GILGIT, The Gilgit administration on Thursday ordered closure of government and private educational institutions in the city indefinitely over delicate law and order situation.
A local official said senior administration officials, including law-enforcers, would examine security situation in the next three to four days before deciding on whether to withdraw the school closure orders. He said businessmen could carry out their activities as usual. The official also said traffic on Karakoram Highway had been restored but vehicular traffic, especially movement of public transport vehicles, on it was being closely monitored. He said buses would cross Bisham with police escorts before 4pm for security reasons. Meanwhile, government and private offices on Thursday reopened after Eid holidays. They, however, reported a thin attendance over violence fear and road closure.
By and large, markets remained closed in the day. Law-enforcement agencies increased security checks on the roads and at public places, and increased patrols. No untoward incident was reported in the city. Meanwhile, leaders of Gilgit on Thursday blamed the recent sectarian violence in Mansehra on lack of coordination among law-enforcement agencies.Gilgit-Baltistan Council member Amjad Hussain told Dawn that law-enforcers lacked coordination but people had to pay the price in the form of lawlessness. He said the soil for the indigenous people has been tightened and they are being compelled to look for other part of the world to live with sense of security. “The agencies tasked with protecting public life and property are a failure,” he said.
Mr Amjad said the government should find reasons for growing acts of terrorism in the region and punish the culpable people to contain the menace. “It (government) will have to do it before it is too late,” he said. He said people of Gilgit lived in fear of being killed by terrorists. Didar Ali, a member of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly from Gilgit city, urged people to set aside their faith or sectarian affiliations and identify terrorists among them before helping law-enforcers crack down on them. “It’ll promote inter-faith harmony and peace,” he said. The assembly member said people of all faiths and sects should unite against terrorists. All Pakistan Muslim League leader Ilyas Siddiqui criticised the government for detailing most policemen to the VIPs’ security leaving common man at the mercy of terrorists.
He said the government should immediately withdraw police guards from VIPs and deploy them at buses for passengers’ security. G-B Council’s member from Diamer Syed Afzal said terrorism had become a national challenge and therefore, a vibrant security system should be put in place to effectively counter it. He said life in the region was crippled by violence as law-enforcers had miserably failed to perform their duty of containing troublemakers diligently. “Terrorism is our national enemy and therefore, we should join hands to fight it out,” he said. -Dawn