Sunday, August 26, 2012

Federal, provincial govts responsible for violence in GB: PML-N

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has held interior, Kashmir affairs ministers and Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister responsible for killings of innocent people and sectarian tension in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) on the eve of Eid.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, PML-N Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir Chief Coordinator Muhammad Siddiqul Farooq said that had immediate remedial measures been taken after the Lulusar incident, additional losses and sectarian tension could have been avoided.

He accused the Kashmir affairs minister and the Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister of not taking steps for implementation of the Mosque Regulation Act adopted with consensus by the Legislative Assembly on May 24.

He said PML-N President Nawaz Sharif was seriously concerned about the deteriorating situation in the area and had issued special directions in that regard to the party’s Gilgit-Baltistan president, Hafeezur Rehman.

He said that on Sharif’s directions, the PML-N had played a special role for sectarian harmony in Gilgit-Baltistan. However, he criticised the government for creating hurdles in the party’s attempts to bring peace and order in the area.

To a question, Farooq said he had been continuously drawing attention of the ministry concerned and the Gilgit-Baltistan government to deal with terrorism and sectarian tension.

However, he said, due to their inefficiency or to divert attention of the people from their failures, the federal and Gilgit-Baltistan governments had not been paying attention to their moral and constitutional obligations.

Farooq said that 200 innocent people had lost their lives due to sectarian violence in the area but the local leadership was more interested in saving their government than the lives of the poor masses. The PML-N leader urged all religious, political parties and civil society to take notice of “the criminal attitude of the provincial government”. He expressed hope that the print and electronic media would show greater responsibility in reporting the events in Gilgit-Baltistan.

To another question, he said the PML-N considered Gilgit-Baltistan a common home to all religious sects and thus expected harmony among them.

He pointed out that all schools of thought had played their collective role for independence from the Dogra Raj. He said people of Gilgit-Baltistan believed that there was need for unity among them for economic and social development of the area.

To another question, Farooq said a handful of anti-peace elements had created “a no-go area” in Gilgit-Baltistan and that due to its vested interests, the provincial government was not taking steps to eliminate these no-go areas.

He said there was a heavy deployment of army, FC, police and intelligence agencies due to strategic location of the area but the menace of terrorism was not being rooted out in an area spanning few kilometres.

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