The Shiv Sena on Thursday called on the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre to initiate talks with Pakistan over reports of Sikhs being forced to convert to Islam in the Hangu district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The editorial published in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamana, also lashed out at the ‘secularists’ of India for keeping mum on this crucial issue of religious conversions.
“The Sikhs of Pakistan are in danger presently. When the Hindus were in trouble, the Sikhs came forward and fought for their rights. Now is the time for the Hindus and the secularists to come and fight for the rights of these minority Sikhs in Pakistan. The Government of India should take this up with the Pakistan Government,” the article read.
Earlier on Saturday, a report surfaced in regard to Pakistan’s Sikh community that alleged they were “being forced to convert to Islam” by a government official.
A delegation of Akali Dal, led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, met the Pakistan High Commissioner on Wednesday over the issue.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh also took to Twitter to apprise External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj of the alleged forced conversions, urging her to take up the matter at the highest level with Pakistani authorities.
Swaraj then expressed concerns over the reports and has said she would take up the matter with Pakistan government at the earliest.
The Sikh community members of Pakistan had lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of Hangu district, Hangu Shahid Mehmood regarding the same.