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Young Pakistani Sikh buying for his dead wedding shot in Peshawar


PESHAWAR / CHANDIGARH: A young Pakistani Sikh who had recently returned to the country from abroad for his wedding was killed late on Saturday night by unknown gunmen in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police confirmed on Sunday.

The murder comes days after a mafia attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib near Lahore.

Parvinder Singh (25) had come to Peshawar from his hometown of Chakesar, in the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to buy his wedding which was to be next month.

Harmeet Singh, his brother and journalist by profession, said his younger brother ran a small business in Malaysia and had arrived in Pakistan last month. “Last night one of the assailants called me from Parvinder’s phone and told me that my brother had been killed,” Harmeet said, adding that he had immediately informed police about the incident. “The problem here with us (minorities) is that we are very vulnerable. Police stations do not record our complaints unless they receive orders from their chiefs,” Harmeet said.

In Chandigarh, reacting to the assassination, Punjab’s chief minister, Amarinder Singh, tweeted: “Surprised and distressed by the murder of Young Sikhs in #Pakistan, coming on #NankanaSahibAttack. @ImranKhanPTI government must ensure thorough investigation and strict punishment for the culprits. This is the time to act on what you preach.”

Parvinder’s gun-riddled body was recovered from an area in the jurisdiction of Chamkani police station in the suburbs of Peshawar on Sunday morning. His body was taken to a hospital for a post-mortem examination. “An unknown person killed the young people and informed their family of death on their mobile phone. We’re investigating the case, but we can’t rule out personal enmity as a cause,” police said.

Harmeet, however, blamed the government for not providing security to the handful of minority families left in Shangla. “Every year, the government receives huge funds from abroad for the security of minorities. Instead of providing us with security, they give us the bodies of our loved ones,” the victim’s brother said.

“The government must realize that before the remaining members of minority communities, including Sikhs, Hindus and Christians, leave Pakistan who are the beauty of the country,” he said, renouncing the government for proclaiming to the world that minorities were safe in Pakistan.

The remote Shangla district in northwestern Pakistan was once home to a significant number of Sikh families. Several local Sikhs told TOI that about 40 Sikh families lived in Shangla 10 years ago, but now only five families resided there. “These families, in fact, are struggling with the chances of staying connected to their homeland. Our community center had forcibly converted into a public health center,” one of them said as he spoke to TOI outside Khyber Medical College, where Parvinder’s body was taken for an autopsy.

When he contacted the Sikh member of the Pakistan provincial assembly Punjab, Mahindar Pall Singh, said he had not yet obtained details of the incident.

In May 2018, a prominent Sikh leader from Peshawar, Charanjit Singh, had been shot dead in his shop.

Times of India