Original Articles

Current Situation in Gilgit-Baltistan – by Jamil Khakwani

Gilgit-Baltistan: The potential 5th Province of Pakistan. History began from 1947, when the people of this prestigious mountainous region looked at the newly established state of Pakistan on the name of religions Islam. As matter of fact the strategic location of the region never allowed it to associate with Pakistan and had an easy access for all types of Business and other trades and traditions with Srinagar. But the people had a passion, will and spirit of Islamic ideology and they did not consider the geo-hazards and the powerful maharaja state and became Pakistani by their wish and will. But it is known to all that these never be streamed into national contour, making a lot of excuses by the Salafi Establishment of Pakistan. Look into the soul of these people, they never asked for, and consider themselves Pakistani just by carrying an NIC only.

1972, the first government of Pakistan People Party brought some hopes to the region by reforms and opening of KKH was another hope for the region to materialize their dream to be a Pakistani. Then the times came, when Zia ul Haq had come into power and a new regime of Islamic extremism was initiated. This extremism also affected the GB region and in 1988, the region was turned into an invading field by so called Islamic activists and Talibans. The target was the bare handed Shia population of GB. May I quote here that above 70% of Population is from shia school of thought in Gilgit-Baltistan and this community is always loyal to Pakistan. During Zia regime Shias were targeted all over the country. Likewise rest of country, GB was also affected and a big lashker was organized and invaded into Gilgit-Baltistan. Hundreds of villages along with livestock, agriculture fields and fruit trees were turn into desert by the laskar. Hundreds of killings were made only with the reason that these are Shias. Even this blood shed regime had not influenced to bring hater for Pakistan in the region. The communities took it as an international conspiracy.

People still had hope with Pakistan because now they had turn off the geographic obstacle as they were travelling through KKH and at least their socio-economical and educational difficulties were resolved. And they trusted that their political and constitutional issues also be settled down. But there was a factor that was not actually comfort about the loyalty of region with the motherland Pakistan, who was responsible for bloodshed in 1988. The same factor put his efforts with more intensity and a continuous sectarian clash was seeded in Gilgit-Baltistan, which not only sabotaged the social life but many of precious lives were lost in it. So far the majority of natives understood that all the evil branded activities were to keep the region out of the political and constitutional settlement. The positive attitude from the GBians was not a good sign for the haters of Pakistan. They never wanted that the hopes of masses had to be fulfilled. Their ambitions were stuck when the current government has announced a constitutional package which was off course a way to permanent settlement of constitutional issue of GB.

So the evil mind factor drilled to another options to detach the region form Pakistan. There evil thought stacked on KKH and they started to turn this life line of GB into bloodshed way. As an estimated count around 5000 people are travelling on KKH on daily bases and most of them are Shias because this is the only way to access Pakistan. In last couple of months 100s of killing from shia community was committed by the terrorist whiling travelling through KKH. Considerable KKH has an important role in stacking of the region with rest of Pakistan, people use to use it to access Pakistan. If it will not be safe, which it is at the moment, how come the people pass through it. If not pass, where do they go for their education, health services, and socio-economic sustainability? One better understand that why this life vein is trapped and made inaccessible and unsafe for people of Gilgit-Balstistan. The objective is to develop scare, so that the loyalty to Pakistan will supersede by the fear of survival in the masses of Gilgit-Baltistan. May be people will absorb this pushing for a while, but as a human nature this abortion cannot be long sustaining because it hurts the lifesaving needs of the society. You don’t have political rights you may loyal, you don’t have human rights you may loyal, but if you cannot breath how you be loyal and KKH is breathing line for people of Gilgit-Baltistan. We better know the worth of Pakistan government which is even failed to secure Gilgit city of 2 kilometers from terrorists, how come it possible to secure 600 kilometer KKH, which is now nest of terrorists. In this situation it is an emergent need to come up with solution to provide a lifeline to GBians at any cost, otherwise the brutal ideology may win to establish a second thinking in masses.

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  • Nothing will happen, Just a political justice to deflect the public attention from rampant corruption and sectarian violence. Had this president been potent enough to go after Chilas terrorists, situation in Gilgit-Baltistan would not had deteriorated much.

    How he finds time after managing his numerous bank accounts in Dubai, ME, USA and Swiss to go and ‘declare’ that his government will ‘strive to resolve’ the issue at the end of his political mandate.

    This reminds me of His and Late Benazir Bhutto’s innocent offer to get the proprietary rights of Aga Khan Hospital in one of His Highness’s visits, which he explained that the hospital is constructed by public donations and is in public domain.

  • Seems, the Salafi establishment don’t want GB region goes to the control of locals thro’ constitution process. By keeping the region out of local’s control the establishment achieving two of their main objectives:
    1) unrepresented Locals have no say on the ongoing Chinese exploitation of mineral wealth from the region and hence environmental concerns never be raised.
    2) Keeping the Locals out of power means no need to share the wealth generated from mining activity, all the income thus goes to the establishment.

  • Reply to KMR Overseas:
    U R Talking Bullshit.. We See Your Other Abhorrent Articles Congratulating Chilas Terrorists Under A Different Name. U Just Create In-Fighting Which Is Media Terrorism Just Like Chilas Terrorist Did On The Ground. We Just Need To Root Our People Like U And Rest Is The Peace.!!!
    KEEP UR WEAPONS TO YOURSELF – THANKS

  • We can dal with taliban Single handed if we are not provided with security by the state, If we can protect paksiatn then Taliban are nothing for us!

  • The recent happenings in Gilgit Baltistan region must be an eye opener for all the patriotic Pakistanis specially those who claim monoply over patriotism. The incident displays the apathy of our ruling classes that instead of creating peaceful conditions in distrubed area, they are simply creating mess, insecurity, and distrubances in otherwise perfectly peaceful areas. The incident indicates the effects of nurturing militant outfits by our agencies and the resultant brutalization of the society in the name of distorted version of religion. Otherwise how could one explain the brutality unleashed in the name of religion. The fellow human beings were slaughtered not by a group of terrorists but a crowd consisting of ten of thousand fellow human beings in front of police and security agencies. What was the grivience of the crowd? They wanted to revenge the unfortunate death of four persons belonging to their school of thought who were killed in the bomb explosin at Gilgit. Though Shias denied that the bomb explosion has anything to do with them but rather alleged that the grenade was aimed to hurled at shops as they refused to close their shops on the eve of strike called by AHLE SUNNAT WAL JAMAT in order to protest against the arrest of their leader. It may be recalled that Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat is reincarnation of banned Sipah-e-Sahab and has also been banned recently. What these unfortunate passengers have to do with that equally reprehensible bomb explosion, nothing , but the mob was emotionally charged by their leaders that the shais of Gilgit were responsible of killing of their compatriots and as the passengers were of the same sect, they were equally responsible and deserved mass execution at the hands of enraged mob of Chilas, who was doing all this, out of that ideology of hatred and bigotry which were openly injected into their veins by the semi literate mullahs in the full view and agreement
    of our establishment. The executions were carried out in a more audacious manner than the recent Feb 2012 Kohistan tragedy where a similar mass murder of shias were carried out. At that time the blame was shifted to unnamed terrorists, however no serious effort was made by our ever efficient law enforcement as well as not very secret agencies to nab the terrorists. This attitude emboldened the terrorists and this time these soldiers of darkness, hatred, and bigotry even succeded in swaying the some sections of general population of Chilas in their support and with their help and support carried out this reprehensible episode in the full view of law enforcement agencies. The fortunate ones were kidnapped and were taken away by mobs to unknown hideouts and destinations again in the full view of police and administration. The kidnappings led to retaliatory kidnappings of some 30 persons from Chilas in Nagar, another predominantly shia valley of Gilgit and this resulted in release of some of the kidnapped persons. The optimistic note in the episode was the exemplary role played by some elders of Chilas who rose above sectarian divide, did not allow themselves to swayed by bigotry and played extremely positive role in getting the prisoners freed. However there is also news, the authenticity of which cannot be verified due to complete bockade of news as well as SMS service that another 200 kidnapped persons have been killed after severe torture. Even the dead bodies which were dispatched to Gilgit bore severe marks of torture which indicates that the victims were killed after inflicting severe torture on them.The role of security establishment and hapless local administration leave many question marks. They did not make any attempt to secure the KKH and did not display enough will to prevent that reprehensible incident of mass murder and kidnappings, which is yet another blot on the already chequered history of our country Without feeling any sense of responsibility they left the unfortunate Gilgiti passengers stranded in KKH on that fateful morning to their fate. Had the army holicopters come into motion and the army landed their troops and clamped the curfew in Chillas as soon as the grenade explosion happened in the Gilgit, they could have easily averted the Chilas tragedy, but they seem to be more pre occupied with their turf wars and perks and privileges rather than serving the people. Now we are left with the festering wounds and bad blood created between two communities, who are geographically destined to live close to each other. Can we dream of any economic prosperity and development in the region where no go areas are created for different people and where one sect is pitted against the other sect so omniously that they consider it perfectly alright to commit any atrocity in the name of religion. Isn’t the time come to heal the wound of Gilgit and Baltistan. Can we, and our security establishment apologize to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan, the continued indifference and apathy, we have shown towards their plight and sin of exporting terror infrastructure in the area by covertly and overtly supporting the extremist elements. Is it award given to loyal people who gave tremendous sacrifices for the sake of country. They were the people who in 1947 wrested the control from Dogra Raj, got their area liberated, and acceded to Pakistan, but in the return we deprived them of their constitutional rights and put them into constitutional limbo with no self Government and no representation in National Assembly. They have defended selflessly aand valiantly the most difficult borders of the world in the war and peace times and the reward our establishment gave to them was to let the Tribal Lashkar Kashi raised from Waziristan loose on them in 1988, with the sole aim to cleanse the area from indigenous people. Even after that no efforts was made to improve the situation and they are continuously hounded by terrorist and sectarian demons. Can our security establishment, members of Civil Society, sincire intellectuals and ulema, electronic and print media come forward and paly their role in making a peaceful and prosperous Gilgit Biltistan free of militancy and extremism.

  • To Reinaldo. Help is available to those who are suffering a hardship. It would not hurt you to contact a company handling loan modifications to see if you qualify. It should not cost you anything to check. Just be careful to choose a legitimate company. Having looked into this myself, I believe you are safest with a company that utilizes Attorneys.

  • Pakistan People’s Party is losing Shia Muslims support in many areas of the country because of failed policies of the PPP-led government.
    PPP has formed government in Shia majority Gilgit-Baltistan province. PPP wins the constituencies of Shia majority areas of Punjab and other parts of the country as well.

    Unfortunately, PPP has done nothing for the betterment of Shia Muslims. PPP-led government has failed to stop genocide of Shia Muslims. They have failed to stop anti-Shia pogrom that goes on in all over the country in full swing.

    PPP government’s supporters and officials claim that it is judiciary that has to take action against the terrorists. As a matter of fact, first step is to be taken by the government. It is the administrative machinery that works under the government that has to adopt measures for arrest of the terrorists with proofs.

    Some incidents occurred in Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab and Sindh, provinces may be cited to prove that government failed to maintain its writ or intentionally ignored terrorists. Federal interior minister Rehman Malik had promised to meet the demands presented to him in charter of demand in Gilgit-Baltistan. He failed to do what he had promised.

    Terrorists perpetrated genocide of Shia Muslims in Kohistan and Chilas tragedies. Government was informed about the identities of the ferocious terrorists but they were not arrested. Government was informed about the terrorists training camps but no action was taken against them. Government was informed about fanatics and their patrons belonging to banned terrorist outfit who incited anti-Shia feelings but they were not punished for violation of Pakistan’s constitutional law.

    In Punjab’s southern parts, some incidents of terrorism took place. Many Shia Muslims were massacred.

    In Khairpur of Sindh province, Shia Muslims were persecuted. Sanctity of Shia Islam was violated time and again in all over Sindh province. Mosques and Imam Bargahs were attacked.

    In both cases of Punjab and Sindh province, no stern action against terrorists was taken. Inaction encouraged the enemies of Shia Muslims and they feel Shias as soft targets.

    Shia leaders and notables voiced their protest but peaceful protest and opposition to injustices were not allowed. Shia leaders were booked for their protest both in Punjab and Sindh.

    In Gilgit Baltistan, operation was launched in Shia areas and Shia Muslims were arrested instead of those terrorists who perpetrated heinous crimes against humanity in Kohistan and Chilas Tragedy.

    Shia Muslim areas remain backward during the tenure of PPP-led government. No alternate route for Gilgit Baltistan from Rawalpindi was constructed despite repeated demands. Nor the PIA flights or aerial travelling was provided.

    Anti-government feelings are growing among Shia Muslims. PPP-led ruling coalition has disappointed them. In the past, they were choosing between two mainstream parties: PPP and the PMLN. Now, their mood has changed about the PPP. They have genuine complaints and genuine demands. They are denied to exercise their inalienable rights and they want to attain all genuine rights for them. PPP-led government has failed to provide these due rights, let alone other perks.

  • Above article is full of bullshit and consist of fake things.
    1st how the writer said that the GB population comprise of 70% shia sect people? This is wrong, majority is from SUNI sect.
    2nd, why not writer wrote about terrorist incidents which are still accuring in Hunza-Nager Road where countless innocent people were killed and being killing by terrorists?
    3rd, this article was writen to mislead the people and this was full of fake and wrong statements.