Killings in Gilgit are an attempt to create discord and to promote anti-government sentiments among the people of the region.
These views were expressed by Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Council Member Amjad Hussain during an interview with The Express Tribune on Sunday.
Hussain said that incidents wherein Shias from G-B were hauled off buses and killed have occurred thrice during the past six months.
He added that the frequent killings have reinforced the impression that the state machinery has either failed to control such acts or terrorism or is deliberately letting them happen.
“Since G-B’s constitutional status is vague, such attempts and the prevailing sentiments could prove lethal for the country and the region itself,” said Hussain. He warned that if these attempts were not stopped, it could lead to a Balochistan-like situation in G-B.
“People should adopt political recourse for the solution of their problems instead of sectarianism,” said Hussain, who is one of the politicians who have been actively promoting peace and religious tolerance in G-B.
He was also one of the main actors in the preparation of the Mosque Act that later sailed through the G-B Legislative Assembly to become a law.
Hussain flayed the state machinery for failing to stop these repeated acts of terrorism despite possessing resources, adding that intelligence agencies lack coherence and a clear-cut policy regarding G-B’s status.
“It seems that the central intelligence agencies aren’t on the same page with respect to future of G-B,” he said, referring to the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence. He urged policymakers to immediately decide the status of G-B “before things slip out of their hands”.
But Hussain was not only critical about the state machinery. “Being public representatives, we fail to convince people about our ideology when such heinous acts recur,” he said.
He said that both Shia and Sunni sect shave got “bad guys” within them who get encouragement when we fail to respond. “When we politicians fallback, we let sectarian politics triumph,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.
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