US Sikhs Seek Obama Intervention over Beheading by Taliban

Infuriated at the beheading of two Sikhs by the Pakistan Taliban, Sikhs in the US have asked President Barack Obama to take up the issue with Islamabad, reported IANS.

Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), in a letter to Obama on Tuesday, asked him to intervene immediately to mount pressure on Pakistan to bring killers to book, said report.

“The US government must press upon the Pakistan government to take stern action against the perpetrators of these horrendous acts. It is the primary duty of the Pakistan government to intervene on behalf of the Sikhs and other minorities and protect them from any atrocities committed by Tehreek-e-Taliban,” SCORE chairman Rajwant Singh was quoted as saying in his letter to Obama.

The letter said: “Since last year the religious freedom of the Sikhs has been threatened and they have been forced to leave their centuries-old dwellings in the Orakzai Agency and adjacent areas.

“We are appalled that some Sikhs in Pakistan were being coerced into becoming Muslims. Last year some Sikh families had been taken hostage in Pakistan and forced to pay ‘jaziya’(religious tax). These kinds of atrocities cannot be tolerated at any cost and we must ask for security and well-being of all communities in Pakistan.”

He also stressed in the letter that the organization has received calls and e-mails from Sikhs all over the US expressing their outrage over the beheadings, said report.

“As American citizens, we request you (Obama) to express our sentiments to President (Asif Ali) Zardari. We will continue to work with the State Department, congressional leaders at the Capitol Hill and the White House on this issue,” Singh said in the letter.

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