India condemns 'barbaric' beheading of Sikhs in Pakistan

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2010 19:06 IST

India on Monday strongly condemned the "barbaric" beheading of a Sikh man by suspected Taliban militants in Pakistan. The issue is likely to come up during the two countries’ talks on February 25.

""We condemn the barbaric act of Taliban and Pakistan must ensure the safety of minorities," said Krishna while commenting on the murders of the Sikhs in Khyber and Orakzi areas near Peshawar of Pakistan.

"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.

The body of Jaspal Singh was found in the Khyber tribal region, located a short distance from Peshawar, while the body of Mahal Singh was found in the Aurakzai Agency, sources said.

Two Sikhs who were kidnapped over a month back were beheaded by the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s restive tribal belt. Some more members of the minority community are still in the custody of the rebels.

Sources said the Sikhs were kidnapped from the Bara area of Khyber Agency by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. They were kidnapped 34 days ago and the Taliban had demanded Rs 30 million as ransom. Two of the Sikhs were beheaded after the expiry of the deadline for the ransom payment, sources said.

The kidnapping occurred in an area where the government has virtually no control and the militants are in a dominant position, sources said.

The killings have been widely condemned in India with New Delhi asked to put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to ensure the safety of minorities in that country.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are set to meet in New Delhi Feb 25 and the issue of terrorism is expected to be the focus of the renewed talks process between the two neighbours. (PTI, IANS inputs)

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