The Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF) and Nambdhari Sikh Foundation of New York have sharply criticised the Pakistan government for not taking action against Taliban who demanded USD 50 million from Sikhs in border areas of the country as 'Jazia' (religious tax) and ransacked, looted and blew up their houses when they refused to pay.
In a letter sent to Pakistani Consul General in New York, they slammed Islamabad for ignoring the plight of the Sikhs who, they said, are being constantly terrorised and getting threats.
"We consider this as an egregious violation of human rights. Because of threat to their lives, 150 Sikh families have moved from Buner, Swat and Aurakzai Agency to Rawalpindi, Lahore and other parts of the country," said the letter signed by Forum President Narain Kataria and Foundation Chairman Bhupinder Singh Bhurji.
Expressing anguish that Islamabad has taken no action, the letter said, "We condemn Pakistan government’s deliberate connivance of criminal activities by Taliban towards our Sikh brothers."
"In 2007, Jihad Watch had reported that an 18th Century Sikh Gurudwara in Lahore was taken over by a Muslim group and converted into a mosque," the letter claimed.
"Hence, we urge you to kindly bring to the attention of Government of Pakistan our distress and apprehension and ensure safety and security of our Sikh brothers in Pakistan," it added.
Kataria said that they sent the letter by email and fax after their repeated efforts to seek a meeting with the Consul General to explain their viewpoint failed.