Peshawar: About 10,000 members of the Sikh community in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province lack education and health, a Sikh leader said in remarks published on Tuesday. The region used to brim with gurdwaras before the 1947 partition of India. Sikhs in Peshawar now use only two shrines, the Pakistan Today reported.
“Plazas have been constructed in place of some gurdwaras. The ones not sold have been taken over by land grabbing mafia,” alleged Pakistan Sikh leader Radesh Singh Tony. “The community does not have a cremation ground,” he added. When a Sikh dies, he or she has to be taken to Attock district in Punjab, Singh said.
Members of the Sikh community have also pulled their children out of schools due to safety concerns. “We are renting property to create makeshift schools. It is difficult to bear the expenses. We request the government to provide us a building and funds for education,” said school headmaster Baba Jugerpaal Singh.
Despite the miserable conditions, the community hopes its issues will be resolved by the government. “The prime minister is taking a lot of interest in resolving minority issues. Recently Pakistan has passed a bill against forced conversion,” lawmaker Asfan Yar Bhandara said during his visit to a gurdwara. Only recenlty the Senate of Pakistan a Bill, which gives legality to Hindu marriages which many experts feel that will also check forced conversion in Pakistan.IANS/PTI
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