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.

Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Pakistani Catholic leaders come out against the Taliban and the imposition of the jizya
05/06/2009
Pakistan Christian leaders call for a new province in tribal areas
06/03/2017 18:38
For the first time two members of religious minorities acknowledged as tribal elders
16/07/2016 14:01
Pakistani civil society groups call for cooperation with India on terrorism
05/01/2009
Hindus and Sikhs threatened by the Taliban and Sharia
28/07/2009