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    » 06/04/2009, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Christians, Hindus and Sikhs forced to pay the Taliban “protection” money



    Non-Muslims in villages along the northern Afghan-Pakistani border are forced to pay the jizya. Lashkar-e-Islam wants a thousand rupee per adult male to allow non-Muslims to live there with the right to travel. In Orakzai area the Taliban take over two stores and various houses owned by Sikhs. Some families are forced to pay up to 20 million rupees in order to stay.
    Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Non-Muslims must pay the Taliban protection money if they want to stay in their own homes. Lashkar-e-Islam, a militant Muslim organisation based in Bara, about 10 kilometres south-west of Peshawar, wants Christians, Hindus and Sikhs to pay the jizya, the poll tax for non-Muslims.

    Local sources are reporting that non-Muslims are collectively required to pay up in Bara, Chora, Karamna, Bazaar Zakhakhel and the Tirah Valley, which are part of the Khyber Agency, one of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the northern border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The poll tax amounts to a thousand rupees (US$ 12.5) per adult male per year. Women, children and the disabled are exempt.

    As a group minorities must raise the money for every member of the community in order to have the right to live in and freely move throughout the area. Should they refuse this kind of protection, they are required to abandon their homes and villages.

    In April Lashkar-e-Islam began collecting the jizya in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Orakzai, using force whenever necessary.

    In the village of Feroze Khel, near Merozai, the Taliban took over two stores and various homes to get people to pay up.

    Local sources said that some Sikh families were forced to pay 20 million rupees; other families chose instead to abandon their homes and the area to avoid paying.

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    See also

    05/06/2009 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Catholic leaders come out against the Taliban and the imposition of the jizya
    Tax on non-Muslims is a threat that violates basic human rights. In tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan more than 700 non-Muslim families are persecuted and forced to pay. Federal Religious Minorities minister strongly condemns the tax, pledges help for the victims.

    28/07/2009 PAKISTAN
    Hindus and Sikhs threatened by the Taliban and Sharia
    Members of minority groups must either pay ‘jizya’ for protection or leave. All women, even the elderly, cannot go out alone and have to wear a burqa. Men must wear a beard and a head cap. Hundreds of Sikh and Hindu families have already emigrated.

    26/09/2014 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
    For Paul Bhatti, Christian leader's death in prison is unsettling, state should protect citizens
    For the APMA president and former Minister, the authorities have a duty to protect people and ensure the safety of those on trial. The killing in cell is a sign of the government's weakness, and its failure to enforce the law. He calls for Christians and Muslims to "join forces" to save Pakistan.

    05/01/2009 PAKISTAN – INDIA
    Pakistani civil society groups call for cooperation with India on terrorism
    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and many non-governmental organisations call on the government in Islamabad to abandon the illusion that it can beat terrorism alone. They slam mass media for fuelling confrontation between the two nations.

    31/07/2007 PAKISTAN
    Solidarity rally for religious freedom
    The ‘All Pakistan Minorities Alliance’ is organising a rally for August 11 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination minorities suffer. About 100,000 Christians and people from other confessions are expected.



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