Chandigarh, Sep 3 : Union Food Processing Industries Minister on Tuesday urged External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar to take up the issue of systematic targeting of minorities in Pakistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Union Minister, in a letter to the External Affairs Minister, said the manner in which the population of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan had reduced from 2.5 lakh at the time of partition to a mere 7,000 now was itself proof of persecution of minorities. She said a concerted multilateral effort needed to be taken by the international community to stop this persecution.
Ms Badal said since the issue also concerned ethnic cleansing, it should be taken up in the International Court of Justice to put an end to this inhuman practice.
She said abduction and disappearance of Hindu and Sikh girls had become a regular feature in Pakistan and nothing was being done to stop this trend. ''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”.
Stating that religion was a personal affair, Ms Badal said imposing religious beliefs contrary to an individual’s wish was a shameful act and a violation of fundamental rights. She 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.
The Minister also urged Dr Jaishankar to direct the Indian embassy in Pakistan to provide all possible help to the teenage Sikh girl and her family in this time of distress. (UNI)