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Two Sikh businessmen killed in broad daylight in Pakistan

By PTI

PESHAWAR: Two Sikh businessmen were shot dead on Sunday by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the latest targeted killing of the minority community members in the restive province bordering Afghanistan.

Saljeet Singh, 42, and Ranjeet Singh, 38, died on the spot after being attacked by two bike-borne assailants in the morning, according to the police. The two Sikhs were in the business of spices and had shops in the Bata Tal bazaar in Sarband, about 17 kms from Peshawar. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan condemned the attack and directed the police to take immediate steps to arrest the culprits. He said that the incident was a conspiracy to disrupt the inter-faith harmony in the province. The Chief Minister said that justice will be provided to the families of the deceased.

About 15,000 Sikhs live in Peshawar, mostly in the Jogan Shah neighbourhood of the provincial capital Peshawar. Most of the members of the Sikh community in Peshawar are involved in business, while some also have pharmacies.

In September last year, a well-known Sikh ‘hakeem’ (Unani medicine practitioner) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside his clinic in Peshawar. In 2018, Charanjit Singh, a prominent Sikh community member, was killed by unknown men in Peshawar.

Similarly, news channel anchor Ravinder Singh was killed in 2020 in the city. In 2016, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf National Assembly member Soren Singh was also killed in Peshawar.

According to the 2017 census, Hindus constitute the largest religious minority in Pakistan. Christians make up the second largest religious minority. The Ahmadis, Sikhs and Parsis are also among the notable religious minorities in Pakistan.

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