Sikh youth murdered in Pakistan

New Delhi / Peshawar (IANS): Two days after the Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan’s Punjab province was attacked by a Muslim mob, a member of the Sikh community, Parvinder Singh, was murdered in Peshawar by ‘unknown’ gunmen.

Sources based in Peshawar told IANS that Parvinder Singh was the younger brother of a local journalist Harmeet Singh.

A businessman in Malaysia, Parvinder was in Peshawar to shop for his wedding in February, Harmeet told the media.

Anguished by the murder of his brother, Harmeet added that “without minorities, no country can flourish and progress. Pakistan is beautiful because of minorities but each year, we end up carrying the dead on our shoulders”.

Pakistan, he said, gets massive funds from several countries to protect minorities.

“But there is no protection. That’s why I am here to carry my dead brother’s body today. I won’t rest until the Pakistani government books the murderers of my brother,” he added.

Religious minorities especially Sikhs in Pakistan have already been complaining of insecurity and fear since the attack on the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru.

A Muslim mob led by the family of a man who had abducted and forcibly converted a Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur, pelted stones at Nankana Sahib, trapping Sikh devotees inside the shrine.

While India strongly condemned the attack, both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition led by the Congress protested outside the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday expressed grief over the killing of Parvinder Singh.

“Shocked & anguished over killing of Sikh youth Ravinder Singh in Pakistan, coming on heels of Nankana Sahib Attack,” he tweeted.

Asking the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan government to ensure thorough investigation and strict punishment for the culprits, he said: “This is the time to act on what you preach.”

India on Sunday slammed Pakistan over the killing of Parvinder Singh.

“India strongly condemns the targeted killing of minority Sikh community member in Peshawar that follows the recent despicable vandalism and desecration of the holy Gurdwara Sri Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib and the unresolved case of abduction, forced conversion and marriage of a Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The MEA has asked the Pakistan government to take immediate actions to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators.

“India calls upon the Pakistan government to stop prevaricating and take immediate action to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of these heinous acts,” the statement said.

It also lashed out at the Pakistani government for interfering in India’s internal affairs. In fact, in a tweet on Sunday, Imran Khan veered towards criticism of the Narendra Modi-led government while condemning the Nankana Sahib incident.

The MEA said: “The government of Pakistan should act in defence of their own minorities instead of preaching sermons about it to other countries.”