India takes on Sikh minority issue with Pak
The Government of India on Friday took up the issue of Sikh minority with Pakistan, following a report of 11 houses belong to Sikhs were demolished by Taliban forces in the Pakistan’s Orakzai Agency.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash in a statement said, ‘India has taken up the question of treatment of minorities in Pakistan with the government of Pakistan.'
According to media reports, Sikhs were attacked for failing to pay jaziya or protection tax, the tax imposed on non-Muslims under a version of Islamic law.
Over 35 Sikh families have been living in Ferozkhel near Merozai in Aurakzai Agency for decades. Targeted by the Taliban, those families have begun migrating from the area.
When the Sikh community expressed their inability to pay, the Taliban then auctioned their houses and other belongings, forcing them to migrate from the area, IANS reported.
Early this week, the Taliban occupied two shops and three homes of Sikhs in Ferozkhel on Tuesday to force the community into paying jaziya. Last month, the Taliban had asked the Sikhs to pay Rs.50 million a year as jaziya or protection money in the name of imposing sharia or Islamic law.
The Orakzai Agency is situated in the virtually ungovernable Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border where the writ of the Taliban and Al Qaeda largely runs.
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