By: Mohammad Karim Jan
In the last couple of weeks the peaceful Gilgit has plunged, into turmoil. The horrible sound of bullets and hand grenades and the threatening echoes of siren of police and ranger’s mobiles, together, have pushed the denizens back to homes from workplaces. Nobody feels safe; everyone is in panic. The law and order situation in the region is at its worse due to the prevailing sectarian violence. In the meantime, the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan- being the custodian of the future of the region- can play a pivotal role in restoring peace in the region. The current circumstances demand from the youth to initiate cross community dialogues intending to bring them closer, to make both communities realise the wonderful heritage they share and, to generate a leadership from among the new generation.
First of all, there is a severe and immediate need of cross sect dialogues between all communities who are unwillingly and blindly involved in the violence. They need to be assembled around a table to talk on the issues that have led them- in the past and in the present- to misunderstanding, thereby have pushed them into conflicts that neither wants. They can talk on the issues that cause irritations for both of them. Moreover, they can come to consensus on not to publish and speak publically irritating material anymore.
Secondly, the youth can make the communities realise that they have common wonderful heritage, a same culture and language. Furthermore, they are begetter of a magnificent history while releasing their homeland from the combined grasp of British and Dograh Dynasty(Dograh raaj) in 1947 they have remained together through all the ebbs and tides of history bound by the true spirit of Islamic brotherhood. The difference between them is that of based some religious beliefs and ill guidance, which is trivial as compared to the common bond they share so it ought not to be cause of discord among them.
Thirdly, the most important thing the youth can contribute is to generate an educated, liberal, unbiased and youthful leadership to the new generation. Only a broadminded leadership might change the mindset of partiality and ensures creating equal opportunities to the individuals of all the communities dwelling in the region. Moreover, they can envision a better future of the region based on mutual interests and development using their innate potentials. It is possible only when there exists such leadership.
Finally, there is no doubt that this is the ethical and religious responsibility of the youth to take steps ahead to pursue peace and open the doors for prosperity of the generation. The attainment of these targets is possible through mutual talks, formation of realisation of common heritage and interests, and fosters a youthful educated leadership to change the destiny of the people. There will remain- if not addressed seriously- a long-lasting despair and potential mayhem in the in the territory, and the doors for sustainable development will remain closed for generations to come.
The write is a graduate of Karakorum International University Gilgit and recently teaches at Aga Khan School, Sherqilla.