A group of members of the Sikh community on Monday launched a protest against the forceful conversion of minorities in Pakistan. The protest was held outside the Pakistan High Commission in the national capital. The protestors are demanding the safety of Sikh families residing in the neighboring country.
The members of the Sikh community also tried to submit a memorandum at the Pakistan High Commission situated at New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri. However, they were stopped by the security personnel posted outside the Commission. This is believed to have irked the Sikh delegation who then launched a massive protest near the diplomatic mission.
Today’s incident comes amid widespread outrage over the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, currently led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, after a teenaged Sikh girl was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam at gunpoint before being married to a Muslim man in Pakistan’s Punjab province last week. According to her parents, the girl is 18-years-old.
The Sikh community also held protests in Nankana Sahib over the incident. Nankana Sahib is the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
India has strongly reacted over the incident. In a tweet, Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs said, "The civil society & the people of India have strongly condemned the recent deplorable incidents of forced abduction, conversion & marriage of two Sikh girls in Pakistan. We have reflected these strong concerns with Pakistan and have asked for immediate remedial action."
The civil society & the people of India have strongly condemned the recent deplorable incidents of forced abduction, conversion & marriage of two Sikh girls in Pakistan. We have reflected these strong concerns with Pakistan and have asked for immediate remedial action.
- Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 1, 2019
On Sunday, Sarabjit Singh’s sister Dalbir Kaur lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for not protecting pride and respect of a Sikh girl. Kaur also urged the Modi government to take stringent steps and be prepared to move to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
"We always knew that Pakistan stabs from behind and can never be a friend of India. But it crossed all limits and killed humanity. Our forefathers had laid down their lives for the pride and respect of our sisters and daughters," Kaur told PTI.
Expressing concern over the incident, BJP national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna sought the Centre’s intervention to ensure basic rights and safety of minorities living in the neighboring country.