Pakistan Systematically Targeting Minorities: Harsimrat

New Delhi:  Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has urged External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to take up the issue of systematic targeting of minorities in Pakistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

In a letter to Jaishankar, the Food Processing Minister said the manner in which the Hindus and Sikh populations in Pakistan had reduced from 2.5 lakh at the time of Partition to a mere 7,000 now, was itself proof of the persecution of minorities.

She said a concerted multilateral effort was required from the international community to stop this persecution.

Badal said the issue should be taken up in the International Court of Justice since it also concerned ethnic cleansing.

The abduction and disappearance of Hindu and Sikh girls had become a regular feature in Pakistan and nothing was being done to stop this trend, she added.

“Recently the media reported a shocking incident of the daughter of the priest of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib being forcefully abducted, converted to Islam and married to a Muslim,” she wrote.

Noting that religion was a personal affair, she said imposing religious beliefs contrary to an individual’s wish was a shameful act and a violation of fundamental rights.

The Union Minister said the incident involving the priest’s daughter, as well as other such incidents being reported in the media, had hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community worldwide. 

“Minorities are being annihilated systematically in Pakistan,” she added.