Under curfew

Sectarian violence that began in Gilgit and Chilas on April 3 has created anarchy and disorder for the region.


Editorial April 06, 2012

The sectarian violence that began in Gilgit and Chilas on April 3 has created anarchy and disorder for the region. A curfew was imposed after shooting broke out between gangs from rival sects, which have resulted in several deaths. The sufferings of people are growing rapidly as shortages of food and medicine are being reported and those who are gravely ill are unable to receive the help they need. The parents of a nine-month-old boy suffering from kidney failure have requested that he be airlifted to Islamabad so he can receive the care and treatment he so urgently needs. Whether this will be possible is an uncertainty as the region has been blockaded in a bid to stop the violence. As for April 6, the break in curfew was only of two hours, which was just about enough time for the city’s harried residents to get hold of essential food items and the like.

It has also come to light that when the violence broke out, around 20 children were caught in the mayhem and though the school they were enrolled at sent them home, they failed to reach their destination. The children, all under the age of 12, were reportedly given temporary shelter by a woman who lives alone. Hopefully, the break in the curfew will have ended their plight. Many people in similar situations caught up in the midst of the crisis have also complained of the indifference on the part of the authorities because initially there was no break in the curfew. There is also concern over why the impending clash was not pre-empted and why local forces failed to act swiftly enough to stop the spree of shooting. Gilgit has known bouts of acute sectarian violence in the past. And the question on everyone’s minds must be: once the curfew is eased and lifted, what then?

It is obvious that something needs to be done to stop the extremist groups from operating out of sheer disregard and callousness. The problem must be brought under check with assistance from the authorities concerned to end the sectarian violence and urgently put an end to the misery of the people of Gilgit.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2012.

COMMENTS (4)

Qasim | 9 years ago | Reply World knows the real picture. Its not like that the so called tribune has tried to portray. Everybody knows to who these so called ASWJ or Sipahe Sahaba group belong to. They can only be terrorist If the existance of CIA behind them is visible or non Visible but they are always terrorists and so called Jihadis. Shame on the Pakistani Media who always stand supporting these Sectarianists.
Sheraliat | 9 years ago | Reply It is beyond comprehension that the people of Shia community on the assistance of establishment and few biased bureaucracy have been targeted since 1980s but their grievances are suppressed. The reporter who is talking about hand grenade was brought by violent protestors whom leaders have called a strike but exploded accidentally within their congregation. It fueled the situation. The series of firing continued between security forces and mob. When the situation was spread exaggeratedly, the people of Chilas stopped the buses going to Rawalpindi and Gilgit Baltistan and killed dozens of Shia passengers after checking their NICs. The govt is not exposing the the number of casualties and missing passengers in Chilas incident. Unofficial sources and the passengers who returned their homes claim that the causalities are several times more than what the officials are showing. two weeks before the heinous incident of Kohistan took place in which nearly 20 Shia passengers were gunned down after their identification. It should be noted that soon after this tragic incident the Ulema and Shia elders of Nagar valley handed over nearly 50 people of Sunni brothers to Police lest they might be harmed. This was another phase of humanity which Shia Muslims have perpetrated. Despite these cruelties on Shia community the biased media is reluctant to show tyranny directed towards Shia Muslims.
VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read