December 16, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Lahore, Pakistan: The Sikh community in Pakistan has raised serious concerns on Friday (Dec. 15) after ‘being forced to convert to Islam’ by a government official in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The Sikh community lodged a formal complaint with the office of Deputy Commissioner Hangu Shahid Mehmood in which they claimed that Assistant Commissioner Tehsil Tall Yaqoob Khan was behind the alleged forced conversions.
District Nazim Hangu for minority Farid Chand Singh filed the complaint and said the Sikh community has been living in this area since 1901 and have never come across such nuisance. Religious believers have always lived in harmony and peacefully with Muslims.
Farid Chand Singh added that Hungu district despite being referred as a hotbed for sectarian conflicts has never been a source of harm to the Sikh community and the Sikhs in the area have never been approached to convert to Islam before. More so the Muslims of the area have always stood up for the Sikhs when in need.
It was reported by Express Tribune that Singh said, “Had it been from someone ordinary, it would have never been felt so offending but when you hear such things from a government official, it becomes something really serious.”
“We the residents of Doaba area are being tortured religiously,” read the complaint.
“The Constitution empowers us to defend our religious beliefs against anyone and we want you to call AC Tall Yaqoob Khan and inquire the issue,” the complaint read, adding that the issues should be investigated so that the community could live in Pakistan with ‘love, peace, and harmony’.
Meanwhile, DC Hangu Shahid Mehmood said that the assistant commissioner never meant to upset or offend the members of the Sikh community and while saying things he never meant.
He added that Yaqoob Khan was not trying to ‘forcefully’ convert anyone to Islam; rather we ensure that our district promotes religious freedom for all.
“We have ensured religious freedom and safety of the community members across the district and we are clear about it,” added Mehmood.
Upon receiving the complaint, Mehmood has asked the community members to gather for a meeting on Monday to resolve the issue.