by Ambreen Agha
Columnist Ambreen Agha scripts her well researched facts and figures in connection with the prevailing situation in Gilgit-Baltistan. She writes:
The Shias and Sunnis have always peacefully coexisted in Gilgit-Baltistan. Even today they do not consciously take up fights with each other, unless pushed. The history of violence here is old. It goes back to the days when Pakistan established a fake autonomy over us. It is since the last 40 years that our lives have been plagued by the ever present Pakistan military here.”
Spokesman of a Gilgit-Baltistan nationalist organization, on condition of anonymity, in an interview to SAIR, March 2, 2012
At least 18 Shias from Gilgit-Baltistan were killed on February 28, 2012, by armed assailants in military uniforms on the Karakoram Highway in the Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while they were returning in a convoy from a pilgrimage to Iran. According to the Police, the assailants flagged down four buses, boarded them, and asked the passengers whether they were Shia or Sunni. They then asked the Shias to step out of the buses and checked their identity cards before pumping bullets into them. All those killed were men, while the eight injured included women and children.