Minorities belonging to Hindu and Sikh religions are repeatedly facing atrocities and are victims of heinous crimes in Pakistan, said Chandhok

In view of alarming rise in cases of atrocities against minorities in Pakistan, Indian World Forum president Puneet Singh Chandhok has written a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seeking his immediate intervention for “safety of minorities” in the South Asian country.

Mincing no words, Chandhok wrote: “Yesterday, alarming reports were received from Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan wherein a Papinder Singh, a local Sikh hakim was shot and brutally injured along with another Sikh passerby who also sustained a bullet injury in a bid to resist an armed robbery by militants belonging to IS-KP an affiliate of Islamic State. These militias are operating in collusion with the Government of Pakistan.”

He said minorities, belonging to Hindu and Sikh religions, are repeatedly “facing atrocities” and are victims of “heinous crimes there.” In this regard, the IWF president cited several incidents to highlight atrocities ranging from abduction, extortion, and forceful religious conversion of Hindu and Sikh girls.

“The decrease in demographics of minorities there portrays lack of compliance of Pakistan to the UN Charter,” he noted.

He said many young girls residing in Khyber Pakhtunwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces have been missing or abducted and they are subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Chandhok accused the Pakistan administration of being instrumental in protecting the accused involved in heinous crimes against minorities living there.

“Irrespective of several appeals and complaints by their parents and guardians to local authorities, the Government of Pakistan has failed to take any preventive measure or responsive action,” he said.

In 2020, an alarming incident took place at Sri Nankana Sahib which shook the entire globe. A state sponsored mob pelted stones and attacked the Gurdwara Janam Asthan the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev and widely threatened the religious minorities of Hindu and Sikhs living in the area with dire consequences and propagated wiping out of minorities all across from Pakistan. This act is an open abuse of the charter of the United Nations,” the IWF president maintained.

Giving details of incidents involving minorities’ persecution in Pakistan, he said in 2010, Jaspal Singh a native of Peshawar was abducted and beheaded, in 2016 Swaran Singh, Member of Provincial Assembly from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and former President of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee was shot dead and in 2018 Charanjit Singh Sagar a local Sikh leader of Peshawar was also shot dead. Again last year Satnam Singh, a prominent Sikh hakeem in Peshawar was shot dead.

Expressing his anguish over Pakistan’s approach towards its minorities, the IWF president wrote: “The government there has been successful in misleading the international community but however due to emergence of strong social media the facts and ground reality can't be ignored or hidden.”

He said many international organisations have time and again appealed to the Pakistan government for handing over the Hindu temples and gurdwaras and estate to exclusive control and administration of minorities living there but it “failed to protect the sanctity of same”.

He alleged that the Pakistan government through its various agencies including Inter State Intelligence (ISI) and other organisations repeatedly have “purported and funding activities to sabotage peace and communal harmony” in our country including purporting Kashmir and Khalistan movement.