Terming the Taliban “ruthless killers,” the US has said that the militant’s demands of religious tax (Jaziya) from the minority Sikh community in Pakistan’s FATA were “not surprising” and provided further ground for the international community to cooperate to bring the extremist’s reign over the region to an end.
Responding to queries over the militant’s decision to impose Jaziya in the region, US State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said: “I’ve heard reports about that. It doesn’t surprise me. I mean, these are ruthless killers, the Taliban.”
The Islamic law (Shariah) permits the imposition and collection of Jaziya from other communities for allowing them to follow their religion in an area falling under the purview of the law.
Recent reports coming in from Pakistan’s restive north-west suggest that Taliban Pakistan operatives have been demanding Jaziya from local Sikhs.
“They (the Taliban) will do anything they can to upset Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s fragile democracies,” said Wood.
“As I said, I’ve heard these reports. They’re not surprising. This is why it’s important that we, the international community, cooperate in trying to rid this region of these extremists. And the sooner we can accomplish that mission, the better,” Wood told reporters.
Taking note of the reports, New Delhi summoned a diplomat of Pakistan High Commission on Friday and expressed serious concerns over the matter.