[Opinion] Sectarian disharmony in Baltistan, urgent action required

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Baltistan has been under sectarian stress for some time now. Traditionally known for the Baltis’ love of peaceful coexistence, the districts of Ghanche and Skardu have recently gone through two major events having sectarian dimensions.

First, two teachers were accused of producing and circulating ‘blasphemous’ material about the Ahl-e-Bait (family of the holy Prophet) in Skardu District. Enraged people took to the streets and demanded action against the accused. The authority, after considerable delay that led to massive protests and unrest, arrested the accused and the agitation was quelled. The accused were tried in a Court and sentenced to imprisonment.

Second, the house and library of a scholar of the Noor Bakhshi sect was set on fire in Karis village. The police made several arrests, in a bid to indict the arsonists. The situation has taken an interesting turn with people in Ghanche agitating for release of one of the accused arsonists.

Yesterday a massive protest was held in Khapulu, headquarter of Ghanche District. The protest was organized by the Noor Bakhsh Youth Federation. The agitators accused the government of registering false cases against innocent people belonging to the Noor Bakhsh sect. Similar protests have also been held in Islamabad.

What we need to understand is that sectarianism is a cancer that spreads throughout the society and corrodes the fabrics of harmony and trust. The peaceful people of Baltistan must realize that dialogue is the only way forward. In order to ensure sustenance of the social heritage of Baltistan, of which love, harmony, mutual trust and tolerance are important elements, collective action is needed from all segments of the society, under leadership of the elected government. This is the only way towards peace.  All other paths lead to chaos.

With an elected government in place with a Balti from Skardu as Chief Minister and another Balti from Ghanche as Senior Minister, all efforts must be focused on provision of justice to the grieved people.

Gilgit – Baltistan cannot afford more sectarianism. We all will have to act with cool minds and open hearts to resolve the issues and contribute towards betterment of the impoverished and malnourished regions of Gilgit – Baltistan.

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  1. Dear Editor!
    It is in response to your Article ” sectarian disharmony in Baltistan, an urgent action required”. being a citizen of Gilgit-Baltistan, I would like to throw some light on the burning issue that has dismantled peace of Baltistan for which the region was famous. Unfortunately, the Chief Minister mehdi shah who belongs to Baltistan, proved as cursed and sign of wrath for the followers of peaceful Noorbakhshi sect of Baltistan from the day one and onward. So many fake FIR was registered against its Ulemas, Students leaders, and renowned Scholors of noorbakhsi sect, in order to humiliate them publically and make them ridicule. The matter didn’t stop there, chief minister…….Razi ud din rizvi MLA of Gilgit adds fuel to fire after every second day on dictation of CM ……..

    The inapt political setup is quite unaware of sensitivity of the issue, and sensitivity of bordering region of Ghanche, if any unrest erupt that would definitely sway the fragile setup. I personally feel that these all issues are pre planned, organized, with malafide intention, in order to curb and make division the noorbakhshi sect in region by humiliating their nobles, arresting them, prosecuting them in fake cases, imprisoning Ulemas by biased and sectarian judiciary of Gilgit-baltistan. I think the political administration of Gilgit-baltistan and some religious figure are unaware of power and strength of noorbakhshi youth, who have much more options and ways to combat the tyrant but infact lolly pop CM, who has no power except to victimize the peaceful Noorbakhshi sect.
    Even the story of teacher you narrated about the teacher, whom you have shown a blasphemous, is quite pious, noble and God Fearing Aalim, who has nothing to do with case. browshers, pamphlet were published by someone, video was made and publicized by someone, but the Scholar was get arrested and very deceitfully put behind the bar.
    It is very pertinent to mention here, the judiciary of GB rely upon video which even not having any corroboration, sentenced our Scholar for eight years.

  2. further more, the library burnt at Keris Distt. Ghanche, the incident is condemnable and shameful, but the sadden part of it is that people arresting from Skardu, Islamabad and Kashmir. purely targeting our renowned elders and active youth with order of CM. Interestingly, not even a single person got arrested from that vicinity and locality. One was saying that burnt library, its neighbours should be made them investigated. But that would never be done, because they are follower of Chief minister’s sect!

  3. It is high time that we face another sectarian problem in the region, you are right “urgent action is required “. But it should be fair and free from any baises or pressuress. That can be done under the Apex court of GB .If we want to get rid of sectarianism , the respect of Ahalul bait , Companians of the Prophet and Imams should be protected by the law ,and Real culpurts should be punished ( which has naver been done so far).

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