GILGIT: As community elders stepped up efforts to ensure reconciliation between the warring groups of Nagar and Hunza, the government is planning to send in forces to the restive Gojal Valley to restore law and order, wracked earlier by clashes between two groups on Friday that injured several people. “Efforts are under way at the highest political and religious levels to normalise the situation,” sources in Hunza and Gilgit said on Sunday. Gojal however remained shut in wake of the tussle that damaged houses in villages.
Politicians and religious representatives met in Hunza to ponder over how the situation could be normalised after the tussle. “There was a meeting in Hunza, attended by Wazir Baig, speaker Gilgit-Baltistan assembly, Motabiat Shah, a lawmaker, and Dr Khawaja, a representative of the Ismaili Council,” a resident of Hunza said, adding that Mohammad Ali Akhtar, the regional finance minister, and Mirza Ali, a representative of Hussainia Council Nagar, represented Nagar in the talks. Amid the ongoing negotiations, the government plans to deploy police, Rangers and Gilgit scouts in the restive parts of the Gojal valley known for rich culture and traditions besides people’s hospitality. Dozens of residents of Gojal demanded exemplary punishment to those involved in ransacking and plundering activities in the valley. “There are applications from the local people for boosting up of security in the region,” said an official, on the condition of anonymity. He said that the forces will be deployed in Sost, Gulmit, Hussaini and Fasoo.
The situation in parts of Hunza and Gojal turned ugly on Friday as clashes erupted between the labourers of Gojal and Nagar at the port of Hussaini, one of the four villages of Gojal submerged by the swelling lake of Attabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2011.