Gwadar: Pakistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove and the advisor to Balochistan CM Lala Rasheed, on a visit to Gwadar, expressed hope of ending the two-month-long 'Haq Do Tehreek' (HDT) protests by locals.

HDT leader Maulana Hidayatur Rehman refused to meet the minister and the government leaders had to come away after meeting the second-tier leadership of the protesting group. However, will little goodwill between the two sides, the talks failed, said a report in Pakistan daily Dawn, adding that Rehman is being blamed for the failure of the talks and is being accused of having ulterior political motives.

According to the Dawn report, Langove said the government was making 'all-out efforts' to address the protesters' grievances and hoping to find a way out with negotiations.

Rehman, according to the report, put the onus on the government for a breakthrough in negotiations and has accused it of harbouring a 'non-serious attitude', resulting in the prevailing impasse. He said the locals were protesting on genuine issues including, illegal trawling in Gwadar's water, a high number of security checkpoints and trade on the Pakistan-Iran border.

The Dawn quoted him as saying, "There is no trade at the Pakistan-Iran border. There are still a great number of checkpoints. The issue of illegal trawling still persists and has deprived local fishermen of their livelihood and if the provincial government was serious, it can easily put an end to this issue."

Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Izzat Nazeer Baloch told Dawn that eight trawlers have been confiscated by the fisheries department. And the fee for boat registration and renewal of licence has been reduced, in line with a demand put forward by the protesters. "Police, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, and Coast Guards will carry out joint patrolling to curb illegal trawling," the deputy commissioner told Dawn.

According to the report, Rehman is being accused of having ulterior political motives behind mobilising protesters as this isn't the first time the HDT leader has led a protest gathering to draw the attention of the authorities. He was also behind similar protests last year, the Dawn reported.

According to the Pakistani publication, those seen at the protest last year said that Rehman has his eyes on the next general election and the protests are little to do with the good of the people. The Dawn quoted a political science professor at a university in Quetta, Prof Mumtaz Baloch, as saying that Rehman was able to reach the leadership as the national leaders had disappointed the people of Gwadar because of corruption and vested interests.

Further, according to the Dawn report, analysts said these protests will continue till the next elections as Rehman would like the ongoing protests to translate into an electoral victory.

A political analyst belonging to a political family of Gwadar, Nasir Sohrabi, was quoted by Dawn as saying the "Maulana has political ambitions" and if the HDT leader plays his 'political cards' well, he could give a tough time to Hammal Kalmati, the current provincial assembly member from Gwadar.