India takes up Taliban targeting Sikhs with Pakistan

May 1st, 2009 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) India Friday said it had taken up the issue of treatment of minorities with Islamabad, following reports of Sikhs being persecuted by the Taliban in parts of Pakistan.
“The government of India has taken up the question of treatment of minorities in Pakistan with the government of Pakistan,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said here.

He was responding to reports about Sikh families in Pakistan being driven out of their homes and forced to pay jaziya (a tax levied on non-Muslims, under a version of Islamic law).

According to media reports, Taliban militants have demolished 11 homes of Sikhs in Pakistan’s Aurakzai tribal region after they failed to pay the tax.

Over 35 Sikh families have been living in Ferozkhel near Merozai in Aurakzai Agency for decades.

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.

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