Shabbir Ahmed Mir
GILGIT: The residents of Hunza valley, marred by recent violence, have decided to launch a mass movement against raids on houses and arrests of locals. “This was decided in a meeting organised by the Hunza Peace Committee,” said Mujahid, a resident of Hunza.
On Friday, the Hunza Peace Committee announced in its’ meeting that it will launch protests and long marches as part of a mass movement to register their opposition to raids and arrests being made by police since the last month, “We will be adopting all possible means to protest against the biased attitude of the government,” said the committee leaders.
Last month, two protestors – a father and son – died after the police opened fire to disperse a crowd assembled to protest the non-payment of compensation to the Attabad Lake affected people just before the chief minister visited Hunza.
The killings triggered riots followed by looting and plundering of public property by a violent mob. Since then, the police have arrested dozens of residents after conducting raids in the valley.
Among other leaders, the meeting was addressed by Sheikh Abid, Wazir Mujahidullah, and Brigadier (retd) Hassamullah, who vowed to visit the valley to gather maximum public support for their movement. The deceased’s family said that after losing their loved ones, they now face persecution and arrest.
Earlier this week, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Legislative Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig, who also hails from Hunza, voiced concern over the arrests of people, terming it a ploy against his government.
G-B Finance Minister Mohammad Ali Akhtar insisted that the culprits have caused losses to the government exchequer and would be held accountable.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2011.