77-Year-Old Political Worker Arrested On Charges Of Sedition For Speech At Gwadar Protest

77-Year-Old Political Worker Arrested On Charges Of Sedition For Speech At Gwadar Protest
Gwadar police have arrested 77-year-old Awami Workers Party (AWP) worker Yousuf Mastikhan, who is a cancer patient, on charges of sedition for delivering a speech 'against state institutions' at the ongoing protest in Gwadar.

 A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Mastikhan in which the complainant alleged that he heard Mastikhan deliver an inciting speech against the state, armed forces, and intelligence agencies. The complaint quoted Mastikhan as saying that Balochistan was forcibly made part of Pakistan in 1947 and that the state considered the people of Balochistan to be ‘slaves'. 

According to the FIR, Mastikhan alleged that Pakistan has been stealing gas from the province since 1953.  

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also condemned the arrest of AWP president saying, " Mr Khan has done nothing more than demand that the state give Gwadar's residents the civil, political and economic rights to which they are entitled".


Rights activists also expressed concern over the arrest of the politician.

One social media said that Yousuf Mastikhan is very old and a cancer patient, “Really concerned about his health as he is aged and an advance staged cancer patient”. 


Another user wrote that there was anger in all of Balochistan over the arrest of the leader. She added that protests will be held against the arrest by civil society and progressive political movements. 


Protests have been ongoing in Gwadar for over a month, with protesters asking for basic rights including access to potable water, elimination of unnecessary check posts on the coastal highway from Jiwani to Karachi, immediate lifting of restrictions on border trade, and transportation of food items from Iran among others things.