India conveys its concern to Pak about Taliban targeting Sikhs in FATA

May 1st, 2009 - 5:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs has conveyed its concern to Islamabad about the treatment and safety of minorities in Pakistan, after reports of Sikhs being expelled and forced to pay ‘Jaziya’ by the Taliban.

“On seeing reports about Sikh families in Pakistan being driven out of their homes and being subject to Jaziya and other such impositions, the Government of India has taken up the question of treatment of minorities in Pakistan with the Government of Pakistan,” a spokesperson of the ministry said.

Earlier, the Taliban had expelled at least 50 Sikh families from the Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) after they failed to pay ‘Jazia’.

The Taliban had demanded 12 million rupees as protection money from the Sikhs, who have living in the region from hundred of years, but they could arrange only 6.7 million rupees.

Later, it was reported that the extremists occupied houses and shops of the Sikhs in Qasim Khel and Feroz Khel areas of the Agency and auctioned their valuables for 0.8 million rupees, The Daily Times reports.

The Taliban had also demolished houses belonging to the Sikh community in the region.

The Taliban’s Orakzai Agency chief Hakeemullah Mehsud ordered the demolition of the houses after the Sikhs failed to meet a deadline fixed for delivering the protection money.

According to reports, many tribal families have started migrating to different parts of Hangu and Kohat out of fear of the Taliban action. (ANI)

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