On May 15, unidentified assailants came on a motorbike and killed two peaceful merchants. It is not the first time Sikhs are targeted.
by Massimo Introvigne
Two Sikh traders, Ranjit Singh (42) and Kuljeet Singh (38), were peacefully sitting in front of their shops in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on May 15, when two men arrived on a motorbike, opened fire, and killed them.
In September last year, another Sikh shopkeeper had been similarly killed in Peshawar.
In Pakistan, the persecution of the Sikhs starts from statistics. The community reports there can be as many as 50,000 Sikhs in the country. Scholars believe they are around 20,000, but the government maintains they are less than 7,000.
Numbers are dwindling because of a long history of harassment, forced conversion, destruction of places of worship—and homicide.
As usual, Pakistani authorities condemned the double homicide. From Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, all offered condolences to the Sikh community and promised justice.
However, rarely is justice delivered in these cases. The root cause of the crimes is the activity of Islamic Sunni extremist organizations that regard the Sikhs as dangerous enemies of Islam and disseminate hate speech.
Until these organizations and their campaigns of hate are not stopped, violence against religious minorities cannot but continue.