Curbing sectarianism: G-B lawmakers recommend use of special law


Curbing sectarianism: G-B lawmakers recommend use of special law

The G-B Legislative Assembly enacted the CoC last year as a law to curb sectarian violence in the region. “This is our recommendation to the government to deal with troublemakers,” said Amjad Hussain, an assembly member from the Pakistan Peoples Party, on Thursday. Recently, spontaneous violence in Gilgit had left three people dead and four injured in separate incidents.

The CoC is a comprehensive law meant exclusively for individuals involved in committing sectarian violence, said Hussain, who had played an instrumental role in shaping the law in 2012.

The parliamentary committee, of which Hussain is a member, directed the government to nab those who incite violence rather than chasing ordinary criminals.

The CoC states that prayer leaders will not be allowed to issue edicts against each other’s sect, especially during Friday and Eid sermons. It further states that clerics will not demand their respective sect’s share in jobs and other government matters.

Hussain said the recent spike in sectarian violence might be linked with the elections next year as it would help certain parties. “There are certain sectarian outfits that wish to contest elections next year. They will naturally be in a better position to win if the sectarian issue keeps flaring up,” he said, adding the committee has also proposed the government to resist arresting people under the maintenance of public order and instead register an FIR.

Meanwhile, security officials have reportedly nominated 20 people, including clerics, for directly or indirectly inciting violence in the region. “Those nominated will be arrested soon,” said a police official, requesting anonymity.

Deputy Inspector General Ali Sher, however, said targeted action would be initiated against those who violate the law. In addition, the police have registered fresh cases against a dozen individuals for taking the law into their own hands during the recent violence in Gilgit.