The Bold Voice of J&K

Why prominent figures from Pak-held Gilgit Baltistan under attack?

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Sajjad Kargili

Allama Shiekh Mohsin Najafi a renowned figure of the Balti community of Pakistan Administered Gilgit Baltistan and also a renowned Shia figure was born in 1938 to a family of Northern Areas Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan , and then moved to Islamabad as a child began his religious education in Baltistan, then at Mashare Uloom, Haiderabad, Dar ul Uloom Khushab and Jamia Muntazir Lahore.
In 1964 Shaikh Mohsin Ali Najafi traveled to Iraq to study in Najaf under Grand Ayatollah AAbu al-Qasim al-Khoei, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr and other Grand Ayatollahs for 10 years. In 1976, he returned to Islamabad, Pakistan and laid the foundation of the Jamia Ahle Bait (a.s) for the purpose of educating and propagation of Shia, Islam.
He is one of the figure who has built several institution in Baltistan region and across Pakistan. Shiekh Mohsin is the person who has raised huge amount of fund for the effected people of Kashmir during earthquake in 2010. He is the head of several seminaries and the one of the TV Channel Hadi is running under his supervision.
He has also translated Quran (Tafseer e Quran). Currently head and founder of a network of 25 Shia seminaries in Pakistan, Currently he is the Founder and Current Chancellor of Alkauthar Islamic University, Chairmain Jabir Bin Hayyan Trust Islamabad , Managing Trustee Hussaini Foundatiion Islamabad Head of Uswa Education System, Pakistan.
Allama Najafi is known for his social welfare activities and he was never ever known for any political reasons. He has not even took part in any political activity in Pakistan. However, the Pakistani government has placed his name in the fourth schedule (Anti-Terror Act). This news sparked entire Baltistan region including district Kargil.
Initially Anjuman Sahib Zaman spokesperson Aga Syed Ahmed Rizvi has condemned this act of Pakistani state and demanded to revoke his name from the fourth schedule but later the news spread across Kargil district and the influential religious organisation of Kargil Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust staged massive demonstration against this act of Pakistani State and in solidarity with Shiekh Mohsin and people of Gilgit Baltistan.
On 31 October thousands staged protest against Pakistani government after the government of Pakistan has placed renowned Pakistani Shia cleric Shiekh Mohsin Najafi’s name in fourth Schedule (Anti-Terror Act), seized his bank accounts and revoked his citizenship.
The protesters were holding play cards in which the solidarity slogans for Sheikh Mohsin Najafi and the people of Gilgit Baltistan.
In that protest General Secretary IKMT Mohammad Hussain said. “It’s very disturbing news that our renowned cleric sheikh Mohsin najafi from our Gilgit Baltistan has been placed in terrorist list. While other hand the real terrorists are roaming free”.
Criticising on Nawaz Shareef Government MLA Kargil Asgar Karbalai said that Nawaz Sharif government is engulfed in corruption and ‘now they are trying to protect Terrorist and pleasing Saudi dynasty’.
He said, “We are against oppression and always stand with the oppressed people weather in Gilgit Baltistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Quetta Baluchistan or in Kashmir”.
“Shiekh Mohsin Najafi is an academic person and he is not a political person and Pakistan government is trying to limit his social activities”.
Chairman Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust Shiekh Hussain Lufti Said that the people should always rise against the atrocities.
“The Pakistan Sharif government is getting dictates from Saudi Arabia”. He said.
Analysts think that many factors are triggering this anti-Shia wave in Pakistan and even in Gilgit Baltistan and Ladakh. After the execution of Shiekh Baqir Nirm in Saudi Arabia the Bahrain government did the similar thing by revoking the citizenship of Shiekh Issa Qasim and he is still in the house arrest in Bahrain and then a massacre has took place in Nigeria where the army has killed hundreds of Shias and arrested the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
These incidents have already giving a sense of insecurity and Most of the people think the new challenges are facing by the Shia community in Pakistan and especially in Baltistan is also a continuation of this new trend which has been initiated from Saudi Arabia after Iran-Saudi rivalry started from Syria Conflict.
The people in Baltistan are deprived from the basic fundamental and constitutional rights and now government is arrested many leaders including Shiekh Mirza Yousuf and the Pakistani Shia leader senator Faisal Raza Abidi. The government has also included the name of Allama Amin Shaheed in fourth Schedule who is the leader of Majlis e Wahdat e Muslimeen and also from Gilgit.
This is the plight of UN-declared disputed Gilgit Baltistan under Pakistani administration, where political leaders are being treated as terrorists and real terrorists are actually roaming free to torture and even kill political and religious opponents who dare not to obey the enslaving orders of the communal forces inside Pakistan.
In Pakistan Administered Gilgit-Baltistan There is no space for freedom of speech, right to peaceful political assembly, right to free travel and political activities. Nationalist political parties who do not follow guidelines of the establishment are not allowed to perform political activities.
On the continuous attack on Shia community in Pakistan especially on the prominent figures in Pakistan Administered Gilgit Baltistan is normal. On the other side of the tragedy is the silence of All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders including the Shia representation in APHC creating more doubts among the people and now the anger is spreading in entire region. The organisation claims to be the representative of entire Jammu and Kashmir people from both sides and they only speak when the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have demanded for provincial status and constitutional rights.
It’s also interesting to know the APHC leaders both sides of the Kashmir remained silence over the atrocities happened in Pakistan Administered Gilgit Baltistan (PaGB). They have never shown any single resentment weather during the shia massacre in Chilas or the current arrests of Political activists in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Hurriyat only opens mouth when the GB leaders voiced from their own constitutional rights and demands equal rights as the people of PoK have.
The people in Kargil district who have shown their solidarity with the people of Kashmir in recent days and sided with Kashmir are in a big dilemma. Because being Shia they are seriously concerned with their future and finding no hope for their security.
The people of Gilgit Baltistan who are struggling for the fundamental democratic rights are deprived since 1948. The struggle is continue and Pakistani state has arrested several political and social activists behind the bars.
(The writer is a Ladakh based freelance Journalist)

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