Pakistan / Gilgit-Baltistan: Advocate Ehsan Ali, a symbol of political sanity
Publisher: Europe Solidaire San Frontieres
Date Written: 21/02/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22520
In Gilgit-Baltistan, one of the most politically sensitive regions of Pakistan, the author explains why it is important to recognize and support people like Ehsan Ali, who is a vocal human rights activist and a symbol of interfaith harmony.
Many were surprised to learn that a symbol of interfaith harmony in Gilgit-Baltistan was arrested on the charges of instigating sectarian violence. As the president of the Gilgit Bar Association, a close associate of the late Asma Jahangir and a secular and progressive political leader, Ehsan Ali posed a challenge to the monopoly of the state in an under-represented region of Pakistan. In a region embroiled in sectarian violence, a sane state must promote sectarian harmony that is symbolised by people like Ehsan Ali and Baba Jan. The decision to arrest Ehsan and the silence of GB government shows that our polity is bereft of reason.
There have been reports about the infiltration of religious extremist groups to sabotage CPEC through sectarian violence. The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has failed to demonstrate courage to stand up against an inflated bureaucracy and a powerful establishment.