THE killing of about 15 passengers of the Shia community, after they were taken off the buses in the Chilas area, Diamer district, is a gruesome act of violence.

The trail of sectarian unrest dates back to the radical Islamisation policies of former military dictator Gen Zia. The sectarian monster is raising its ugly head in the country.

In Gilgit Batistan this menace emerged after the 1980s when fanatics from tribal areas, Kohistan and Diamer attacked Gilgit.

The planned and organised settlement of non-locals from tribal areas, Kohistan, Kashmir and some parts of Punjab further deteriorated the situation.

It totally changed the demography of the locals. In the 1990s the ratio of locals to non-locals was 4:1 but now it has been raised to 4:3.

The consecutive trail of untoward incidents and growth of unrest in GB shows that sectarianism is officially being promoted as a calibrated policy to keep people engaged in trivial issues.

Keeping in mind the sensitivity and geographical importance of GB, the divide and rule policy must be shunned, as India already claims that GB is its integral part. GB might be the second Balochistan if the grievances of this region are not entertained.

M HASSAN WAZIRI Islamabad

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