New Delhi: The targeted killing of the minority Sikh community in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan has reached its peak with the assassination of a young Unani physician Satnam Singh who had migrated to safety in Peshawar from the Orakzai Agency of KPK. According to reports, as many as thirteen Sikhs have been killed in KPK by militants in the past six to seven years. It also includes the killing of Dr Swaran Singh, a former advisor to Chief Minister Parvez Khan Khattak.
Following this, many Sikh families have shifted to Hasanabdal, Lahore, and Nanakna Sahib which have a sizeable Sikh population.
Late Hakim Satnam Singh was in his clinic when a few unidentified persons shot him dead on Thursday (September 30, 2021). The incident has further panicked the minuscule Sikh community of KPK and has attracted wider condemnations from Sikh leadership across the world.
Pakistan’s only Sikh Senator Gurdeep Singh who hails from Mingora city of Swat district of KPK raised the issue of killing of a Sikh in the Senate on Friday. Subsequently, Chairman of Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani directed the Inspector General of Police, KPK, to furnish the report on the assassination of Satnam Singh, an action which served as a balm to the wounds of the tiny Sikh community.
Gurdeep Singh said, “I am not sure who was behind the killing of Satnam Singh but it is sure that the rouge elements want to scarce minority communities and destabilize the country (Pakistan) so they targeted a Sikh.”
However, he said that it was sure that Satman’s killing was a targeted killing since he was shot dead in his shop.
On the other hand, Pak’s Sikh right activist Radesh Singh Tony claimed that a message was being circulated in social media wherein Islamic State – Khorasan (ISIS-K) had taken the responsibility for the killing of Satnam Singh.
According to a statement released by ISIS-K which is viral on the Internet, it reads, “Khorasan province – by the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted a follower of the polytheistic Sikh sect, in the area of (Faqirabad) in the city of (Peshawar), with pistol shots, which led to his death, praise be to God.”
Sikh leadership in India has censured the killing of Satnam Singh and has asked the Pakistan government to ensure the safety of Sikhs and take stern action against the perpetrators of Satnam Singh’s killers.
The former chief minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh said, “Sad to know about the brutal murder of Hakeem Satnam Singh in Peshwar. Such a brutal attack against a minority community in Pakistan can’t be tolerated.”
Singh also urged the Ministery of External Affairs to take up the issue at the highest level and ensure justice.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Bibi Jagir Kaur said that there had been several attacks on Sikhs in Pakistan in the recent past. She asked the Imran Khan government to ensure the safety of Sikhs and ensure that such incidents didn’t happen again.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa appealed to External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to address the issue of safety of Sikhs in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that the Sikh community was panicked after ISIS-K took responsibility for the killing of Satnam Singh.