GILGIT: The killing of a man and his son and the ensuing incidents in Hunza last week widened the rift between Gilgit-Baltistan’s chief minister and assembly speaker, weakening the position of both leaders in the region, sources said on Tuesday.
“The incident at the first instance was a shock for speaker Wazir Baig, who himself belongs to Hunza,” a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said, while requesting anonymity. He added that the series of arrests that came in wake of the riots shattered the trust of the speaker who now holds CM Mehdi Shah and his government responsible.
Baig faced relentless criticism from the people of Gojal who had been stranded in the valley due to the formation of the Attabad Lake and the submergence of Karakoram Highway.
The PPP source said that the problems faced by the people, together with the delay in compensation caused huge embarrassment for the speaker being a native of Hunza.
Although he tried his best to come up to people’s expectations, he failed to resolve any issue.
“In addition to these issues, the killings and riots added fuel to fire and Baig burst out at the bureaucracy for hatching conspiracies against his government,” the source added.
The chief minister, in turn, decided to ‘cut Baig to size’ after learning about his ‘unwarranted’ comments, according to the source.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2011.