'India hopes Pak will take steps to protect minorities' | india | Hindustan Times
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'India hopes Pak will take steps to protect minorities'

india Updated: Jun 29, 2009 20:32 IST
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India on Monday hoped that Pakistan will take necessary measures to 'protect' its citizens including minorities who are forced to pay 'jiziya' by elements allegedly representing Taliban in the Battagram district of North West Frontier Province.

Reacting to reports that Taliban was targeting minority communities like Hindus, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said, "we would hope that the Pakistani government would take necessary measures to protect people from extractions of a group like Taliban."

"We do expect Pakistan to look after all its people, after all they are citizens of Pakistan. Since Pakistan is in effect in war with Taliban in its own territory, I think it is safe to assume that Pakistan will have no sympathy for such demands from such people," he said.

According to media reports, an unidentified caller, claiming to represent the Taliban, demanded Rs 6 million as "jiziya" or a tax levied on non-Muslims from the minority Hindu community in Battagram.

He said India will obviously be following the developments with some interest but it is essentially the responsibility of the Pakistan government to take the right action in its own territory for its own citizens.