J&K protest against attacks on their community in Pakistan

The killing of a prominent Sikh ‘hakeem’ in Pakistan’s north-west Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province evoked massive resentment among the Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir, who on Saturday voiced their concern over targeted attacks against members of their community.

Jasdeep Singh, president of Guru Manyo Granth Society, an amalgam of Sikh youth organisations in J&K, in a statement said extremist elements in Pakistan have resorted to religious persecution of minorities, including Sikhs.

“In the past few months several Sikhs have been killed or abducted in many parts of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan failed to safeguard life and property of the Sikh community,” he said. Minorities in Pakistan including Sikhs and Hindus live under the fear of being kidnapped or killed, he added.

Singh said that he was shocked to find out how girls from the minority community were being kidnapped and forced to marry against their will. “Police were behaving like a mute spectator,” he said.

“Criminals in Pakistan victimise people by using the anti-blasphemy law, and anyone who tries to raise their voice against abduction or killing is framed and booked under this law,” he added.

On Thursday, Paramjeet Singh, a ‘Hakeem’ from the Sikh community, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Shabqadar, Charsadda area of Dera Ismail Khan.

Just a month ago, two other Sikhs – Anand Singh and Sawrender Singh – were abducted from the same area. The whereabouts of the two are still unknown.

Paramjeet Singh, president of Sikh Youth Association of Jammu and Kashmir, said the lives of Sikhs and other minorities are not safe in Pakistan.

“Their historic and religious places are being encroached upon by others. We strongly condemn the systematic and slow genocide of minority communities of Pakistan,” he added.

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