Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman, belonging to a middle fisherman’s family in Gawadar, got fame and worldwide attention during a historical sit-in in Gwadar — the epicenter of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Manifold reasons surfaced and have long been the point of analysts’ elaboration. After getting momentum and historical support, he geared up and changed the manifesto of movement from “Give Rights to Gwadar” movement to “Give Rights to Balochistan”, which was called off after an agreement with provincial government.
Despite his affiliation with Jamaat-i-Islami as the the provincial secretary general, Maulana practiced distance from his political party so that the movement was not monopolized by his party. Neither Jamaat nor any other religious parties have got ground in Baloch areas of Baluchistan for a secular segment of the society, filtered and stopped the mess and injections of toxic customs.
During the sit-in, Jamaat’s president Siraj Ul Haq addressed the dharna and displayed a constantly practiced outcry of India’s interference behind regional instability, after his exaggerating speech; he faced a barrage of criticism on social media. Within hours thereafter, Hidayat came forward and asked people to condone him as a guest.
However, his initiated movement continued its campaigns across Baluchistan. In some context Jamaat’s influence was observed which marred its credibility. The zeal, enthusiasm and unshakeable support it had received during dharna shrank. Political situation worsened by following haunting developments; laborers shot dead in Chaghi, female abductions and oppressing students resurged which were devastating.
At the moment of calling off sit-in, he had reiterated and stressed that a long march with 1 million people would head towards province’s capital and weigh options of marching towards Islamabad, if situation did not improve. This motive never materialized and reiterated again. As a prominent journalist and analyst Anwar Sajidi said, “He belonged to them for he was controlled.” Passing time will explain the remarks of Sajidi.
The political awareness in Baloch has definitely sent a message eloquently that the movement, channeling the energy of nation and evaporating existing grievances for provincial Assembly’s seat, would bring an end to the spring. This fear and reality has been the key element to determine movement’s fate.
Maulana, who must have tasted and evaluated tendencies of people again and again, left suspicion: he has not parted away about movement suspecting a short term goal. Rather than Maulana’s recent address, in a sit-in lodged for the release of a woman Noor Jan picked up by LEAs, ordinary people’s speeches went viral and commended on social media.
One irony and unscientific fact in Baloch national movement is that it has not been centralized and headed by a single leader. It taught and bolstered People who stepped forward and led, recent on going sit-in in Panjgur and in some areas of Kech which went “leaderless”. It alarms that masses do not depend on a single political figure to come and lead them.
As recently, a passenger coach was stopped and a citizen was arrested in Panjgur at a security check-point where in reaction, passengers lodged a protest until he was released. These developments might have added in the knowledge of Maulana that masses are aware and hard battled. If you lead them and struggle for only genuine issues of Baluchistan and will not bow down to any power, we will give support, recognition and march with you.
A twist has been noticed on 29 May as Local Government (LG) elections were held. Haq_do_movement (Give Rights Movement) clinched majority of seats in Gawadar, and Maulana’s graph raised up again.
Thus, the electoral victory has never turned any one mass leader in Baluchistan. Apart from this, narrative of movement and its executions has not dispatched the suspicion of left and intellect class. Movement’s graph has descended. Maulana is in an interesting position for analyzing. He has not irked Islamabad nor convinced Baluchistan yet in definite means. Choosing one path will determine it, otherwise it is no worth considering.