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200 Sikhs flee from Swat

By Krishnakumar P
April 15, 2009 23:19 IST
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After the Hindus, it is the Sikhs who are fleeing the restive Taliban dominated Swat region in Pakistan. At least 200 Sikhs have fled the Swat region and are taking shelter in various gurudwaras in Pakistan.

"We condemn this development. It's totally undemocratic. We will soon raise the issue with the Indian government," said Avtar Singh Makkad, chief of Sri Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, on Wednesday.

"The government hasn't done anything for the Hindus who crossed over to India earlier. Now, if they sit quite for the Sikhs also, we will make it a big issue," said Surendra Kumar Billa, trustee of Durgaina temple in Amritsar.

The Sikhs are expected to apply for the visas for India and may cross-over, anytime this week.

Earlier this week, the Pakistan parliament endorsed a move to enforce Islamic Shariah laws in Swat, which was later approved by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Swat is being engulfed by the Taliban forces where Islamic fundamentalism is turning out to be the final rule of the land. In another sensational development, television channels telecasted visuals of a teenage girl who was publicly flogged by the Taliban in the region, which attracted global condemnation, resulting to an inquiry ordered by Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The victim, however, later denied that the incident ever occurred.

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Krishnakumar P