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'Jizya' issue: Relatives of Pak Sikhs appeal to Centre

Source: PTI
May 07, 2009 01:47 IST
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Relatives of the Pakistani Sikhs, who were rendered homeless after Taliban militants demolished their houses in Aurakzai tribal region for failing to pay "Jizya", on Wednesday appealed to the Central government to exert pressure on Islamabad to provide assistance to them.

"My numerous close relatives were living in Pakistan's Aurakzai region and they were recently rendered homeless by Taliban for not paying Jizya," Mahant Pausheri Lal said in Amritsar.

Lal said, "My relatives have made several phone calls to me, saying they are forced to live in pathetic condition as the Pakistani government has not provided any kind of help to them so far."

Anant Ram, whose relatives were also forced to leave the tribal region due to the atrocities of Talibani militants, said, "Our families did not receive any help and security from the Pakistani authorities and they want to come to India."

"Nearly 70 Sikh and Hindu families, who were uprooted from the Swat valley for not paying Jizya, are now struggling for even two square meals and eager to come to India," Lal said.

He also appealed to the Central government to mount pressure on Pakistan to extend necessary aid to the affected families, saying "the families were forced to take shelter in different Sikh shrines."

Meanwhile, Shriomani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Mamnmohan Singh appealing to him to ask Islamabad to protect the Sikh minorities from Taliban militants.

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