September 11, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Islamabad, Pakistan (September 10, 2014): Following target attacks on the Sikh minority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (P-K) the Sikh leaders from various parts of Pakistan held a meeting at Panja Sahib gurdwara in Hasanabdal on Tuesday and decided to constitute a committee to raise the issue in KP and national assemblies and the Senate.
Quoting Soran Singh, an adviser to K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Pakistan based newspaper The Express Tribune, on Wednesday, reported that a committee led by him will meet the CM, K-P home minister and chief secretary to discuss the issues.
Besides, minority MNAs will raise the issue of target killing on the NA floor, while Senator Amarjeet Singh Malhotra will do so in the Senate. He said he did not know why Sikhs are being targeted, but was hopeful that the situation will become clearer soon.
Senator Malhotra said attackers want to get maximum media coverage, which is why they are targeting minorities.
“They are well aware that targeting minorities will get them media coverage,” he said. He said everyone is victim of this war, whatever their faith.
The issue has raised concern among Sikhs around the world, he added.
There are large Sikh populations in K-P and the tribal areas including Swat, Buner, and Peshawar districts, and the Tirah and Bara areas of Khyber Orakzai agencies.
Most Sikhs in the areas are small businessmen and shopkeepers dealing in cloth, medicine, and cell phones and can be easily targeted.
A large number of the communities in Tirah, Bara and Orakzai have fled the areas after threats from extortionists with militant ties.
The target killing of Sikhs in parts of K-P has become a serious concern for Pakistani Sikhs.
“It is a matter of concern, anger and fear. We have been peaceful…why we are being targeted,” asked Moon Singh, a resident of Satellite Town.
Five Sikhs have been killed in the last five months including two in Charsadda, two in Peshawar and one in Mardan.
Senior Superintendent of Peshawar Police Operations Najeebur Rahman said terrorist networks have been dismantled as result of the ongoing military operation.
“They used to target policemen, but after retaliation, the terrorists have diverted their attention to softer targets, especially minorities,” SSP Rahman said.
He said culprits involved in the crime have been identified and their sketches will be issued soon, adding that data has also been shared with intelligence agencies.
He said it was also a reaction to Zarb-e-Azb, as an Al Qaeda-affiliated group based in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies was demanding a change in the name of the military operation and equal media coverage.
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