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Gilgit-Baltistan govt. asks prayer leaders, religious scholars to not use places of worship for politics

Gilgit, March 24: The Gilgit-Baltistan caretaker government, through a widely publicized five-point charter, has announced a number of measures to ‘control the law and order’ situation in the region.

One of the advice/instructions issued by the government pertains to avoiding the usage of places of worship for politics. The prayer leaders and religious scholars have been asked to not use the Mosques and other places of worship for endorsing or condemning election candidates. They have also been asked to avoid announcing political events, strikes, processions.

Other points in the advertisement relate to discouraging the use of social media, including SMS, for sharing hate material.

The religious scholars have been urged to spread messages of peace, coexistence and harmony through their sermons and speeches. They have been warned against making provocative speeches, or instigating people to hate or violence. The prayer leaders and scholars have also been warned against meddling in administrative issues on sectarian grounds.

Political and religious groups will have to take permission from the government before inviting leaders, scholars, from outside the region to Gilgit-Baltistan.

The prayer leaders and scholars have also been asked to avoid making speeches against the Pakistan Army, Rangers, Police and other law enforcing agencies working in the region. They have been warned that in case such speeches were made, action will be taken against them under the National Action Plan, under which military courts have been established throughout the country.

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