“Exclusion of the people from power sharing has led regional politics towardsidentity/cultural-based mobilization with a fierce opposition of the state. It is thisdisjuncture between culture and power that has prompted the masses to assert their distinctiveness demanding the distribution of power over culture. With a purpose of suppressing their assertion the state projects Islam as the base of state ideology and perfect yardstick to gauge the loyalty of any cultural group to the state. In order to avoid the dire consequences of any possible revolt of the masses of Gigit-Baltistan, the state props up certain sectarian groups as an antidote to nationalist movements or foment sectarian violence through sectarian parties whenever the people unite for a real issue. By doing so, the state in collusion with religion parties and the bureaucratic apparatus has succeeded in dividing the people of the region on sectarian lines and rule over them. The emphasis on sectarian interests destabilizes nationalist sentiments in such a way as to create diversion from the real issues, and create sectarian splits to undermine nationalist alliances.
Aziz Ali Dad had analyzed the situation of Gilgit – Baltistan in a paper written a few years ago. Parts of this paper have been published by DAWN. The entire paper can be read by cliking on the link below
The writer holds MSc in Philosophy of Social Science from London School of Economics and PoliticalScience. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org