Islamabad, Nov 15: The National Crisis Management Cell at the Ministry of Interior has, in a letter, warned the Gilgit-Baltistan government of possibility of terrorist attacks during the month of Moharram. It has also been mentioned in the letter that the Taliban have dispatched over two dozen terrorists to Waziristan for getting trained in terrorist attacks.
The Gilgit-Baltistan government has been cautioned to remain “extremely vigilant”, to be able to avert terrorist attacks.
The threat comes at a time when the Shia Muslims in Gilgit-Baltistan, who account for more than 50% of the region’s population, are preparing to observe the month of Moharram by holding processions, Majalis and other Aza’dari related events.
DIG Ali Sher of the police force has confirmed that there are possibilities of terrorist attacks. He has told the media that efficient security arrangements have been made to avert the terrorist attacks. He has also appealed to the people to cooperate with the law enforcing agencies and fail nefarious designs of the enemies of peace and harmony.
The Gilgit-Baltistan region witnessed the worst violence of its modern history during the first 8 months of the year, in which passenger buses were torched, passengers were shot dead or stoned to death, and many others lost their lives in sporadic targeted killings.
The politically disempowered region, despite of being governed by an elected assembly, has severe governance issues which contribute significantly to volatility of the law and order situation. While segments of the society are quick to attribute almost all attacks to acts of sectarian outfits, there are indicators that many of the killings are not strictly based on sectarian issues.
The local Ulema and civil society leaders have been appealing to the masses to remain vigilant and work for peace and harmony.
Observers believe that any further terrorist attacks in the region can have serious repercussions for regional stability and peace. The public reacted with anger, hopelessness and hatred to the massacre at Kohistan, Chilas and Babusar (Naran). Adding more fuel to the fire will further increase the hopelessness in an already politically disempowered region and it may also cause loss of trust in the state, its organizations and the government.