Breaking silence on the reports of a Sikh policeman being forcefully evicted from his home in Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday condemned the incident and said that it was not the first time religious minority in the country was being disrespected.
Speaking at a weekly press briefing, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We condemn this (incident). This isn’t the first time that religious minority in Pakistan has been misbehaved with. Earlier, an old Sikh man was killed in Peshawar in the past few days.”
Kumar urged Islamabad to probe the issue “honestly and comply with international obligations to protect religious minorities.”
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s first-ever Sikh police officer, Gulab Singh claimed that the government wants to get rid of the Sikh community from the country.
Singh’s claim came two days after he was manhandled and forcefully evicted from his house, along with his family.
In an interview to media, Singh said, “Since 1947, my family has been staying in Pakistan. Even after the riots, we did not leave Pakistan. Now, we are being forced to leave. My house is sealed with all belongings including my slippers inside. Even this ‘patka’ on my head is an old rag which I just wrapped. I was harassed, beaten and my faith was disrespected.”
Following the incident, Singh claimed that his forceful eviction was done by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB). It is pertinent to mention that the ETPB is the parent body of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).
He further underscored that everyone should be aware of the atrocities committed on the Sikh community in Pakistan, and urged the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to decide the future course of action.
In a video widely circulated on social media on Tuesday, Singh was seen crying foul over the behaviour being meted out to him and his family by the ETPB officials. He also alleged that PSGPC president Tara Singh was the main culprit behind the incident.
“I am being treated the way goons are treated. I have been ousted from my house and they have now locked my house. The concerned officials have done this to please a few people. They have specifically targeted me. You must have noticed that there is no turban on my head. They unravelled my turban and opened my hair”, Singh said.
On reports of a separatist Sikh organisation planning a campaign next month on ‘London Declaration On Referendum 2020’, seeking a separate Khalistan state, Kumar said that they have taken up the issue with the United Kingdom government.
Calling the organisation as ‘fringe elements’, he added, “We have issued a demarche over it. We have told that this is an event to spread hatred and they should not allow such events that impact on the bilateral ties between India and the UK.”