Unrest in Gilgit: Mosques, imambargahs sealed
15 October 2005
The Daily Times
Gilgit: The Northern Areas administration has sealed the main imambargahs and mosques in Gilgit and arrested top Shia and Sunni leaders, following clashes between security forces and Shias in which 10 people have died. Home Secretary Capt (r) Sardar Abbas said that the action was taken under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) in view of the deteriorating security situation and that four Sunni and four Shia clerics had been arrested. The arrested Shia leaders are Agha Rahat Hussain-ul- Hussaini, Sheikh Mirza Ali, Anjuman Imamia Gilgit president, Didar Ali, former Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) member, and Sheikh Nayar Abbas. The Sunni leaders who were arrested are Maulana Nirsar Ahmed, Tanzeem Ahl-e-Sunnat ameer, Maulana Khalil Ahmed, deputy ameer, Himayatullah Khan, an NALC member, and Maulana Attaullah Shahab, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Gilgit general secretary.Police sources said that there was no violence in the city on Saturday as a curfew entered its third day. Iqbal Haider, general secretary of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, voiced concern on Saturday that the curfew was making it difficult for people to get food and fuel. The sources said that about 600 Shias from Nagar subdivision gathered at Haraspoo Dass and blocked the Karakoram Highway for several hours. They demanded immediate replacement of the Rangers in Gilgit, saying they were hostile to the Shia community and were not performing their duties impartially.