World Shia Forum

Identity, Equality, Unity

Humanity prevails: 34 hostages freed by Shia activists in Nagar valley

THOUGH Gilgit-Baltistan has remained cut off from the rest of Pakistan since April 3 when sectarian violence engulfed different towns, the freeing of 34 hostages on Tuesday was a bit of good news to emerge from the troubled region. The hostages, which included government officials, were kidnapped in reaction to sectarian killings in Chilas. Their freedom was secured after local clerics got involved in mediation efforts. The episode shows that the region’s Shia and Sunni communities are willing to work together and attempt conflict resolution, and that much of the violence is orchestrated. Also, there is a distinction between reactive violence involving ordinary citizens and attempts to sabotage local peace by sectarian elements; this leads to a vicious cycle, and all that is needed to spark violence in the emotionally charged atmosphere of Gilgit-Baltistan is a trigger, which sectarian militants are more than willing to provide. True, local religious and political leaders can and should play a role in ensuring lasting peace. Yet if cycles of violence continue and perpetrators go unpunished, Gilgit-Baltistan society may be further radicalised and what the clerics, politicians and state say or do may not matter anymore.

Thirty-four people kidnapped from Hunza on April 3 in the wake of violence and bloodshed in Gilgit and Chilas were released on Tuesday as a result of successful talks between kidnappers and cleric Aga Rahat ul Hussain, police said.

Member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Deedar Ali Shah said the 34 hostages had been released unconditionally.

The kidnapped men — the district health officer, a civil judge, truck drivers, cleaners and labourers working in flour mills — had been taken to Nagar valley.

On Tuesday, they were brought to Gilgit where they were received by the deputy speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, home secretary, finance secretary and the DIG.

Police said Aga Rahat, accompanied by Sheikh Mirza Ali and a number of other religious scholars, went to Nagar valley after the kidnappers had said that they would hand over the hostages only to him.

A team earlier constituted by the Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister had failed to persuade the kidnappers to free the hostages.

The hostages were first taken to the Chief Minister’s House where they met the CM and later transferred to a hotel. They are expected to go to their homes on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a curfew imposed eight days ago remained in force on Tuesday, without any relaxation.

Since the outbreak of violence, Gilgit has remained cut off from the rest of the country with no vehicle plying on the Karakoram Highway and PIA not operating its flights.

When contacted, SP Diamer district Bashir Ahmed said road traffic would not resume without improvement in the security situation. He said about 27 trucks loaded with foodstuff had left for Gilgit, but they were not allowed to enter the city because all entry points were closed.

People in Skardu, Ghizer, Astore, Ghanche and Hunza Nagar are facing a shortage of food and medicines. Tens of thousands people held a sit-in in Skardu and called for arrest of the killers of bus passengers in Bonar Das near Chilas.

گلگت : قائد گلگت بلتستان علامہ راحت حُسین الحُسینی کی کوششوں سے 35 مغوی بازیاب۔

ہم دیگر تمام لوگوں کو یہ پیغام دینا چاہتے ہیں کہ دیکھ لو فرق

انسانیت اور حیوانیت کا
حُسینیت کا اور یزیدیت کا
رحمانیت کا اور شیطانیت کا

ہم کمزور نہیں ہم بُزدل نہیں – ہم حُسینی ہیں


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 12, 2012 by in WSF and tagged .
%d bloggers like this: