Peshawar: Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where the Sikh community thrived before the partition, faces security issues and lacks basic necessities like education and healthcare, a media report said.
The province has a sizeable number of Sikh population in Pakistan but there have been instances where Sikh traders have been targetted for ransom. There are nearly 10,000 members of the Sikh community in the province.
"Plazas have been constructed in place of some gurdwaras. The ones not sold have been taken over by the land grabbing mafia," Pakistan Sikh community Chairman Radesh Singh Tony was quoted as saying by Geo News.
"The community does not have a cremation ground to perform the last rites," he said. Instead, the community has to make cremation arrangements in Attock district in Punjab province.
Members of the Sikh community had to move to Peshawar's Muhalla Jogan Shah and Saddar Bazaar localities after the law and order situation posed threats to their security. Children were pulled out of schools due to safety concerns.
"We are renting property to create makeshift schools. It is difficult to bear the expenses. We request the government to provide us with a building and funds for education," said school headmaster Baba Jugerpaal Singh.
Despite the tough living conditions, the community remains fairly positive that its issues will be resolved by the government.
"The prime minister is taking a lot of interest in resolving minority issues. Recently Pakistan has passed a bill against forced conversion," lawmaker Asfan Yar Bhandara said during his visit to a gurdwara.