Dawn News

Killings in Gilgit-Baltistan

I HAVE no words to express the pain I felt at the butchering of Muslims who were picked out of the buses and mercilessly killed in front of fellow passengers on near Babusar Pass.

What a horrific way of dying at the hands of some mad men who call themselves Taliban who have certainly not gone through the Holy Quran. Shame on all of them for this extreme cruelty which has nothing to do with Islam and being a better Muslim than the rest. After this cruel act by the terrorists, I don’t even know how to face our brethren in Gilgit-Baltistan next week after Eid, when I will be arriving in Skardu accompanying my husband to conduct a medical camp.

Every year at this time the free camp is held for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan who can either not afford or are too ill to travel to Lahore for surgical procedures.

For the last three years that I have travelled to Skardu, I found people of Gilgit-Baltistan very friendly, courteous, honest and respectful and no less Muslims than we all consider ourselves to be.

In fact, at all the time that I was there I felt safer than in my own city of Lahore. We used to leave our baggage and wallets with cash in the rooms of the guest house without any fear of theft. While visiting the city and going past the city jail we were told that there was just one prisoner there at that time which really surprised us considering our jails are always more than full.

A peaceful community like the Baltistani Muslims must have been shaken to the core with the news of this massacre. They certainly did not deserve this. They have very kind and hospitable hearts but will they accept our apologies when we land in Skardu for the camp?

Will they ever or should they forgive us?


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Comments (10) Closed

Just a Muslim
Aug 24, 2012 06:30pm
And how is that ever going to resolve the issue? We should be ashamed of ourselves since we need identification, apart from being a muslim, to justify or somehow understand this gruesome act!! No wonder, there is a war in almost every muslim country. This country got freedom because of our religion and, I am very sorry to say, it will also be the reason of our downfall.
Aug 24, 2012 12:29pm
Mr. Sharma, Dr. Hasan is asking what will be the procedure to joing the medical camp.
Abdullah K
Aug 25, 2012 12:57am
First we started as Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans, never as Pakistanis.Now add to it Sunnis vs.Shias.Country is waiting for an implosion. Blood thirsty fanatics who lined up their fellow muslims and slaughtered them.Leaving aside mullahs, political parties have not spoken in unison to condemn the killings of Shia muslims. Pakistan will not be destroyed by external forces but by enemy within .
p r sharma
Aug 24, 2012 09:41am
why can't you join the medical camp in Gilgit Baltistan , Is it for safety or your guilt ?
Dr Hasan
Aug 24, 2012 07:16am
how can any doctor join your medical camp in Gilgit-Baltistan? Dr Hasan (Karachi)
Tariq Rahim Baig
Aug 24, 2012 06:33am
Dr. Maryam Tarar, In fact the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan is taunting and due to the sectarian killings of the muslims in the area the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are in a catastrophic situation. As you have pointed out the situation before in Gilgit-Baltistan was in fact a peaceful and calm situation and nowadays the situation all over country is getting worse. These are those people who don't want our economy to be stabilize and these are the real enemy of our beloved country Pakistan. One thing i want to share here with the readers that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were friendly, famous for hospitality and are still the same as before and inshallah will show their unity and friendly manner from every perspective but the instability in our area is due to the role of some helping hands from abroad according to my point of view, I might be wrong but my mind is set on this issue that some hands are funding the people in our country to destabilize our economy. No one wants destabilization in a society and same is the case with the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, we don't want any interruption from abroad in our society but the main issue over these interruption is the failure of security agencies to control over these culprits. At last we do hope that peace and stability will come soon in our country and the people will inshallah be united to bring about peace in our country.
Aug 24, 2012 05:29am
How carefully this writer, or DAWN itself, removes the identity of the victims: Shia. Until you identify the victims, how is it possible that you resolve it?
Zahid Malik
Aug 24, 2012 05:12am
Dr. Maryam R. Tarar! Please be careful when you land in Skardu since you have introduced yourself in this article. These butchers have no value for human life. This pathetic group that calls itself muslim is anything but...... Islam is such a beautiful religion and look what they have made it. A religion which guides you at every step of life, where are these guys drawing their inspirations from.......
Aug 24, 2012 08:49pm
Dear doctor, if general public of Pakistan become as concerned about shia's ( and other minorities) killing in Pakistan as you are then these illitrate and cruel taliban will be demoralise & it help to control this big thereat to Pakistan's solidarity. I appreciate your feelings.
Aug 24, 2012 02:04pm
The fact that the victims were Shia mattered only to the perpetrators. For everyone else who feels for the event, it does not matter whether they were Shia or Martians. What matters is that they were human beings and fellow Pakistanis.