The Sikh community in Pakistan is facing a ‘crisis of presence’. ProIQRA News

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Image is used for representation purposes only. (Photo: ANI)

Peshawar: Islamic organizations have created an uninhabitable environment for religious minorities in Pakistan through targeted killings, kidnappings and forced conversions. Attacks on Sikhs have become commonplace in the country and have created tensions between communities.

In a recent brutal incident on May 15, two Sikh businessmen, Kaljit and Ranjit Singh, were killed on the outskirts of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Asian Light International reported.

This is the twelfth such incident since 2014, when Sikhs were targeted by extremists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone. Furthermore, in September last year, Satnam Singh, a Sikh Greek medicine practitioner, was shot dead inside his clinic in Peshawar, the report added, citing the local community.

Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also strongly condemned the killing, saying in a statement: “This is not the first time that the Sikh community has been targeted in KP and we urge the KP police to take immediate action against the perpetrators.” Identify and arrest them. “

The Sikh population in Pakistan is in an insecure state and the increasing incidence of forced conversions and their unique religious identity and the accumulation of their population in insecure areas of KP has led to an increase in targeted attacks by Islamic organizations. The last two decades have seen a sharp decline in events.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) also condemned the Peshawar massacre and expressed deep concern for the protection of Pakistan’s Sikh community. In its statement, the WSO said that Sikhs in Pakistan were “feeling safe and secure”. “They don’t know if they’ll get out of the house or come back safely.”

Most Sikhs in KP come from economically weak backgrounds and run small grocery stores or work as sages. Asian Light said moving to a safer place was becoming a compulsion for them as Pakistan no longer guaranteed their security in the region.

According to the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, there are only 15,000-20,000 Sikhs left in Pakistan, of which about 500 Sikh families are in Peshawar.

In January 2020, a violent mob attacked Nankana Sahib Gurdwara, one of the holiest Sikh shrines in Punjab province, and this horrific attack terrorized Sikhs all over Pakistan as it made them realize that Punjab Not safe anymore.

Rising demands for the implementation of ‘Sharia law’ in the country and the constant escalation of atrocities against the Sikh minorities have reduced their living space in Pakistan, and frustration is growing among the minority communities in Pakistan, especially among the Sikhs. , Who thought they could live together with the Sikhs. – Exists peacefully with majority Muslims.

Pakistan is witnessing a new wave of terrorism in recent years with numerous incidents of targeted killings of Sikh and Shia minorities in the Peshawar area.

Previous governments in Pakistan have abandoned the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) aimed at cracking down on terrorism, which has led to horrific incidents against minorities in the country.

Religious minorities in Pakistan are often treated as ‘second-class’ citizens, Asian Light International reports.

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