It takes a nation to protect the nation
By Deepak Lal
The story of kidnapped Sikhs in Pakistan has had a new revelation, with the two men revealing in their 42 day captivity they were forced to convert to Islam. Once Sarjeet Singh and Gurbinder Singh were kidnapped they were forced to go against their religious values by shaving off their beards and cutting their hair.
The two men were being reported to have been kidnapped by a group of militants from the Tehrik-e-Taliban, in which Jaspal Singh was beheaded on February 20th after his family failed to pay a ransom of Rs 30 million, which was demanded for all three men.
Pakistani forces recovered the two remaining men in the Orakzai and Khyber regions, which border neighbouring Afghanistan. Sarjeet and Gurendal were successfully rescued, but not un-scathed as Sarjeet suffered three bullet wounds in the furious gun-fire exchanges. We are being led to believe that Sarjeet was mistakenly shot because he had no beard or turban, with the
Pakistani military not being able to tell the difference between the Sikh detainees and the barbaric Taliban militants.
Doctors at the Combined Military Hospital successfully removed two bullets from the body of Sarjeet Singh; he had been in a stable condition since. Gurendal had been reunited with his family in Peshawar where another Sikh man, Robin Singh has recently been abducted with a ransom of £140,000 being demanded. A five year old British boy has also been kidnapped with a ransom of £100,000 being ordered. Although Sikhs are a minority in Pakistan they have lived in Khyber for over 200 years.
India’s foreign minister, S M Krishna has come out to condemn the ‘barbaric’ attacks by the Taliban: “I rise to strongly condemn the beheading of Sardar Jaspal Singh in the tribal areas of Pakistan. This barbaric and heinous crime is deplorable in the strongest possible terms. His abductors, reportedly the Taliban, committed the grave crime when his family was not able to pay ransom money to the abductors. We express our sincere condolences to the family
of the victim,'' said Krishna who is scheduled to visit Golden Temple in Amritsar on Friday. He has also claimed that Pakistan’s president has condemned the attacks also with the government pledging to find those guilty and India will be taking the issuer up with Pakistan.