Fri. Aug 14th, 2020

Why anxious about Chilas?

Nazakat Ali

Diamer District is bounded by Astore District in the east, by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the southwest Neelum District of Azad Kashmir in the south, the Ghizer District in the north and northwest, and the Gilgit District in the north and northeast. Before the Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978, the only road reaching Gilgit town from the south was a rough track north from Balakot to Babusar Pass and further north through Babusar Gah to Chilas. The dis­trict of Diamer has a population of more than 150,000 people and includes the subdivisions of Tangir/Darel, and Chilas.

The literacy rate in Diamer district is 10 per cent and of females never above 0.02 per cent.

Chilas is approximately 130 km from Gilgit and is  the headquarters of the Diamer District.

I came across the print and social media where I saw a person write about Diamer, “why I hate Chilas”, while another wrote “we shall cherish Chilas” and some write love Chilas. The whole Gilgit-Baltistan is my region and it is my moral duty to shed light on my region, especially Diamer, and present its  power points and weak points to cherish the region. All the concerned people expressed their views and I think they are right about some extent but one thing is proven that we are anxious about Chilas. Why we are  anxious about Chilas?  Because something is going wrong .I will describe some facts that lead the current worst situation in Diamer.

1. Ethnicity

Sheen and Yashkun divide prevails  more or less in whole Gilgit-Baltistan but it is at the peak in Chilas,Diamer and  claims dozens of lives . I clearly remember an incident when  passenger buses crossing over the Gohar Abad Chilas in the morning. I saw the road was blocked by people and were throwing stones over other party which was lesser in numbers. My bus has been stopped near a police station. I conceal my ID card and left the bus while fearing to be killed. I was quit assured that it is a sectarian clash, somehow I decided I would ask from an old man possessing a gun and was lagging the rally a little bit but he did not bothered to just listen to me. It was quit risky because the whole rally was equipped with weapons and they were throwing stones.

I came to know from a spectator that the clash is between The Sheen and Yashkun tribes. On hearing this, first I took a deep breath and started seeing the whole scene. The two parties were throwing stones toward each other. I saw the a man with beard open fire on the other party and injured two people but I also noted their clapping after it. The injured people were in serious condition. God knows better what happened with them. I fled the scene.

2. Tribal Feuds

Situation is worst   especially in Tangir/Darel valleys, followed by Chilas  where Gun is a good companion of locals in their day and nights. People do not dare  to go into  streets in dark and usually they  carry a pistol or a revolver on day time as well. They have culture of revenge.  There are many reasons to start the blood feud among the people being land, water rights but Women stands the centre point of blood enmity. The highest murder rate is in Tangir/Darel, with Chilas having the sec­ond highest. The population of  Chilas is approximately 60,000 which includes  a number of valleys, such as Gohar Abad, Thagi, Gichi, Thor, Hodur, Thalpan, Gesh, and  some others. But by an authentic source, the murder rate of this area is 20 to 25 people per year.

3. Sectarianism

Historically, the  diverse  communities  of Gilgit-Baltistan  have lived together  in  relative harmony. Ethnic  and  tribal identities  and  social  ties  developed  over centuries  were  valued more than sectarian affiliations and Diamer was second to none in their hospitality with all their mentioned weak points but in 80s the Gen Zia ul Haq injected sectarian  poison in Gilgit-Baltistan, especially in Diamer where all the elements combined to produce an invasion against Shia community in Gilgit which claims hundreds of lives and damaged huge infrastructure.

This was the incident that dragged the region towards sectarianism .Later the list goes long and long as on February 28, 2012,eighteen Shia pilgrims were openly killed on the Karakoram Highway in Kohistan district while returning from  Rawalpindi  another attack killed twenty people at Chilas on April  and terrorists again targeted Shia but also four Sunni who protested this brutal act ,killed twenty-two near  Babusar  Pass on August 16.After three major attacks the Government failed to hang the culprits. The brutality and impunity with which these crimes were committed have triggered wider sectarian tensions and hardened attitudes in Gilgit-Baltistan. The situation is tense,especially in Diamer.

Diamer is now literally  “no-go” areas for  Govt.  As a result on June 22, 2013, about 16 militants, reportedly dressed in GB scouts killed 10 climbers and one guide. The incident has cornered the Pakistan internationally and made a worse image about Pakistan. The security agencies were quite active after incident but local Jirga helped terrorists to escape from Region. The Team which was investigating that case has been gunned down in Chilas including SSP a Colonel and a Captain.

Some people defend that the terrorists are not locals but local religious elements have played a pivotal role in establishing this linkage. The local volunteers go for training in Meran shah and Waziristan to help the Taliban jihad in GB otherwise operations in far-flung areas are not possible without the logistical support of sectarian elements within such societies. And the Mastermind of Nanga Parbat has been identified as named Majeed  who is a local, not outsider. Gilgit-Baltistan is our home land we know about it ,about its nature and  also know what is the solution.

Let’s be anxious about Chilas to find the roots of terrorism, do not let it to grow again and finally cherish the Chilas in a new way to make a civilized society.

17 thoughts on “Why anxious about Chilas?

  1. best reply to Ma’m Ashi article…
    totally agreed….”Diamer was second to none in their hospitality with all their mentioned weak points but in 80s the Gen Zia ul Haq injected sectarian poison in Gilgit-Baltistan, especially in Diamer where all the elements combined to produce an invasion against Shia community in Gilgit which claims hundreds of lives and damaged huge infrastructure.
    This was the incident that dragged the region towards sectarianism “

  2. Excellent column bro…
    we are all anexious about Chilas… We even can’t travel in KKH safely. God Bless such voices of facts.

  3. “Diamer was second to none in their hospitality with all their mentioned weak points but in 80s the Gen Zia ul Haq injected sectarian poison in Gilgit-Baltistan, especially in Diamer where all the elements combined to produce an invasion against Shia community in Gilgit which claims hundreds of lives and damaged huge infrastructure”
    i agree this … its a good approach, neutral.
    may God bless our land with peace and harmony.
    Diamer is the most important, lovely and integral part of Gilgit Baltistan.i am realy impressed by hospitality of Diamer ppl, when i use to hear about it from my elders.
    may God cuse ZIA and his companions for injecting venom in this beauty land, which paralyzed it…

  4. Nazakat I don’t blame ur anxiousness over Chilas after my particular article:)) I would appreciate it more if you showed same zeal when somebody was unjustifiably ranting accusations without proof. against chilas.I never said we don’t have problems. just by highlighting some unfortunate incidents which You have provided no link for authencity,I would suggest u also bring o light the root cause of bus tragedies,they occurred when in Gilgit a peaceful procession was attacked and 6 killed and 60 injured, by highlighting afew events we already know in region you’re not conibuting anything new.People of Chilas are NOT vengeful, they believe in dont mess with us we won’t mess with you.Only when people in gilgit r killed you see counter reaction in Diamer.I I would rather next time you also bring to light why bus tragedies occurred? Sheen yaskin is only Chilas problem? You’re extremely naive and misinformed if u claim that. Who said its no go area? Ure presuming again,there is an on going operation there as we speak.kindly get your facts correct next time. I want u to provide reliable source for mehran shah claim? It’s time you all are anxious about sectarian divide and disunity ALL OVER GB before trying to find it I. Ilas, it won’t serve the higher purpose! No need to be anxious about Chilas work n make efforts for peace All over GB.cone out of sectarian mindset it’s only harming our people.

  5. yeh.. what mam Ashi had written in hers article, that was past now the situation is totally different.. we all should accept the real facts. We all have to unite especially people from chilas have to show more interest and sincerity for the peace of GB..

  6. “local volunteers go for training in Meran shah and Waziristan to help the Taliban jihad in GB otherwise operations in far-flung areas are not possible without the logistical support of sectarian elements within such societies. ”
    we should about it

  7. Not your job to be anxious about Chilas, what stakes do you have there? What is making you all people anxious is a sane and educated woman voice from Chilas.you can’t hide your shock and uneasiness and have tried unsuccessfully to somehow satisfy your conscious.Aisha J khan’s article was factual and in response to a misleading article which she mentioned.she is from Chilas and gave her people’s viewpoint which makes sense.why are you targeting Diamer Chilas while you speak of whole GB? Why don’t you mention Gilgit and Sunni massacre there? Your article is boring and one sided. Don’t impress us. Why can’t you digest a moderate and strong voice from Chilas? Look inside your collar instead of criticizing without reason.

    1. we are all anexious about Chilas.. because it has now become a safe heaven for terrorists-series of terrorists activities proves it.
      All the security agencies admit that terrorists from KPK migrated there and have now deep roots there.
      2nd we only focus on Chilas because peoples anly killed in Chilas. Chilas is my own land its my own district its the place of men who were known with their hospitability and humanity.
      we will not let terrorists to occupy it…

    2. their literacy is very low especially women literacy , due to this all previous incidents aoccured. nazekat explained very well.
      \

  8. Good analysis…. this is reality.
    fine full facts.
    these are the worst situations in that region.Government should take rigid steps on it.

  9. i dont agree with writer … this area cancer part of GB, we need to cure on time, people must reject the influence of soudia arabia, excel pathans and estabilish schools… we dnt want to destroy the soft emage of GB. people of diamer must come forward for peace … and punish culprits

  10. @ayesha you are right…i never tried to justify the killings of gilgit sister..i pointed out the birth of sectarianism in whole GB.yes my facts in column are research based and have the authenticity as well, which can be provided privately .locals training in meran shah is not my claim ..i personally know even..can be shared privately.I appreciate you really..you are the first person who accepted the reality.My best friends are from chilas and Goharabad but we have some bitter realities sister.

  11. Those who are claiming that Diamer and Chilas is peaceful… Tell me so many incidents occured there-Angels did it?? security agencies have identified that majority are locals… Majeed mastermind of nanga parbat incident belongs to Chilas

  12. when the justice is denied & government discriminates people in Gilgit- Baltistan on sectarian bases, then violence will prevail, can any one tell me Why cold blooded Target killing of one sect including 85 years old local masjid moaazan ,teachers, business men & workers , students even women are killed it is never termed as victims, never compensated for their loss, but on other hand victims of another sect are always remembered by media & government & given huge compensation,
    People of Diamir demanded unambiguously that ” guarantee us the security of 5 Km is Gilgit city , we will guarantee you the security of 500 Km on KKH” is this demand unjustified ???? who started killing after identification???? by killing of patients , doctors, nursing staff, government servants in Gilgit , some were even brunt alive,. People of GB never use to attack women , who started killing of even families including women from Diamir in Gilgit? why pakhtoons & hazara,s are soft target for killers? If people of KPK are killed here ,why you assume that there will be no reaction by their relatives?

    Have some one ever thought who is the real beneficiary of all this, please tell me how many other casts have been killed ? why victims are yashkuns on both sides in 90% cases ???

    Let us be truthful & give equal rights,justice and value to all citizens of GB ,other wise things will never get calm. “SECURITY OF KKH IS DEPENDENT ON SECURITY OF GILGIT CITY” there is No other solution , It is insane to think that people will be targeted in Gilgit & there will be No reaction “.

  13. admin I know you ll delete the truth, remember when I asked you to remove a some comments a year ago, u r reply was ,we can,t remove comments as comments are saved on a third party sever, go on , self denial will not change the reality, and this is the hard reality we all are facing today. good luck

  14. @shahid Iqbal…you tries the things to equalize brother…the case is reverse…tell me 1988 incident was by any reaction???? 1994 incident was by a reaction..??? who ever kill a person he is culprit and he should be hanged,irrespective of sects and parties.Motivate the people to throw the weapon and take pen instead so that GB will be a civilized society.

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