A legislator and nationalist leader has proposed that Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) should be made a secular and independent state.
Chief of his own faction of Balawaristan National Front (BNF), Nawaz Khan Naji, stated this while addressing a gathering of young party members of BNF in Rawalpindi on Sunday, said a press release issued by the organisers.
Naji said that injustice, nepotism, corruption and interference of clerics in the administrative affairs of G-B are responsible for the sectarian unrest prevalent in the province.
“Whether it is G-B’s judiciary, bureaucracy, government or the civil society, they are all divided on a sectarian basis,” said Naji, who is also a member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.
He said the G-B government is not sincere in maintaining its writ and the entire society is being held hostage by a handful of religious clerics.
“We can only get rid of this menace if we have a secular state without the role of the so-called mullahs,” he added. He called on the society to challenge the rights of clerics in the affairs of the state.
Naji dispelled the impression that a ‘foreign hand’ is behind the sectarian strife in G-B, and instead attributed it to the government’s failure in handling the situation.
“When our own house is not in order, our people start blaming their lapses on foreign forces,” he remarked.
“There is an eminent need of a war, not one of weapons and bullets, but one of ideas and sincere struggles to establish a peaceful secular state,” the chairman added.
Naji claimed that corruption is so rampant in the regional government that the government itself has to bribe its officials to get official bills released.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2012.