Â Â Paki Meltdown Watch
KOHAT: The Taliban on Wednesday night demolished 11 houses of the Sikh community in the Orakzai Agency for refusing to pay ‘Jazia’. (jiziyah)
The action was ordered by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief for Orakzai Agency, Hakeemullah Mehsud, after the deadline given to the Sikh community for payment of Jazia passed on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Sikh community had postponed its decision about vacating the area following the demand of the Tehrik-i-Taliban for payment of ‘Jazia’ being non-Muslims for their protection.
They gathered in the Merozai area to finalise their decision for leaving the area, but a dispute erupted over the issue among them and the meeting was postponed till Thursday.
The Taliban had asked the Sikh community living in the tribal area for centuries earlier this month to pay annual Jazia because ‘Sharia had been enforced in the area and every non-Muslim had to pay protection money’.
The Sikh community comprising 30 to 35 families shifted from the Feroze Khel area to the nearby Merozai in Lower Orakzai Agency because they could not arrange Rs150 million demanded by the Taliban.
The Taliban had forcibly occupied shops of two Sikh businessmen, Sewa Singh and Kalak Singh, and houses of several Sikhs to force them to pay Jazia. Later, the Sikh community refused to pay Jazia and decided to leave Orakzai and settle in some other area.
Most of tribal families belonging to a particular sect have also migrated to different parts of Hangu and Kohat due to the fear of Taliban.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday rejected Indian slurs about ‘maltreatment’ of Sikhs by Taliban in tribal areas as gratuitous.
‘Sikhs living in Orakzai agency are Pakistani citizens and hence of no concern to India,’ Foreign Office spokesman Mr Abdul Basit said in a statement.
* Interesting. He is using the “OUR sikhs are none of your business” defense which is no defense at all, but more like confirmation of “we can do whatever we like to these Â infidels…”
India expressed concern about the security of Sikhs in tribal areas after reports appeared in a section of press that Taliban were imposing Jazya (a tax imposed on non-Muslims) on Sikhs and demolishing their homes in the tribal belt.Â
‘On seeing reports about Sikh families in Pakistan being driven out of their homes and being subject to Jaziya and other such impositions, the Government of India has taken up the question of treatment of minorities in Pakistan with the Government of Pakistan,’ a statement by India’s external affairs ministry had said.
‘The Government of Pakistan is fully cognizant of the situation and looks after the welfare of all its citizens, particularly the minority community,’ Mr Basit said.