Protest cripples operations at port’s oil terminal

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The fishermen’s protest crippled the oil terminal’s operations at Karachi on Wednesday. The fishermen of Sindh protesting over ban on fishing in Balochistan’s waters.

Protesting fishermen have anchored their boats to close the shipping channel of the port effectively halting movement of the cargo ships.

Protest leaders saying that the Sindh’s fishermen were not being allowed fishing in Balochistan waters. “We will not open the channel before approval of our demands,” fishermen said.

They have demanded a written guarantee before the end of their protest.

Special Assistant to the PM on Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi has 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 fishermen 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 Tuesday blocked the shipping channel of the port, sources at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) said. Scores of cargo ships were anchored outside waiting for their entry to get the port berth.

Suspension of the port’s activity could negatively affect the country’s commercial activities, sources apprehended.

The fishermen on August 07 last year also protested and parked their boats at the channel reserved for cargo ships. The protest started after the fishermen were stopped from going into the open sea for fishing.

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) falls under the administrative control of the Federal Maritime Affairs Ministry that oversees the operations of the port, one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep-water seaports, which handles about 60% of the nation’s cargo.

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