April 3, 2023

Bureau Report


The Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-KP) on Sunday, April 2, claimed responsibility for the religiously-motivated target killing of two Peshawar men in the past week.

Dayal Singh, a Sikh trader, and Kashif Masih, a Christian sanitary worker, were gunned down in different incidents on March 31 and April 1 respectively. Separately, a Hindu ophthalmologist and former senior director of health at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Dr. Birbal Genani was also shot dead by unknown assailants along the Lyari Expressway in Karachi on March 30.

Dayal Singh was killed by unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle as he was entering his shop, situated in the Dir Colony market. His murder is the fourth such target killing of a member of Peshawar’s Sikh community in the past four years. Satnam Singh, an herbalist, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his store in Faqirabad on September 30, 2021. On May 15, Ranjit Singh and Kuljit Singh were murdered in a similar fashion where they sat inside their stores on Batta Tal Chowk.

IS-KP took responsibility for Satnam Singh’s murder, as it also did for this latest incident which has sparked widespread resentment and terror among Peshawar’s Sikh community who are demanding the government of the immediate arrest of the accused.

Dayal Singh’s widow, Daleena Singh, is wrought with worry raising her three children without their father.

“My innocent husband was murdered, and now there is no one to earn for our family,” she said. “What do I do now? I have three children and live in a rented home, how will I raise them?”

The community believes that one reason for the targeted killing of Sikh businessmen may be their refusal to pay protection money to terrorists.“—

Barely 24 hours after Dayal’s killing, IS-KP militants claimed the life of Kashif Masih while he was on his way back home from work in Banaras Abad Academy Town, leaving behind a widow and three children. Peshawar’s Christian community believes that the government is apathetic towards the threat to their lives and property.

On January 30, 2022, Father William Siraj was killed after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds while Father Naeem Patrick was injured in an ambush by unknown assailants in the Gulbahar neighbourhood. No group has taken responsibility for this incident till date.

According to the police, investigation in these latest cases is ongoing. Taking notice of the killings, caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan has directed the relevant institutions to ensure concrete measures for the protection of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s minority communities.

“It is our duty to look after and care for our religious communities, and the Minister has also registered his strong protest, ” stated caretaker Minister of Information, and Minorities and Religious Affairs Feroz Jamal Shah. “The aggrieved appear satisfied with the investigation so far which we are especially supervising.”

Per conservative estimates, upwards of 130 minority community members in Peshawar have lost their lives in targeted attacks over the past several years, which also include 2013 All Saints Church attack.


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