New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) A day before talks between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Wednesday strongly condemned the recent beheading of a Sikh and the abduction of a Hindu in the neighbouring country.
In a statement in parliament, Krishna said the government of Pakistan has assured stern action against those responsible for the reported abduction of a Hindu man living in Pakistan.
‘I rise to strongly condemn the beheading of Sardar Jaspal Singh in the tribal areas of Pakistan. This barbaric and heinous crime is deplorable in the strongest possible terms,’ Krishna said in a sou moto statement in parliament.
‘The president of Pakistan has strongly condemned the abduction of a Hindu man by some unknown persons and the recent beheading of one member of the Sikh community in the country’s tribal belt,’ Krishna said.
‘The Pakistani establishment has assured full safety of Hindus living in the country and promised to take necessary action to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in future,’ Krishna added.
India is expected to raise the issue of the beheading of a Sikh and the targeting of minorities in Pakistan when Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao holds delegation-level talks Thursday with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.
This will be the first formal bilateral talks between the two countries since Mumbai’s 26/11 attacks over fourteen months ago that led India to suspend the composite dialogue with Pakistan.
Close on the heels of the killing of a Sikh in Peshawar, Robin Singh, a computer engineer, was reportedly kidnapped by some unknown persons from a market in Peshawar city while he was on his way to Nowshera for some work.
Singh’s abductors have demanded Rs.10 million for his release.
The incidents of targeting of minorities in Pakistan have triggered outrage in India, specially in Punjab where the cabinet has passed a resolution calling upon the union government to take up the issue on a priority basis with the Pakistani leadership.