Bring peace back in Nankana: Pakistan remains uncaring about religious minorities

Word For Peace

The Nankana event had an immediate echo on Sunday when a Sikh was killed in Peshawar.

The palpable play of religious bigotry, especially at a time when tensions are seen to sit atop a powder keg in the subcontinent, is the worst possible thing to have occurred. Pakistan, an uncaring nation when it comes to the fair treatment of religious minorities, must send out a message of reassurance that it will take very seriously such incidents as happened on Friday at the historical Nankana Sahib gurdwara in Punjab, the birthplace of Guru Nanak.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister must speak up for the Sikhs terrorised in a serious incident that the State dismissed as feuding Muslim groups, quite preposterously so in the face of hard video evidence. While destroying temples and gurdwaras may have been par for the course in Sindh, the same cannot be said of the Punjab province where a certain amount of tolerance existed. Pakistan has also assiduously cultivated the Sikhs, particularly from Canada, for their own diplomatic and strategic reasons in trying to promote the concept of Sikh nationhood in a playoff with India.

The Nankana event had an immediate echo on Sunday when a Sikh was killed in Peshawar. Far from promoting peace, Imran Khan has tried to inflame passions by tweeting on the Uttar Pradesh police, having first put out a fake video on the subject with old Bangladeshi footage. His belated condemnation of the Nankana desecration seemed too cosmetic an effort when the dangers of all this spilling out are far too high.

While right thinking people will outright condemn the kind of atrocities that the UP police have perpetrated on Muslims in the course of the anti-CAA and NRC agitations, there is really little need for Pakistan to get into what is an Indian problem — dealing with the anxieties of its Muslim population. Throwing stones from glasshouses is only likely to lead to broken glass.


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