India condemns beheading of Sikhs in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by LETHALFORCE, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_india-condemns-beheading-of-sikhs-in-pakistan_1351269

    India condemns beheading of Sikhs in Pakistan



    London: India today condemned the beheading of two Sikhs by Pakistani Taliban and said it has sought details from Pakistan on the "most unfortunate and tragic" incident.

    "The beheading of two Sikhs is the most unfortunate and tragic (incident) and we have sought facts from Pakistan," foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said here.

    "Of course we condemn it," Rao said while answering a specific question after delivering a key note address at the 3rd International Institute for Strategic Studies-MEA Dialogue - "Perspectives on Foreign Policy for a 21st Century India".

    Two Sikhs who were kidnapped for ransom were found beheaded by the Pakistani Taliban in the country's restive tribal belt yesterday.

    Some more members of the minority community are still in the custody of the rebels.

    The body of Jaspal Singh was found in the Khyber tribal region, located a short distance from the provincial capital of Peshawar, while the body of Mahal Singh was found in the Aurakzai Agency.

    There was some confusion about the total number of Sikhs who were kidnapped for ransom from the Bara area of Khyber Agency by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.zeenews.com/news606163.html

    Pak Sikhs want to return to India: Kin of Taliban victim

    New Delhi: Pakistani Sikh community has appealed to India to provide visas to them so that they could migrate to the country to escape the Taliban. A day after a Sikh was beheaded in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan, the cousin of the victim has said it was getting more dangerous for Sikhs to live in the country.

    “We want to return to India but we are not getting the visas. The Taliban keep demanding jiziya (religious tax) from us,” Arvind Singh, the cousin of Jaspal Singh beheaded by the Taliban on Sunday, told a TV channel.


    He said the business of the minority community were suffering in Pakistan because of the Taliban.

    India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Monday said that India strongly condemns the barbaric killing of a Sikh in Pakistan and added that the matter will be taken up at the Indo-Pak foreign secretary level talks to be held later this week.

    “Government of India condemns this barbaric act. Pakistan must ensure the safety of minorities. We are in touch with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and are looking into the matter,” Krishna told reporters outside Parliament.


    Related StoriesPak Sikh leaders condemn beheading of SikhsWhile assuring that the government will take up the matter with the Pakistani government, Krishna made it clear that all issues concerning the relations between the two countries will be discussed during the talks scheduled to be held in New Delhi on February 25.

    Contrary to media reports which claimed that two Sikhs were beheaded, Krishna said that only one Sikh has been killed by the Taliban while two others are still in their custody.

    The victim was kidnapped along with two other Sikhs by Taliban militants from Tirah valley in Khyber Agency near the provincial capital Peshawar.

    A letter was found with the body warning the relatives of the deceased and other Sikh locals against disclosing the case to the media. His two other companions, Gorwandar Singh and Surjeet Singh, are still being held captive by the militants.

    As per media reports, the Taliban beheaded two Sikhs and threw their heads into a Peshawar gurudwara and that two more Sikhs were still in their custody. The Sikhs were kidnapped 34 days ago and Rs 3 crore was demanded as ransom for their release. The beheadings happened after the expiry of the deadline for the payment of the ransom amid reports that the captured Sikhs were asked to convert to Islam to escape from their deadly fate and were beheaded when they refused to do so.

    The body of Jaspal Singh was found in the Khyber tribal region, located a short distance from the provincial capital of Peshawar, while the body of Mahal Singh was found in the Aurakzai Agency, sources said Sunday night.
     
  4. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Firstly, RIP to those two men. Condolences to their families.

    I don't get it. 'Return' to India? They are not Indian citizens. Just because they happen to be a minority in Pakistan, doesn't give them an entitlement to India.

    And I don't agree with the Indian Government coming all out and condemning the killings just because they happen to be or a particular community. Such acts happen to people of all communities in Pakistan, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Hindus, or whichever community, on a regular basis. If India wants to be genuine with its sentiments, it should play the role of a regional power and help Pakistan get rid of its Taliban menace. I'm fairly sure the Pakistani common man hates Taliban.

    Please don't take my comment out of context. I'm not being anti a particular community.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Isn't india helpless?sure it is.India is helpless since 1947 wrt to protecting its citizen and the minorities in pakistan.india is also helpless in protectiong its own citizens with in its political borders.
     
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    No, India is not helpless. We are a strong nation with a kickass armed forces and police establishment. It's just that we got our priorities right. Had we been 'helpless', we would have balkanized long back.
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    yes the action of the Taliban is condemnable but then as Tarun said they are not indians. At best they can be given asylum. It is they who chose to stay in Pakistan and are pakistanis. I hate this raising the religious card thing. Just saw that even that idiot Sidhu has jumped in to support.
     
  8. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    GOI shouldn't turn India into a "dharamshala" (where anyone can come and claim his share things). Back in '71, Indira Gandhi's stand on East Pakistani refugees was crystal clear. They will have to go back. And that they did, once the crisis ended. Tibetans are funneling into India, and Uighurs are expressing an interest in fleeing Xinjiang to India with a sense of entitlement (just because India offers refuge to Tibetans, so they expect a similar treatment). When India can't clean up its neighbourhood, it shouldn't bear the burden of its neighbours' failures either.
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    To condemn any barbaric killing of people is the moral obligation of any person and any govt..If pakistani govt has obligation to protect its minority if it doesnt do it than its morally bankrupt.secondly india must help out those sikhs who want to come to india by providing them asylum and providing shelter or asylum is not the entitlement of particular community from pakistan.We did it to tibetians in 1960s we also provided asylum to bangladeshis in 1971 then tamils in 1980s.Afghanis in 1980s and 1990s. so why not we do the same for sikhs in pakistan who are living under the terror of taliban.
     
  10. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    OK, and where was this obligation in the wake of countless such incidents in the past? What happened today was different from India's standard operating procedure of using a vague and generalized "we condemn all acts of violence" stand. The establishment reacted to the situation as if its own citizens were harmed in Pakistan, and just because they happen to belong to a particular community. With politicians such as Siddhu making this a big deal, it becomes even more clear.

    Then it doesn't become our obligation either. The 'obligatory' reaction of GOI is grossly inappropriate. It can be misused by politicians here. Those are Pakistani nationals, who probably never lived in Independent India, never paid taxes, never subscribed to our national sentiments, and hence don't deserve treatment and different from any other community of Pakistan. At best the act can be condemned in a SOP way, and maybe it could be taken up in international talks.

    Firstly, I'm not prejudiced against those people. Yes, they are Sikhs, and yes Sikhs are a vital part of India's social fabric, but granting asylum to Pakistani national on the basis of them being of a particular religion is not the right thing to do. And "asylum" has lost meaning since influx of Tibetans. They came here seeking asylum, but became citizens. These people don't seek asylum, they want to migrate.
     
  11. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Well, whether we agree or not, India and Pakistan are linked. Pakistan will forever raise any incident against muslims. Whether its real or imagined. Similarly, minorities in Pakistan specially from Indic religions will always look to India for support.

    So, should India give them asylum? Well, yes, it should. If they come and ask for refuge, then we should not reject them. No geo-politics here, simple sense of Dharma/consience. Should India leave these people to the mercy of taliban? Nope.
     
  12. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    But India is already leaving all of Pakistan's moderate population to the "mercy of taliban" where's dharma/concience now?

    Let's not be hypocritical and selective with our 'collective conscience' towards only a few people. If India wants to be a responsible player, it will ask Pakistan to move these Sikhs to better-protected urban centres. Not "patriate" them.
     
  13. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    How do we know they are 'moderate population'? If this moderate population requests India for intervention then the situation changes depending upon the number of people requesting. If its a large majority then perhaps India can intervene. But since they are not doing so, we cant do much.

    Being selective is not being hypocritical. Selection is a fact of life. Not everyone is eligible for same treatment. Its the minorities, so the proposed action is assylum. If the majority come for help, then the proposed action would be different.

    Those Sikhs are not safe anywhere in Pakistan and everyone knows that. The constitution of Pakistan makes sure that its minorities are weak, voicless, vulnerable and defenseless. The track record of Pakistan shows that it will not do anything.

    So, the option before India is whether to allow assylum so that those people can live or pretend to do other things while they are killed by the taliban.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Those Sikhs are Pakistanis, its something which the GoI shouldn't but the Sikh parties however should be concerned about. And there are over 100,000 Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs who have taken asylum in India but have not been granted citizenships, however the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have gotten citizenship on a fast track basis comparatively.
     
  15. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    And how do we know these Sikhs are moderates? Not saying that they aren't, but every country has a vast majority of uninitiated moderate civil society, which forms a bulk of the population. It's not right to jump into macro judgements at the drop of a hat. Tibetans ask for India to intervene all the time. Is it our obligation? No. Therefore, when we can't afford to put our fingers in too many pies, we probably shouldn't. Even if that comes at the expense of "selective application of dharma".

    Religious minorities make up for ~8% of Pakistan's population. That's what? 16 million people? Why should we take it upon us to "spread righteousness" we can't afford given our own vast populations of people to uplift? It won't stop with these 1000-odd Sikhs.
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ‘Beheaded, my brother became a Sikh martyr’

    ATTARI: ``I am proud of my brother, he has not been killed, he has attained martyrdom for the honour of Sikh religion. He refused to convert to Islam and preferred to lay down his life,'' an inconsolable Taranjit Singh told TOI here on Monday, a day after his cousin's beheaded body was found.

    Pakistani Taliban had ruthlessly beheaded Jaspal Singh and Mahal Singh while two others - Gurjit Singh and Gurvinder Singh - are still in their custody. Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Sham Singh, however, said only Jaspal Singh had been killed.

    Jaspal's cousin, Taranjit, who lives in Lahore, has been in India for the past three weeks on a pilgrimage. He revealed that the kidnapping of Sikhs by Taliban was not only for money, but also to threaten the small Sikh community of Pakistan to embrace Islam.

    Taranjit, who was on his way back to Pakistan, said: ``Had it only been about money, we (the Sikh community of Peshawar) would have contributed and paid the hefty ransom of Rs 3 crore and forgotten about it for the sake of their lives. But they (Taliban) had forced Jaspal to cut his hair and convert to Islam to which my brother refused and they beheaded him.'' He said Jaspal had sacrificed his life for the religion and to protect his identity.

    "I have to go and see how the situation is there for us,'' he said, unsure of the fate of the Sikh community in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan. He, however, admitted that he was afraid to return home.

    Kirpal Singh, brother-in-law of the victim, said, ``Jaspal and his mother were also to accompany us and they had even got the visa for pilgrimage, but then he was abducted.'' Jaspal is survived by four children, including two daughters, and his widow, he added.

    Sikhs in general were safe in Pakistan, but in FATA and other areas under control of Orkazai Agency, Taliban set their own rules, Kirpal Singh said.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-became-a-Sikh-martyr/articleshow/5605015.cms
     
  17. Bhagat Singh

    Bhagat Singh Regular Member

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    I fully condem killing of Sikhs in Pakistan. Especially, if they were beheaded because they would not convert to Islam.
    This type of act shows that the mentality is stuck in the era of Adbali and Nadir Shah. Given hallf the chance to these guys will not hesitate to take India to those dark ages.

    Somebody mentioned earlier, these Sikhs are not Indian nationals. Maybe not, but India is spirtual home for Sikhs. Same as Israel is for the Jewish community.
    Bring these folks to India and stop talking with Pakistan government which has no regard for the ethnic minorties.
     
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    That means we get all the Tibetan and other Buddhist to India as well as india is the spiritual home of the Buddhists?
     
  19. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    If those Sikhs can go to West Punjab (Punjab province of Pakistan), they're on their 'spiritual home' already, albeit in Pakistan. Still erstwhile Akhand Bharat. If Pakistan wants to dump its religious minorities in India (by creating circumstances that force them to seek asylum/migration into India), then it better concede some territory too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  20. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    India should grant assylum to all the minorities of Pakistan with indic background if they wish to come and settle here. They can easily live, work and assimilate here. No big deal. India can afford it.

    If substantial muslims(like shia) ask for India's help, then the very reason for Pakistan's existance(based on two-nation theory) comes into question. That brings different things into play.

    BTW, present day pakistan is not a spiritual home anymore to indic religions. Only India is left with that burden now.

    Lastly, the extent of moderation of the middle class of Pakistan is an unverified factor and one cannot have assumptions on that. In a country like Pakistan which is rapidly being radicalized even the so-called moderates hold thoughts that would not be considered moderate on a global standard. Of course, the minorities cannot be painted with the same brush.
     
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  21. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    16 million refugees is a big deal. A very big one. And no, they chose to stay back in Pakistan, lived there for six decades, and detached themselves from India. India is a secular republic, not a "holy land" for Indic religions, where anyone with Indic religion from nationalities other than Indian automatically gets a free ticket to India. India is simply not obligated to them. These people are Sikh, but they are Pakistani.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010

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