Human Rights Violations by Taliban Government in Pakistan Not Acceptable

    TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - Taliban controlled Pakistani provincial government
of FATA has forced minority non-Muslims to leave by demolishing their homes on
non-payment of "Jazia" (Islamic Taxation on non-Muslims in Islamic state).
    Condemning these actions, Roger Nair, Chair-person of SAHRA (South Asians
for Human Rights Assoc.) states, "Such draconian taxes and laws such as Jazia
and Blasphemy were not acceptable then (Jazia levied in 8h century AD) and are
certainly not acceptable today. This is a clear violation of several rights
under UN charter on Human Rights; and Canadians, known for their human rights
advocacy, are certainly not going to be silent on this issue.
    Going a step further SAHRA is offering the Government of Canada,
assistance sponsorship to Canada for the families practicing any minority
religion whose homes were auctioned or destroyed under the Jazia Tax where the
following organizations will offer financial assistance under the assistance
program for refugees if accepted:
    Siromani Akali Dal of Canada, President Kehar Singh Gill says, "We are
ready and willing to sponsor any number of families identified by SAHRA."
    North American Sikh League Secretary, Mahinder Singh Dhillon states, "We
support the sponsorship of these families as refugees in Canada and will
provide financial support to any efforts made by SAHRA."
    North York Sikh Temple President, Gurdev Sigh Mann states, "NYSG temple
will provide the food and shelter for the displaced refugees on arrival to
    New Immigrant Development Center Chairman and prominent immigration
Toronto lawyer, Shan Padda states, "It is a commendable effort and we will
provide full support for the settlement of these displaced families on their
arrival in Canada."
    International Christian Voice Canada, Peter Bhatti, "According to founder
of Pakistan Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the minorities are free to live
according to their own religion, so Government of Pakistan should take
concrete steps to protect the lives and properties of Sikhs and other
religious minorities of Pakistan." This incident is followed by similar
incidents in Karachi where Taliban has asked non-muslims including Christians,
Hindus and Sikhs to either leave their homes or convert to Islam and have
fired upon them killing three," informs Peter Bhatti.
    In an email recieved by SAHRA, Shahbaz Bhatti, the Hon. Federal Minister
for Minorities in Pakistan states that he still had no confirmation about the
incident, but if the Taliban had had actually done this, they tarnished the
image of Islam. He said according to the media reports, Sikhs had been forced
to pay 20 million rupees as Jazia.
    Community Action Centre Chariman Rev. Mario Varano states, "We will
provide settlement assistance for displaced refugees and we commend the
initiative of SAHRA."
    SAHRA urges and encourages the Government of Canada to take stern action
and a stand on this issue, since Canada has always been a leader in the
promotion and implementation of human rights around the world.


For further information:

For further information: Padda Law, (905) 677-7500; Roger Nair, (647)

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