Four religious parties in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) have joined hands to promote sectarian harmony in the region. They expressed the concern that G-B had become the centre of foreign powers’ attention over the years owing to its geographic location. The decision was taken by the leadership of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), Jamat Islami (JI) and Shia Ulema Council (SUC) during an Iftar dinner held here recently.
“Since the political government has failed to maintain peace, it is now up to the religious organisations to come forward and play their due roles,” said Advocate Mushtaq of Jamat Islami.
Sheikh Nayyar Hussain represented the Wahdatul Muslimeen, while Maulana Maqsood represented JUI-F. Advocate Mushtaq and Maulana Abdul Sami represented JI while Shia Ulema Council was represented by Sheikh Mirza Ali.
The religious parties’ alliance is viewed as the first major breakthrough in the region after the worst sectarian bouts that claimed 23 lives and wounded over 50 others recently.
The clerics decided to form Milli Yakjehti Council to cement ties of the rival sects whose clashes have stalled all development activities in the region. The first meeting of the council has been scheduled for the first week of September.
Abdul Sami said that nefarious designs of the enemies could only be defeated by observing patience and removing mutual mistrust.
The leaders also agreed to use the platform of Milli Yakjehti Council for celebrating religious events jointly in future. Moreover, they decided to form similar setups at district level to forge unity among the followers of respective sects.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.