PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar here on Monday expressed grave concern over the targeted killing of several Sikh traders and demanded of the government to protect minorities and remove the unrest among them.
The seminar titled ‘Stop violence against minorities’ was organised by Commission for Peace and Minorities Rights (CPMR).
The seminar was addressed by CPMR representative Sardar Charan Jeet Singh, member of Hindu community Haroon Sarb Diyal and some members of Christian community. The event was also attended by the relatives of the slain Sikh traders.
The speakers said that they felt insecure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province owing to targeted killings of Sikhs. They said that they had no trust in the rulers as they were negligent.
Ask government to protect minorities, remove unrest among them
They also criticised the political parties for their failure to raise voice for the rights of the minorities.
They said that the government failed to provide protection to them.
They said that they would not remain silent over the negligence any longer.
The speakers said that four Sikhs were shot dead when they were busy in routine work inside their shops and workplaces but the government could not take appropriate steps in that regard.
At present, they said, the members of Sikh community were confined to their homes because of insecurity in the province.
“We are Pakistanis. We have not come here from any other country but the successive governments are least bothered to pay us proper attention,” Mr Singh said and added that the targeted attacks caused serious concern among minorities.
He said that like Muslims, the Sikh and Hindu communities had also contribution in Pakistan Movement but still they were considered refugees and maltreated for unknown reasons.
Mr Singh said that the constitution of the country guaranteed protection to the rights of the minorities but unfortunately successive governments never paid them attention.
He said that they were leading miserable life without availability of proper facilities.
Mr Singh said that human rights organisations had also adopted mysterious silence over the threats to minorities. He asked civil society organisations to extend support to non-Muslims in the hour of need.
Addressing on the occasion, Sarb Diyal said that the properties of Hindus were grabbed by influential people. He said that government was least bothered to retrieve the precious land properties from the illegal occupants.
He appealed to international human rights organisations to put pressure on the government to adopt proper measures for the security of minorities.
The European countries should also open their doors for the minorities so that they could migrate there and stay there till restoration of normalcy in Pakistan.
Mr Diyal asked the government to treat them as Pakistani citizens and not as minority members because rights of the people were equal as per constitution.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2014