Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sectarianism In Gilgit Baltistan

The RIGHTS….. And Wrongs

I have often listened to a politician waving his hand in the air; pointing into the skies, and onto the earth while shouting on the top of his voice. I also remember the roar that would emerge out of the mobs. There would be the favorite slogan "Hamara Leader Kaisa Ho… "ABCD Jaisa Ho" and "Hamara Leader Sher Hay" also "Jeetayga bai Jeetayga"…. "XYZ He Jeetayga". I am amazed at the way people affiliate slogans with their "leaders". There are people comparing the "Khaira" of their village to Quaid-e-Azam; the Nathu to Nelson Mandela and Bakhshoo to Chagoveera. I am not a revolutionary. No. I am not a leftist. Neither am I a conservative. I am also not a part of the mob that I have mentioned in the first paragraph. I don’t chant slogans for others… helping them to rise so high that they start looking down at me!! I mentioned these people because they were able to free their nations from the shackles of slavery. Has Nelson Mandela not struggled the black bashing would have continued for longer periods. I and some of my friends are really fond of talking about politics and international affairs so we kept on talking on this evening of the mid August. No doubt, every body seemed worried about the deteriorating peace situation in that region. A friend, who had recently arrived from Gilgit, told us that the macabre sectarian revenge killing going on. He said that now that residents have gotten accustomed to that norm of killing and people usually go about their business despite the horrific game being played in the backdrop. They have now learnt, he added, to close their eyes and ears to the killings and rampage going around them. He confirmed that No-Go areas have been demarcated (virtually) in the region. I was not shocked to learn all this. I have realized that sectarianism has slowly crept into our lives and now it controls our brawn and brain. We are the relatively late victims to religious hatred. It was there, I admit but the extent has increased manifolds. History tells us that the Ismaili Hunza, the Shia Nagar, the Sunni Chilas and the Shia (Noor Bukhshia) Baltistan had always been there. But they did not fight as they are doing now. I also agree that there was the least connectivity between the ordinary people but there were the royals who cross married, irrespective of their faith (read Sect). Then how this sectarianism did become so important for all of us? Yes all of us. Every sect has got scores of extremists who potentially are a threat to the other. Did the ISI do this? Was FIA behind this evil? Or did the "agents of Israel" do this? I would not answer any of these questions. But undoubtedly, I would love to ask you a few questions. How have we responded to the spread of sectarianism? Did we reject it? Have we tried to love the members of our sister communities? Have we preferred, for the sack of peace, our nationality over our sect? It is the right time to think over these issues. We cannot afford to live with the hatred that consumes faith, and above that, humanity. At one side is the vigorous growth of the world and at the other end are we, with our Jihadi intentions still sparking. We are still eager to give our sword a bath in the blood of the Kafir. The speeding growth of knowledge and intellect might have replaced our Shalwar with a western Pethloon (trouser) but from the core we are still the same; primitive and shackled in hatred. Since the 88 military actions of the Jihadis and their "Amirs", our region has seen the havoc many times. There have been more agonizing moments. I remember the time when a single bullet shot in the Gilgit Bazzar would be retaliated against thousands of rounds being fired from Nageral and Kashrote. I could never grab the central idea. Was this a show of power, a norm or a tradition? For some those retaliations could have been the show of power but I feel that those were a way to ensure ourselves that we are better killers than the others! That we can kill more than you. That there is more rage inside us than you. I also feel that those retaliations were a way to cover the fear that lies deep down inside our hearts; the fear of being attacked and demolished. This feeling is not limited to the two places that I have mentioned. Indeed this feeling crept into our societies throughout the northern areas. The weapon-buying mania was just a minor exposition of our fear. We have harshly tired to save ourselves from the unknown in the mean time compiling lots of other social evils. We forgot that the Kalashnikov that hangs somewhere inside our home can be used to settle personal scores, besides safeguarding our homes and lives. We also neglected the fact that our children can use the same weapon to kill themselves or their rivals. We also looked over the fact that with weapon in hand, the head gets ballooned with "heroism". Compiling weaponry for any reason is quite disturbing. And I feel that had there been fewer guns in our towns; we would have lived a very peaceful life. There would not have been the self-proclaimed guardians of the "faith" and "honor". The dacoits would have been very less and there would not have been a mob killing innocents and then burning their cadavers (for the solace of mind and yet "involuntary" as they put it!). The basic problem remains within us. We have never tried to trust each other. And whenever and have trusted each other we have excelled. But those have been very few and noble events. When we trusted each other, to quote an example, we defeated the Dogras. And at another moment when we trusted each other all of us were there to free the two innocents girls (abducted from a village of Ghizar district), and for receiving them, in Gilgit. And this reminds me of another reception. All of us were there to receive Nazir Sabir, after he had scaled the Mount Everest. And he is listed in a category called "the son of the north" (Farzand-e-Shimal). Analyzing these situations, and many more, I come to the conclusion that in the case of the fight for liberation, our nationalist sentiments invoked the flare that engulfed the armed-to-teeth, army of the Maharaja. There could have been the religious sentiments but till now no one has tagged that war of freedom to be a Jihad. In the second case, again the daughter of the north had been kidnapped so we remained united and were able to force the usually dead and blind government into freeing them. Again in the case of the reception hosted in the honor of Nazir Sabir, our nationalist sentiments over powered all other affiliations and were there on the street, dancing and showering the hero with flower. Having said all that let us look at the other side of the picture and I have a firm belief over this side. Human values, humanity, respect for others, sharing the grief and joys of others have been the major preaching of our faith. And the same values hold true for every other nation and religion. The biggest and most effective think that links us is our being human beings. We all love others because we have the same origination. Even, if we don’t have the same origination as some may argue, we the ones most related to each other in our physical and mental features. Let us start trusting each other. Let us count our similarities. Please shun the habit of going for counting differences. Our differences are our strengths and our similarities our signs of belongingness. We are one. The heart of the man sitting on the top of the Karakurum has the same throb as that of the one basking on a beach in Europe. "We created you one and then divided you into clans… so that you are identified….." is what the most holly of all the books says about this. Nationalist sentiments are positive if they are properly maneuvered. The government of Pakistan should not have any issues with the nationalistic affinities of the people of the north. By the way, the Quaid was out to create a federation of states, and not a single state! The attachment of the people of north to their nation can be utilized for promoting the much needed harmony in the region. And above all if the intention is to safeguard human lives, no stone has to be left unturned. But this would hold true only if the government is sincere in its efforts to create peace in the region. Otherwise all that I wrote holds true for the people of northern areas, who are always at the receiving end, only.


اگر ممکن ہے تو اپنا تبصرہ تحریر کریں

اہم اطلاع :- غیر متعلق,غیر اخلاقی اور ذاتیات پر مبنی تبصرہ سے پرہیز کیجئے, مصنف ایسا تبصرہ حذف کرنے کا حق رکھتا ہے نیز مصنف کا مبصر کی رائے سے متفق ہونا ضروری نہیں۔

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اگر آپ کے کمپوٹر میں اردو کی بورڈ انسٹال نہیں ہے تو اردو میں تبصرہ کرنے کے لیے ذیل کے اردو ایڈیٹر میں تبصرہ لکھ کر اسے تبصروں کے خانے میں کاپی پیسٹ کرکے شائع کردیں۔