Sikh man alleges forceful conversion to Islam in Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj promises help
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj today expressed concern over report of a Sikh being forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan’s Hangu district.
The minister said that she will take up the matter with Islamabad at the earliest.
“We will take this up at the highest level with Government of Pakistan. Sikh community in Hangu being forced to convert,” she said on Twitter, tagging the official handle of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan in the tweet.
Earlier, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh took to Twitter to apprise Swaraj of the alleged forced conversions, urging her to take up the matter at the highest level with Pakistani authorities.
On December 16, Pakistani publication Tribune had reported that a government official was forcing members of the Sikh community in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province’s Hangu district to convert to Islam.
The community members have lodged a complaint with the deputy commissioner of Hangu, alleging that they were being forced to convert to Islam by assistant commissioner tehsil Tall Yaqoob Khan.
“We the residents of Doaba area are being tortured religiously… The Constitution empowers us to defend our religious beliefs against anyone and we want you to call AC Tall Yaqoob Khan and inquire the issue,” the complaint read.
In its defence, the district administration said there was no issue of converting someone forcefully to Islam and the authorities had ensured religious freedom.
However, taking cognizance of their complaint, the Sikh community members had been invited to a meeting on Monday to address their grievances.