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