Minorities in Peril: Another Target Killing of Sikh in Pakistan
Mar 31, 2023
In a major disappointment to tiny Pashtun Sikh community in Pakistan & entire diaspora around the world, a Sikh shopkeeper was shot dead in Peshawar of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan on 31st March. Dayal Singh, who belongs to Pashtun Sikh community, was shot dead around 3.30pm. This heinous incident came a day after the killing of a famous Hindu ophthalmologist in Karachi. Dayal Singh is survived by wife and three children.
Dayal Singh, in his 40s, was sitting at his shop in Dir Colony market of Peshawar when an unidentified assailant arrived on a bike, entered his shop and shot him dead. Police have collected 30 bore bullet shells from the site of the crime. CCTV footage from the shop has been obtained and the police have launched an investigation into the attack.
This is not the recent incident where atrocities on minorities are reported in Pakistan. In September last year, a well-known Sikh, a Unani medicine practitioner was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside his clinic in Peshawar. In 2018, Charanjit Singh, a prominent Sikh community member, was killed by unknown men in Peshawar. Similarly, news channel anchor Ravinder Singh was killed in 2020 in the city. In 2016, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf National Assembly member Soren Singh was also killed in Peshawar.
According to Ameer Singh, president, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), there are just 20,000-25,000 Sikhs estimated to be left in Pakistan of which around 500 Sikh households are in Peshawar. While most Pashtun Sikhs live in Peshawar, some families are still living in border districts Kurram, Khyber and Orakzai. There are just around 4500 Pashtun Sikhs left in Peshawar, according to the local community members.