A senior Pakistani legal official has been voluntarily serving worshippers at a gurdwara in Peshawar in a bid to rectify the image of Pashtuns at a time when the community is increasingly being linked to terrorism.
Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Khurshid Khan, during the day, appears on behalf of the federal government in cases being heard by the Peshawar High Court, and in the evening, the official performs 'seva' (voluntary service) at Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh in Dabgari area of Peshawar.
Khan has been voluntarily working as a 'sevadar' for the past two months. He helps other volunteers to clean the place of worship and then takes his place at a counter near the entrance where worshippers deposit their shoes.
"I am doing this job mainly to satisfy my soul because I have developed the feeling that minorities in this region are not treated the way our culture and values teach us," Khan told the media while handing over shoes to a worshipper.
The recent kidnapping of three Sikhs from Peshawar, one of whom was beheaded by the Taliban captors, shocked him. He then decided to express solidarity with the community by becoming a 'sevadar' at the local gurdwara.
Khan said his efforts are also aimed at portraying a gentle image of Pashtuns at a time when the community is being increasingly linked to acts of terrorism. Explaining his ideology, the official said: "I am a Muslim but I am not a terrorist. I am a Pakistani but I am not a terrorist, and I am a Khan but not a terrorist."