival, a report by Dawn stated.

The long march on Sunday reached the Yakmach area of Chagai district who were welcomed by the locals. The protesters, including traders, had been staging a sit-in for the last one month in the border town Mashkel demanding the opening of Pak-Iran Maza Sar border crossing used by local people for buying food items and other essential commodities.

Reportedly, the long march was organized, after a sit-in of 30 consecutive days at Mashkel demanding the same was ignored by the Pakistani administration. Its closure has created a shortage of food items and other items of daily use. Besides, locals said the border trade was their livelihood which has also been impacted, reported Dawn.

Notably, Mashkel being a border area of Balochistan mainly depends upon cross-border trade but, the closure of the post has majorly affected the local economy.

The long march on Monday early morning finished the stretch of Yakmach to Dalbandin. Tribal leader Mir Jiand Khan Reki, participating in the long march, spoke to journalists by phone from the area and said that despite staging the sit-ins for 28 days, the government officials paid no heed and did nothing to resolve the issue.

“Despite staging several protests and strikes, the government did nothing and now we are compelled to march towards Quetta to highlight our demands. Upon reaching Quetta, we will hold a sit-in in front of the provincial assembly building,” Reki said.

The Baloch Yakjeheti Committee (BYC), a Baloch rights organisation also showed their solidarity towards the the same. The protestors will also launch a sit-in at the provincial assembly after reaching Quetta, read a statement by the BYC.

The State has set its mission to cripple the Baloch nation in every possible way, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, false allegations, border closures, and punishing, harassing, and killing people at the border. Economic suppression is also part of this systematic genocide.

The statement mentioned that, the closure of the Maza Sar crossing point since the Covid pandemic has led to severe shortages and malnutrition in the region. The sit-in’s primary demands include the reopening of the Sir crossing point and the restoration of Maza Sar and Zero Point, vital for the local economy.

The people of Mashkel are in dire need of assistance under the guise of the borderline. They have been protesting against the recent food shortages for a month, but they were not heard by any government agency. The protesters have resolved to march from Mashkel to Quetta and demand immediate action from the Balochistan Assembly, the BYC statement stated. (ANI)

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