[Editorial] Murder of Shagufta Annum is a National Tragedy of Gilgit-Baltistan
October 5, 2012 16 Comments
The late Shagufta Annum was a bright and highly educated enlightened girl of Gilgit-Baltistan. Shagufta Annum was not only Shagfuta Annum of her own, she was a representative and an agent of our generation of educated, empowered and enlightened youth. She was representing the youth who eager to shed darkness and suffocation of boundaries created among the people of Gilgit-Baltistan by the evils who do not see progress and development in the region either on the name of religious sects, regional divide or tribal affiliations.
There is no need to remind people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral who lived in harmony and peace for centuries holding up to their affiliations at their free will with any religion, sect, geographic area or ideology. The appreciation and respect for pluralism and diversity of social, cultural and religious belonging was always been taken as a source of strengths and an opportunity to learn in Gilgit-Baltistan. Don’t say if it has diminish in the present, it exist with more eagerness in the present as within our new generations who comes from across various sections of life. Everyone living in Gilgit-Baltistan knows and have personal experiences within their families, where the family members are at least followers of all three major sects of Gilgit-Baltistan namely Shia, Sunni and Ismaili, we all share our happiness and sorrow with each other not on the basis of what religious difference we do have rather on the basis of what lovely commonalities we do have with each other.
Late Shagufta Annum was the reminder and enforcer of our these deep rooted values of social harmony of Gilgit-Baltistan. She was not deter and taken hostage of the recent unfortunate events of a handful of vehement madden people who wearing religious camouflager bend to disrupt the peace and social fabric of Giglit-Baltistan on religious divide. Shagufta Annum and Ismaili girl belonging to Gojal-Hunza reached across the sectarian divide with the red roses of love and peace by agreeing to get marry with Mr. Nasir Hussain a Shia boy hailing of Ganish-Central Hunza and residing in Giglit. As the story unfold it indicates that both boy and girl who were mature and highly educated decided about their marriage on their free will and happily married. Although initially there said to be resistance from the father and mother of the boy. There now three months old daughter is a symbol of their love and patience for each other.
However, gradually the event’s unfortunate incidents unfolds. The family of the the boy started to coerce the girl to change her faith and adopt the Shia sects, which was denied by Shagufta Annum. Initially her husband Nasir Hussain was not concerned about the pressure of his family rather was supportive to have the faiths as they both may wish and this was what they agreed before getting married too. However, when Shagufta has become a proud mother of her baby girl the boy’s family has intensely increased their pressure to get converted her to Shia sect. Mr. Hussain by this time too has changed his mind and sided with his parents by forcing Shagufta to change her religious belonging, with the time they have started to harass Shagufta both physically and psychologically.
Weeks earlier to her murder, the in-laws of Shagufta bannedd her from performing her religious practices strictly as well as from attending the communal namaz of ismaili too. Late shagufta who was an educated and empowered girl defied these undue pressures and did not scummed to the physically and emotional violence. Days earlier to the murder of the innocent Shagufta her inlaws and husband even forced her not to feed her baby and touch her. They have not just stop here and their madness lead them to kill the bright, educated and innocent Shagufta vehemently, which is not tolerable nor in Islam neither in humanity and does not belongs to the culture of Gilgit-Baltistan.
No doubt this is an event of mourning not only the grieved family and loved ones of late Shagufta, it is a mourning time for the people of whole Gilgit-Baltistan. Ganish-Hunza to which the inlaws of late Shagufta belongs one can find almost in each home a mixed family setup of Shia an Ismaili and there has never ever happened any incident of this nature which is condemnable by all of us.
When people of Ganish were asked about the event a resident said, ” Since the day we heard this news our whole village is in a state of mourn and shock, how it could had happened and how it is possibly to happen with some one belonging to us. My grandmother was a devoted Ismaili, two of my uncles are Ismaili but wife of one uncle is Shia so it is all how we are. This unfortunate incident has made me personally very upset too. Remember the said family live in Zulfiqarabad, Gilgit for a long time they may have forget our values”
Now it is time for all of us the peace loving and kind hearted people of Gilgit-Baltistan to recollect ourselves and condemned in all possible ways all individual cases such as this both socially and legally. The murderers of late Shahgufta should be punished with the ought most possible legal punishment so no one ever dare to repeat it again.