Two Sikhs shot dead in Peshawar
by Shafique Khokhar

The incident sparked protests and a sit-in on Grand Trunk Road. Another attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed three Pakistani soldiers and three children. For the Anglican bishop of Peshawar, thugs tried to disturb the peace and interfaith harmony in the city.

Peshawar (AsiaNews) – Two Sikh men were shot dead yesterday in Bata Tal bazaar, in Peshawar’s Sarband area. The victims were identified as Saljit Singh, 42, and Ranjit Singh, 38. Both sold spices in the market.

Members of the Sikh community and other religious minorities in Pakistan expressed deep sorrow following the incident.

Waving black flags along with the national flag of Pakistan, a group of people held a sit-in protest blocking the Grand Trunk Road.

According to the preliminary investigation, a dispute over money or property appears to have escalated into a shooting. After police rushed to the scene, the bodies were moved to a hospital. A manhunt is currently underway to apprehend the culprit.

This attack follows another incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on the border with Afghanistan. A suicide bomber blew himself up near a vehicle of the Pakistani security forces, killing three soldiers: Lance Hawaldar Zubair Qadir, Uzair Asfat and Qasim Maqsood.

The blast also hit several children who were playing near the road; three of them, aged 4, 8 and 11, were killed; many others were wounded.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack and asked the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to beef up security for residents, especially minorities.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also criticised the provincial government, ordering the Inspector General of Police to submit a report on the incident.

Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters of Peshawar (Church of Pakistan) strongly condemned the attack. He urged the government to arrest those responsible who tried to disturb the peace and interfaith harmony in the city.