For Immediate Use
A young Sikh man, Jagmohan Singh was killed on Wednesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The tragic incident has angered already beleaguered minority community of Pakistan.
According to Pakistan police the two armed assailants opened fire in Hashtnagari on three defenseless Sikh men as they opened a cosmetics shop.
The three men were rushed to hospital where one teenager, Jagmohan Singh, died from his injuries. The other two victims, Manmit Singh and Param Singh, remain in hospital in critical condition.
The Sikh community have reacted passionately to this act of apparent religiously-motivated violence, blocking roads and burning tyres in protest. The body of Jagmohan Singh was placed in the middle of a road by his family and other community members in order to protest against this senseless act of violence.
The Chief Minister of KPK Province, Pervez Khattak, held talks with Sikh delegation which consisted of 14 members. Mr Khattak promised that foolproof security will be provided to Sikh community.
Global Minorities Alliance Chief Executive, Manassi Bernard lamented Pakistan Government inability to protect minorities who continue to face all forms of violence, intimidation and persecution under one pretext or other.
He expressed his condolences to the bereaved family and demanded that the Pakistan Government punish the culprit as soon as possible.
He further added: “Sikh community are the peaceful citizens of Pakistan who are working hard to feed their families through the sweat of their brow. The Pakistan Government should ensure that protection be provided to its own citizens”
“The elements of hatred and intolerance should not break the bond that binds people of all faiths together” he said.
Global Minorities Alliance stands alongside Sikhs in demanding government intervention and justice for a community too often subjected to persecution. This is not the first time that a Sikh community member has been attacked in Pakistan, with kidnappings in the Peshawar region meaning that many have relocated to Rawalpindi, which is considered much safer.
The Times of India reported in their article that around 520 Sikh families live in Peshawar with 380 of them living in Mohalla Jogan Shah. Several Sikh families have migrated from tribal religions to settle here.
Pakistan has become increasingly unsafe for minorities. In recent years, minorities who make up 3% of Pakistan’s 180 million people including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Shias, and Ahmadis have become the target of ongoing violence and persecution across the country.
Jack Telford contributed the press release for Global Minorities Alliance. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org