Thursday, 1 March 2012

Gilgit Baltistan students protest sectarian killings

STAFF REPORT - Students from Gilgit-Baltistan residing in the twin cities protested on Wednesday against the killing of 18 people in Kohistan. The rally started from Aabpara chowk and culminated in front of the Parliament House. The protestors were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the government for its alleged incompetence in providing security to the people travelling on the Karakoram Highway. The protestors demanded the government to ensure the safety of the people travelling along the Silk Route.
“If the government cannot guarantee our right to life than it has no right to rule us,” said Hamid, a student participating in the protest. He criticised the Gilgi-Baltistan government for its failure to maintain law and order in the region. A Balawaristan National Students Organisation (BNSO) member alleged that the state institutions were trying to divide the region’s masses for their own interests.
“Whenever the people unite to voice their grievances, they are sidetracked by such incidents,” he said.
The protestors stated that ‘hidden hands’ should stop their interference in the area.
“We do not want the state to create a Balochistan-like situation in Gilgit-Baltistan. The people cannot be fooled anymore,” said a protestor.
Progressive Youth Front member Sami Barcha criticised the federal government for usurping every basic democratic right of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
“We are being massacred by the state, its institutions and its paid assassins,” he said while warning that these incidents could lead to severe consequences.
The protestors urged the masses to stand united. They added that they will not let ‘hidden hands’ sabotage the peace of the region.


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