Shopkeeper Manmohan Singh was assassinated last week. Two days before, hakim Tarlok Singh barely escaped.
by Massimo Introvigne
On June 25, the Pakistani Sikh community announced that Manmohan Singh had died after he was attacked in Peshawar by unknown gunmen riding a motorcycle. The victim was returning home, which is not far from the Sikh Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh.
Manmohan Singh was the owner of a cosmetic shop near near Rasheed Garhi Chowk and was a well-known figure in the local Sikh community.
Two days earlier, Tarlok Singh, a Sikh hakim (traditional healthcare professional) had been similarly attacked in the Rashisghari area of Peshawar by three men who fired five rounds of shots at him. Tarlok Singh jumped under the counter of his shop-clinic and, although injured, survived the attack.
The Islamic State in Khorasan claimed responsibility for the attack on Tarlok Singh. It did not initially claim the murder of Manmohan Singh, but it did it in a late statement, claiming this was part of a campaign to punish the “polytheist” Sikhs.
Another Sikh, grocer Diyal Singh, had been killed in Peshawar on March 31, 2023.
The Sikh community in its statement accused the Pakistani government of “staying a mute spectator to all such attacks.” “The government of Pakistan, the statement continued, has failed to assure the Sikhs of their security and safety, despite repeated requests by Sikh groups of Pakistan. To make things worse, Sikhs don’t see any ray of hope or justice from the Govt. of Pakistan. Even in the past, no concrete action has been taken to nab the assailants who attack Sikhs or their families.”
The hate crimes are also seen as retaliations after the Sikh community took to the streets and protested against the kidnapping, raping, forced conversion to Islam, and marriage to Muslim men of girls, many of whom minors, from their religious minority, as well as from the Christian and Hindu communities.