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Belt and Road

Pakistan's Belt and Road revival at risk as Gwadar protest brews

Ambitious local leader threatens to create headaches for PM Sharif and China

Fishermen offload their catch in Gwadar, Pakistan: Residents have complained for years that illegal trawlers are depleting their resources, and a local protest leader is demanding action.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- The leader of a local rights movement in the Pakistani coastal town of Gwadar is threatening to launch a large sit-in protest this week, potentially jeopardizing the government's efforts to revitalize development around the Chinese-controlled port.

Gwadar is the linchpin of China's Belt and Road infrastructure endeavors in Pakistan -- known collectively as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). But development slowed under the previous leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan amid friction between the two governments. Among local residents, resentment has been simmering for years.

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