Will normalise GB situation within two days, claims CM

Published September 5, 2023
Police personnel stand guard in Gilgit-Baltistan amid reports of unrest. — File photo
Police personnel stand guard in Gilgit-Baltistan amid reports of unrest. — File photo

GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltitistan Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan on Monday said the government has invited clerics from across Pakistan to settle a controversial issue that had caused sectarian tensions in the region for the past week.

In a press conference alongside the law and home ministers at the CM Secretariat, Gulbar Khan claimed the current uncertainty in the region would be settled within two days. He said the issue started after a controversial speech by Agha Baqir Alhussaini.

Irked by his speech, people in Diamer blocked the Karakoram Highway and demanded the arrest of the cleric. Subsequently, the parliamentary committee of GB met religious leaders in Diamer to settle the issue. The issue was almost sorted when a speech by cleric Qazi Nisar Ahmed in Gilgit rekindled the tensions, according to the CM. He added that it was merely a sectarian issue which had nothing to do with politics.

The CM said the GB government has asked the religious scholars who have arrived from across the country to hold meetings with local religious leaders to settle the controversy. “We hope the religious scholars…will settle the issue in consultation with local religious leaders from both sects; we are hopeful,” he said.

Internet services to remain suspended for at least a week

The clerics include Moulana Tayyib Panjpiri, Moulana Abdul Khabir Azad, Allama Ziaullah Shah Bukhari, Allama Shabbir Meismi, Nasir Abbass Sherazi, Allama Arif Hussain Wahidi, Allama Hussain Akbar, and Allama M Iqbal Behesti.

Speaking about the suspension of internet services, the CM said the 4G internet service will be restored in the region after one week of the resolution of the issue. Home Minister Shams Lone said the government suspended 13 police officials for uploading controversial content on social media whereas efforts to det­ain the person who uploaded the video were also afoot.

Mr Lone said the GB police registered 15 FIRs against religious leaders for violation of law and order situation. He said the uncertainty spread after the speeches of religious leaders affected the region economically, especially the segments linked to tourism, small traders, and transporters.

Without giving any evidence, the minister termed this strife as a part of a conspiracy against CPEC and Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

Students rally for peace

On Monday, a large number of students rallied for peace in the region. The demonstration aimed to counter any “misconceptions” about GB and emphasise its status as a “peaceful and harmonious place, free from sectarian tensions”. The participants passing through various roads reached the Chief Secretary House in the Civil Secretariat.

The participants said they needed peace as they feared their education would suffer if law and order deteriorated in the region. The participants passed a resolution that they have “organised a powerful rally to showcase their dedication to maintaining peace in GB, [and] to create a culture of care and love”.

The resolution underlined the students’ resounding message: that “education is above all, and to attain it, they require a peaceful environment and assure their level of support to maintain peace and harmony in GB”.

According to the resolution, the participants rejected “misinformation and highlighted that GB is a region free from sectarian tensions and conflicts”.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...
Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...