Hunza News

A change from the past: Sound of sectarian harmony resonates in Chilas

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GILGIT:Chilas witnessed an unprecedented event on Saturday when a delegation comprising senior Shia clerics from Gilgit visited the town on the invitation of the Awami Action Committee (AAC) and received a warm welcome.

HunzaNews March 17th, 2014.

Until recently Diamer Valley’s Chilas town was considered one of the most insecure places in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) for Shias after sectarian attacks on passenger buses in 2012 left around two dozen people dead.

The AAC, an alliance of various regional political and religious parties formed to strive for lower wheat prices in the region, invited G-B Anjuman-e-Imamia Senior Vice President Mohammad Shafie, Majlis-e-Wahadutul Muslimeen Information Secretary Ghulam Abbas, nationalist leader Safdar Ali and AAC Coordinator Wajahat Ali, among others, to discuss cooperation, peace and other issues.

Shafie expressed sorrow over past events while addressing a gathering of clerics which included Inayatullah Shumali and Maulana Muzammil Shah, a prayer leader who was among those arrested for allegedly inciting the 2012 attacks. Shah was, however, released on court orders recently.

“In the past we were made to fight each other but this should stop now. We want to move ahead for the sake of our people and our area,” Shafie said.

Speaking on behalf of the Chilas delegation, Shah said, “It is a historic moment and we feel honoured to have you here.” He also invited Agha Rahat Hussaini, the senior most Shia leader in G-B ,to visit Chilas.“Clerics have vowed to end rivalries and agreed to bridge communication by visiting each other regularly,” said Wajahat.


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