By Ejaz Karim
Demonstrations all over Gilgit–Baltistan including Diamer and Chilas are testimonial to peace and harmony among the people of the region. People of Gilgit–Baltistan want peace and they are, by large, peace loving nation.
History of sectarian killing in Gilgit is not a new issue. One cannot relinquish the atrocities of a brutal dictator General Zia in Gilgit. His regime seeded the extremism in the whole country and Gilgit-Baltistan was not an exception. In 1988 people were massacred and villages were destroyed in Gilgit.
The sectarian strife has now become a challenge for federal and the government of GB to tackle. It is, however, expected if all segments of the society play their roles positively, peace can be restored and conflicts can be resolved. There are horizons beyond the sectarian ambit and people have to understand that.
As a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan and student of political science, I would like to suggest the following measures:
1. Empower the local government with financial, technical and logistic tools to deal with the terror factor in Gilgit-Baltistan.
2. Initiate an independent judicial inquiry into the chronics of sectarian conflicts in Gilgit-Baltistan— from 1988 onward— in order to get to bottom of the issue.
3. Cajole the religious leaders to propagate love for humanity and shed light on importance of cross-cultural communication.
4. Provide the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan with better opportunities and healthy entertainment to keep them away from menace of sectarian conflicts.
5. Government has to deal with the terrorists harshly and there should not be any way for them to get away.
Besides, in the larger context, people do talk about foreign elements and we the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan do not believe in conspiracy theories whatsoever, for even though there are foreign elements behind the incidents, it still shows the weakness of our own government.
The writer belongs to Gilgit-Baltistan and is a student of political science.