Sikhs feel the pressure in Pakistan

Members of Pakistan’s Sikh community say they have been singled out and attacked increasingly, reports Reuters.

“I have run this business for the last 22 years. Never in my life have I experienced such insecurity,” says Amarjeet. “Around 60 percent of our shops are closed due to security concerns. Many parents are not sending their children to schools.”

Last month, Harjeet Singh, another Sikh shopkeeper, was shot dead at his herbal medicine shop in Peshawar, near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan which is home to most of the country’s 40,000 strong Sikh community.

According to police, at least eight Sikhs have been killed in the past year and a half – the first ever recorded sectarian killings of Sikhs in Pakistani history.

“Pakistan is land of the pure for us, it is the birth place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. It’s our mother land, we love this soil. Why are we being targeted here?” asked Sardar Charanjit Singh, a Sikh elder.

“People are very frightened, it’s a time of sorrow for us.”