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Sikh Community

Congress MPs from Punjab raises issue of forced converstion of Sikhs in Pakistan with Sushma

December 21, 2017 04:41 PM

CHANDIGARH: A delegation of Congress Members of Parliament from Punjab led by Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee President and MP from Gurdaspur Mr. Sunil Jakhar today raised the issue of forced conversion of Sikhs in Pakistan with Mrs Sushma Swaraj Minister of External Affairs (MoEA). Delegation members including Mr Jakhar and MP Mr Ravneet Singh Bittu said that they were seriously concerned about the forced conversion of Sikhs in Pakistan and solicited Ministry’s urgent intervention in the matter to protect the identity of the Sikh community settled there.

Jakhar said that, after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh raised the issue, MoEA has already directed the Indian High Commission in Pakistan to take it up at the highest level with Islamabad. “However, we believe the matter to be extremely grave, therefore, it should be taken up personally with the Pakistani authorities without delay by Minister herself,” he added.

He said that media reports suggest that a government official is involved in spearheading the conversion campaign in Hangu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. “In such circumstances, there is the dire need for the Indian government to engage directly with the government in Pakistan instead of routing it through the Indian High Commission,” he added.

Jakhar said that unless immediately nipped it in the bud, the alleged forced conversions have the potential of escalating out of control, which would have a disastrous effect on the future of the Sikhs settled in the neighboring country. He further said that in the long run, it could lead to total annihilation of the Sikh identity in Pakistan, which could also trigger a cascading impact on Sikhs living in other parts of the world.

Delegation asked MoEA to intercede on a personal basis and pressurize the government in Islamabad to take strong steps to put an immediate stop on the conversions, and provide all necessary protection to the Sikh community to protect them from any such victimization or harassment in the future.

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