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Pakistan: Civil society organizations (CSO) condemn killings of Sikhs; Urge govt. to realize responsibility

September 14, 2014 | By

Islamabad, Pakistan: A group of civil society organizations (CSO) condemned the murder of Sikhs in Peshawar and Mardan, and pressed the government to take tangible steps to protect religious minorities.

According to a press statement issued on Sept 11, representatives from various groups—including Khwendo Kor (KK), SAP-PK, Aurat Foundation, Bacha Khan Trust and Shirkat Gah—voiced their concerns that such attacks have compromised the rights of religious minorities. The CSOs said despite consistent efforts by Sikhs in the province to draw attention to the killings, the police have not been able to find the culprits.

The statement came a day after the police released sketches of suspects in the recent murder of 30-year-old Harjeet Singh. However, to date, not much can be cited in terms of convictions in any of the cases of Sikh target killings.

A file photo of Sikhs protesting out against targetted killings in Pakistan

A file photo of Sikhs protesting out against targetted killings in Pakistan

The handout added Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has become unsafe for members of religious minorities to live in and the provincial government needs to pay attention to this problem. Law enforcement agencies have failed to take action against these incidents of targeted killing, it read.

Moreover, the CSOs criticized the general public for remaining apathetic to the murder of Sikh traders.
“The Sikh community has already been hit hard by violence in other parts of the region which had led to their displacement from native areas,” they maintained.

Calling for tolerance towards minorities, the CSOs urged the government to realize its responsibility to protect the Sikh community.

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