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Friday, 25 December 2009

Message from Jasdev Rai - Sikh Human Rights Group


Dear Prime Minister

We join the British Pakistani Christian Association to express our support for the concerns raised by the organisation. We further request you look at the plight of minorities across South Asia, particularly Pakistan and India. In both countries Christians are persecuted by the public and sometimes politically organised pogroms. There have been many incidents of Churches being burnt down in India without the authorities taking appropriate action.

India has actively engaged in persecuting Sikhs as well. Most victims are those who do not share the State’s idea of ‘commitment to the nation’ which usually means disagreement with policies towards minorities and particularly Sikhs in this case. Whereas those Sikhs who are comfortable with State view or those who compromise their own views to adjust to State policies can reach the highest levels, many groups of Sikhs have seen their cultural, political and social fabric destroyed by the State. Many have faced fabricated charges and continue to linger in prisons on judgements that would not stand in an impartial court.

The State has show partiality in pursuing justice for victims of politically organised riots, for instance the massacres of Sikhs in November 1984 in Delhi and the massacres of Muslims in February 2002 in Gujarat, India.

In Pakistan the Government has failed to protect some Sikhs living in remote places from harassment by zealous individuals and groups.

Other minorities also have many narratives of persecution and injustice at the hands of State police, corrupt courts and zealous individuals in both Pakistan and India. We urge you to raise this concern with both Governments and put pressure on them for levels of equity, freedom of conscience and protection for minorities that is expected from both Governments.

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