Fri. May 7th, 2021

HRCP slams tourist killings in Gilgit-Baltistan

Lahore, June 24 (PR): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has voiced condemnation and grave concern over the murder of 10 foreign climbers and at least one Pakistani citizen in Gilgit-Baltistan and called it a serious crisis in a region which could do without further aggravation.

In a statement on Monday, the Commission said: “The killing of the foreign mountaineers in Gilgit-Baltistan raises very serious concerns for a number of reasons. It was another incident, after last year’s bloodshed of Shias, where the killers appeared out of thin air and disappeared without a trace afterwards. Like the Shia killings of last year in the region, this too was no spur of the moment attack and speaks volumes about the ineptness of the security and intelligence apparatus.

The killings represent a serious deterioration in a region raked by sectarian bloodshed and schisms. Gilgit-Baltistan had thus far been considered one of the safer parts of northernPakistan for tourists and tourism had been the mainstay of the local economy. It is not too difficult to imagine what these killings would do to that economy.

The Taliban and a linked sectarian militant group have claimed responsibility for the killings, which the interior minister has described as an intolerable attack against Pakistan by those bent on destroying the country. Actions against these elements so far do not demonstrate much commitment to saving the country from the feared destruction. The question now is where do we go from here and how do the authorities and society deal with those whose only skill and passion is killing in the name of whatever takes their fancy? While condemnation of such heinous attacks through parliamentary resolutions and otherwise is vital, taking concrete steps to bring the perpetrators to justice and preventing recurrence is what really counts. Not clamping down on militancy, a failure to challenge growing intolerance in society, and reacting with mere rhetoric after every incident of bloodshed is nothing short of collusion with the enemies of Pakistan.”

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