File photo: Transporters blocked main Quetta-Karachi highway

Riaz Baloch: 

Transporters on the Quetta-Taftan route have entered their fifth day of protest, escalating their outcry against what they perceive as burdensome government measures. Originating as a local grievance, the protest has now evolved into a widespread demonstration uniting transporters from various regions.

The crux of the protest revolves around newly implemented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which entail heightened inspections at checkpoints. These measures were introduced in response to the tragic killing of nine passengers in Noshki district, Balochistan, aiming to bolster security along the route.

However, for the transporters, these increased checks have translated into disruptions to their operations, resulting in prolonged delays and financial losses. Mr. Nasir Shahwani, a prominent leader of the Al Taftan Transporters Association, has emerged as a leading voice in advocating for a review of these measures. Shahwani argues that the intensified inspections not only hinder transportation efficiency but also exacerbate the economic strain on transporters.

Moreover, the government’s mandate to deploy armed guards in passenger buses has further fueled discontent among transporters. Many question the practicality and feasibility of this requirement, expressing concerns about its impact on already stretched resources.

As the standoff between transporters and authorities persists, the Quetta-Taftan route remains paralyzed, leaving commuters stranded and businesses affected. The simmering frustration among transporters threatens to escalate unless a resolution is swiftly reached, underscoring the precarious livelihoods at stake along this vital transportation corridor.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.