New Delhi : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani has expressed concern at Taliban-imposed jizya – protection money being forcibly collected from religious minority in Pakistan – and urged the Indian government to take steps “to prevent hardships and persecution of Hindus and Sikhs” in that country.
“The BJP urges the Indian government to take all necessary steps with the government of Pakistan to prevent any further hardships and persecution of the Hindus and Sikhs in that country,” the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha said Wednesday.
Taliban militants in the North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan, where they have a stronghold, have asked religious minorities, including Christians, to pay an extra tax known as jizya in return of their protection.
Advani in a statement said: “The BJP urgently calls upon the Pakistan government to protect the lives and properties of the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and to ensure that they are safeguarded and that they are not subjected to any discrimination and harassment.”
“The BJP is greatly concerned at reports emanating from Pakistan that the Taliban has asked to pay a jizya tax of Rs.6 million,” he said.
“This is a direct outcome of the highly pampered existence that the Taliban have enjoyed, till very recently in Pakistan, in terms of which they have enjoyed the patronage of important organs of the state,” Advani said.