India strongly condemned the beheading of two Sikhs by suspected Taliban militants in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Monday, terming it barbaric.
“We condemn the barbaric act of Taliban and Pakistan must ensure the safety of minorities,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said on Monday.
When asked whether this issue will come up during the Foreign Secretary-level talks on February 25, the minister said “all issues of mutual concern will be discussed”.
“We are in touch with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and are looking into the matter. We will bring up the issue with Pakistan,” Krishna told reporters outside Parliament.
Government officials maintained that the “facts are being confirmed” about the media reports, adding that the sensitivities are high, as it involves the “citizens of other country”.
Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia demanded on Monday that India launch a diplomatic offensive in the wake of the beheadings.
“They should call and reprimand the Pakistan High Commissioner,” he said. “The Sikhs there had stayed on after Partition on the assurances of people there, but today they are being harassed and asked by the Taliban to embrace Islam or pay jaziah tax.”