KarakoramThe highway of death and dismay

Col J P Singh, Retd

Gilgit-Baltistan remained cut off from Pakistan till 1986 due to rugged terrain, harsh climate and lack of accessible roads. During summers people walked across mountain passes to reach Rawalpindi. To facilitate travel, Pakistan started construction of Karakoram Highway (KKH) to connects Gilgit to Rawalpindi. On 28 Feburary 2012, it is on this highway that a civil bus, going from Rawalpindi to Gilgit was attacked. All passengers were taken out, searched and segregated. 18 of the 26 passengers were killed on the spot. This tragic news horrified the listeners. All the casualties were Shias. The bus was stopped in Sunni inhabited Khyber Pukhtunkhwa region, 200 Kms from Rawalpindi. This is one of many such tragic incidents on this highway, gradually turning it into highway of death and dismay.

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