Does the Taliban’s Influence in Pakistan raise the stakes for Sikhs?

Pakistan_Afghanistan.jpg

There were two blurbs in the news this week regarding the ethnic cleansing of Sikhs from Pakistan’s tribal regions along the Afghani border [full disclaimer: both stories are from the Indian press, so there is certainly a different political interest/stake in representing Pakistan as a state with anti-minority insurgency]:

Terming the Taliban as “ruthless killers,” the US today said the action initiated by them against the minority Sikh community in Pakistan’s tribal region was not surprising provides all the more reason to rid the region of extremists.

“I’ve heard reports about that. It doesn’t surprise me. I mean, these are ruthless killers, the Taliban,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters at his daily press briefing when asked about Taliban’s demand for “Jizya” from Sikhs in Pakistan’s tribal regions forcing them to leave their homes. [link]

India has taken up with Pakistan the issue of treatment of minorities following reports of demolition of Sikhs homes in parts of the country. [link]

I fully appreciate the irony of India calling for Pakistan to pay attention to the violent removal of minorities from their homes, and the spillover effects of the Taliban’s activities on the Pakistani border have been well-covered in the media. But this raises a larger question about more bald-faced attempts to crowd Sikhs and other religious minorities fully out of Pakistan. Sikhs already constitute a super thin minority with very little political power. Some would argue this should come as no surprise if people chose to remain within an Islamic Republic. Nonetheless, this additional pressure places an additional strain on minority communities who have negotiated remaining within Pakistan. Does this indicate Pakistan’s overall weakness in enforcing its border, or does it illustrate a political decision not to get involved while the Taliban capitalizes on underlying beliefs around minority groups? As this culture of intolerance moves east, is it the harbinger for a larger cultural shift within Pakistan? It certainly calls for the homogenization of the State, including forms of practice within Islam, but was this an interim sacrifice in order to preserve primacy for the central government?


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15 Responses to “Does the Taliban’s Influence in Pakistan raise the stakes for Sikhs?”

  1. an Indian Sikh says:

    Why is there so much hatred towards India on this website? That too in people who don't even live in India and won't ever move back either. We Sikhs who are living in the Present India are happy living there and don't want it any other way. Please let us be and stop this propaganda of hatred.

    [Since when is Texas in India? — Admin]

  2. an Indian Sikh says:

    I would like to see what the people who contribute to this site and agree with the views presented here as well would do for Sikhs stuck in Taliban state.

    If I guess correctly, you'd let them suffer NOW … and 25 years from now, you'd blame Pakistani govt and ask for retribution.

    shame.

    Quit living in the past. There is something called present. Use 1984 as a history lesson but do remember that it is now 2009. Snap out of it! Do what you can for sikhs TODAY!

  3. an Indian Sikh says:

    Why is there so much hatred towards India on this website? That too in people who don’t even live in India and won’t ever move back either. We Sikhs who are living in the Present India are happy living there and don’t want it any other way. Please let us be and stop this propaganda of hatred.

    [Since when is Texas in India? — Admin]

  4. an Indian Sikh says:

    I would like to see what the people who contribute to this site and agree with the views presented here as well would do for Sikhs stuck in Taliban state.

    If I guess correctly, you’d let them suffer NOW … and 25 years from now, you’d blame Pakistani govt and ask for retribution.

    shame.

    Quit living in the past. There is something called present. Use 1984 as a history lesson but do remember that it is now 2009. Snap out of it! Do what you can for sikhs TODAY!

  5. Camille says:

    The focus of this post is not anti-India (nor does it provide "hatred" of India), but rather a question regarding the present state of Sikhs and other minorities in Pakistan today, particularly in light of the activities of the Taliban in Pakistan. There is nothing in the post regarding the responsibility of any country but Pakistan to take action, and additionally, there is nothing regarding 1984.

    Has this post directly contributed to your experiences as Indian Sikhs in India? Do either of your comments contribute to the questions posed in this post, or were they simply knee-jerk reactions to my acknowledgment that India has its own (recent and continuing) history of anti-minority violence? I am open to dialogue but would strongly prefer if it is relevant to the issues raised in this post.

  6. Camille says:

    The focus of this post is not anti-India (nor does it provide “hatred” of India), but rather a question regarding the present state of Sikhs and other minorities in Pakistan today, particularly in light of the activities of the Taliban in Pakistan. There is nothing in the post regarding the responsibility of any country but Pakistan to take action, and additionally, there is nothing regarding 1984.

    Has this post directly contributed to your experiences as Indian Sikhs in India? Do either of your comments contribute to the questions posed in this post, or were they simply knee-jerk reactions to my acknowledgment that India has its own (recent and continuing) history of anti-minority violence? I am open to dialogue but would strongly prefer if it is relevant to the issues raised in this post.

  7. Hari Singh says:

    There is a bias towards India in this article. I wonder how the author has come to conclusion that Indian media has a political interest in raising this issue. Calling it a "jazia" and putting the event in historic context is what exactly the Indian media is doing. If one is aware of current political and security situation in Pakistan, one can certainly come to conclusion that Pakistan is indeed a terrorist state. One cannot expect terrorist to protect the rights of miniorities. Simple as that.

  8. Umm Excuse me, a Ind says:

    This is a great website and doesnt promote hatred toward no body, clearly you need help reading and comprehending. And yes, who appointed you to represent all the Sikhs living in Hindustan? Yeh if your happy living the way you are thats good and all, but learn to speak for yourself. Oo and regarding 1984, no we're not going snap out of it, people like you call themselves a Sikh, but the sad thing is, thats all you can do. This articles purpose was to make people aware about a potential issue for the Panth and have a open discussion about it, not for you to spread your ignorance. I know I can't stop you from visiting this website and all, but yes I will make this suggesting: if your so bothered with what this website has to offer, no ones forcing you to visit it, nor comment on the articles.

  9. Umm Excuse me, a Indian Sikh says:

    This is a great website and doesnt promote hatred toward no body, clearly you need help reading and comprehending. And yes, who appointed you to represent all the Sikhs living in Hindustan? Yeh if your happy living the way you are thats good and all, but learn to speak for yourself. Oo and regarding 1984, no we’re not going snap out of it, people like you call themselves a Sikh, but the sad thing is, thats all you can do. This articles purpose was to make people aware about a potential issue for the Panth and have a open discussion about it, not for you to spread your ignorance. I know I can’t stop you from visiting this website and all, but yes I will make this suggesting: if your so bothered with what this website has to offer, no ones forcing you to visit it, nor comment on the articles.

  10. Hari Singh says:

    There is a bias towards India in this article. I wonder how the author has come to conclusion that Indian media has a political interest in raising this issue. Calling it a “jazia” and putting the event in historic context is what exactly the Indian media is doing. If one is aware of current political and security situation in Pakistan, one can certainly come to conclusion that Pakistan is indeed a terrorist state. One cannot expect terrorist to protect the rights of miniorities. Simple as that.

  11. an Indian Sikh says:

    @ excuse me.

    it's 'AN' indian and not 'a'. thank you.

    also, i visit this site because i would like to present views that would balance the biased views presented here.

  12. an Indian Sikh says:

    @ excuse me.

    it’s ‘AN’ indian and not ‘a’. thank you.

    also, i visit this site because i would like to present views that would balance the biased views presented here.

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  14. milanjoy says:

    Taliban has a huge influence in Pakistan and the terrorist attacks organized by them with the help of Pakistan forces are a known thing in all over the world. We have heard lots of news regarding the stakes for Sikhs in Pakistan recently. But still we couldn’t find out the clarity in news. I am waiting for the updates.wholesale tablets

  15. casper cas says:

    We all think about this situation. We are hearing about the brutal terrorist attacks in Pakistan every day and I believe that Taliban has great influence in creating such assaults. Hope the government will take some strict action to avoid this violence. oren loni CEO