Religious Co-existence in Gilgit Baltistan
Adnan A. Jerov
Being a citizen of Gilgit Baltistan, I believe and have complete faith in Islam, which teaches us to spend a life of peaceful coexistence with people from other faiths. Islam teaches us to light a candle in the dark. Islam teaches us about ethical and moral values. Islam teaches us about spreading peace and harmony. Islam teaches us about brotherhood and fraternity. But above all, Islam teaches us to be a human and have humanity. Just having a beard is not the representation of Islam. It has its own identifications and representations.
According to some resources, there are 4200 religions and sects in the entire world. They all contain Truth, the Oneness of God. This is like saying that rivers, ponds, lakes and streams they have different names but they all contain the same element i.e. water. Religions and sects within religions have many organized behaviors and practices. The practice include rituals, sermons, commemoration, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, funerary services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance or other aspects of human cultures.
Gilgit-Baltistan was once a land of peace but from last few decades, it has been facing some critical problems. Gilgit-Baltistan has turned into a wild forest where we only hear hustle and bustle, and hue and cry of wild animals. Peace is no longer with us. It has become very hard for the survival of its inhabitants.
Gilgit-Baltistan has been deliberately affected by violence, intolerance, prejudices, malice, differences and corruptions from last few decades. These issues have taken the whole city with fear and terror. The basic cause of such destructive issues can be illiteracy. Due to very little education, there are irrational conflicts between well-educated citizens and less educated political leaders. It could be because of the same reason that outside political commotion. Religion-based parties have become actively involved in their own conflicts. Hence, there is corruption, lack of planning and foresight, and the absence of workable political system.
I, however, think that Gilgit-Baltistan can be turned into “City of Peace” that it once was, only if the sensible youth of Gilgit-Baltistan use their ability and potential. This could also be done by having unity and alliance. Also we youth of Gilgit Baltistan should elect and select sensible leaders rather than a middle qualified leaders whether he is political or religious one. Moreover, these circumstances should be eradicated from our society and we need to get rid of these critical issues the quicker-the better.
Long live Gilgit Baltistan, but with peace!