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The dilemma of suicide and homicide in Gilgit-Baltistan

By Asif Sakhi

The prevailing suicide tendencies among youth are alarmingly increasing in GB. Four suicide cases reported within three days. Whereas, not a single case has been properly investigated to ascertain the root causes. Some incidents of honor killings have allegedly been labeled suicide incidents to evade possible legal actions against the perpetrators.

It has become a social stigma to discuss such issues to protect the so called image society and area. Traditionally, the area has most vibrant social structures based on strong values of family, kinship and community systems. The indigenous social system has been emboldened with community institutions both social and faith based.

Having said all this, the growing suicide tendency in the region is posing serious questions for intelligentsia, community leaders, social scientists and youth leaders. The issue wouldn’t get resolved by adopting ostrich policy burying our heads in the sand.

The best approach to resolve social issues is to discuss them and raise awareness of the people about the prevailing issues. A proper research should be conducted to determine the root causes.

However, I can only share some of observations and findings ascertained from informal discussions with youth and other stakeholders of the region. During the discussion people contend that since the mountain people are exposed to a complete new era as world is shrinking into a global village. With economic opportunities it has brought enormous challenges and threatened our indigenous value systems.

The so called economic progress is not equal. The growing inequality combined with family and social pressures are major factors. The generation gap between the digital generation and their parents is obvious. We are blindly embracing some of western values in the name of modernization and our educated elites are more responsible for this.

In summary, our institutions and leaders have huge responsibility to take this pressing issue into account and strive to make our society a real vibrant society.

About The Author

The writer is a political activist. He has studied sociology from the University of Karachi.
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