Jirga mulls reopening of Gilgit mosques
25 November 2005
Gilgit: A grand peace jirga that has succeeded in restoring peace to Gilgit is considering to reopen of two central mosques in the city which were sealed after sectarian clashes on October 13. Sources in the jirga said that although its executive council had decided to reopen the mosques, it would be possible only if assurances were given that the mosques would not be used to incite sectarian violence. Official sources said the administration had not decided to reopen the mosques and it would consider the jirga proposals and modalities before reopening them. The sources said the Jirga executive council had formed two committees, headed by Northern Areas Legislative Council members Hafiz Hafeezur Rahman and Mirza Hussain, to hold consultations with detained clerics in Adiyala Jail (Rawalpindi) on steps needed to be taken to maintain peace in the region. The sources said the executive council of the jirga had also decided to remove sectarian graffiti and controversial banners if the local administration agreed to the move. About the administration of the mosques, the sources said that the jirga would work out plans to supervise them. About release of the detained clerics, the sources said that the jirga would be required to furnish a guarantee to the government that the clerics would shun sectarian politics in future, which seemed difficult.