Fishermen call off protest after successful negotiations

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The fishermen have called off a protest at the shipping channel of Karachi Port after holding successful negotiations with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

The fishermen have started removing their boats to end the blockage of a shipping channel after assurances by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. The protesting fishermen had anchored more than 2,000 boats to close the shipping channel of the port effectively halting the movement of the cargo ships.Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi said in a statement that the port is operationalised after the removal of boats from the shipping channel.

He added that the movement of cargo ships will be resumed after the full clearance of the shipping channel.He said that the shipping channel had been blocked by the fishermen for 28 hours and it affected the movement of 10 cargo vessels.Earlier, the fishermen’s protest crippled the oil terminal’s operations at Karachi Port.

The fishermen of the Sindh province were protesting over the ban on fishing in Balochistan waters.

The protest leaders had said that the Sindh’s fishermen were not being allowed to go to Balochistan waters. “We will not open the channel before approval of our demands,” fishermen said. They demanded a written guarantee before the end of their protest.

Special Assistant to the PM on Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi had urged protesting fishermen to suspend their protest for one week and allow the authorities to discuss the matter with concerned parties.

“We are talking with governments of Sindh and Balochistan over the matter,” he further said.

A protest leader Rashid Sardar has said that Balochistan’s fishermen are selling their catch in Karachi. Another fisherman Sardar Moin said that the 18th Amendment is being misinterpreted. “We will knock the door of the court if it required,” he said.

The fishermen had blocked the shipping channel of the port yesterday, sources at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) said. Scores of cargo ships were anchored outside waiting for their entry to get the port berth.

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