Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, who visited Gilgit on Tuesday, voiced concern over growing incidents of sectarian killings in the region and criticised the government for failing to take any effective action to ensure peace.
“Unfortunately, incidents of terrorism are on the rise while the government is doing nothing to stop them,” he told a ceremony at a hotel in Gilgit.
He lashed out at Gilgit-Baltistan’s governor and chief minister for not paying due attention to regional issues, saying that instead of spending time in the region to settle the crises, the top officials prefer to stay in Islamabad. “Under these circumstances it is illogical to expect them to maintain peace,” he said.
Nawaz, who was accompanied by his wife and other family members, distributed cheques for Rs500,000 among 53 families of victims of the Siachen avalanche tragedy, which claimed the lives of over 135 people in April.
The PML-N chief also met with Sunni and Shia clerics and urged them to work towards peace and tranquility in the region. “Those shedding the blood of innocent people do not deserve to be called Muslims,” he said, while urging the clerics to not issue decrees against each other.
About the issue of new provinces, Nawaz said that they would not accept the formation of new provinces on ethnic basis.
Earlier Hafizur Rehman, the regional president of PML-N, and other leaders received Nawaz and his family at the Gilgit airport and briefed him about party activities in the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.
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