A Sikh politician known for his human rights advocacy has reportedly left Pakistan after claiming he was attacked and received threats against his life.
Radesh Singh Tony ferried his family out of Pakistan amid growing concerns over their safety, local media reported. A prominent member of the local Sikh community, Tony had served as the president of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Pakistan Minorities Alliance. In 2018, local media reported that he became the first candidate from the Sikh community to run as an independent in Pakistan’s general election.
In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Tony is seen appealing to the “Sikh Community” to help him and his family “to take him out to some safe place.” He said that he was receiving threatening phone calls and that he had to take action to protect his children from potential harm, as quoted by ANI news agency.
Tony moved his family from Peshawar to Lahore earlier this month, after purportedly being “lashed” by a group of young men.
In recent weeks, a conflict involving the Pakistani Sikh community made headlines when a group of protesters attacked a major Sikh holy site in Pakistan, Gurdwara Janam Asthan.
New Delhi responded to the incident by calling on Pakistan to “take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of members of the Sikh community.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the case, insisting that the sectarian strife “goes against [his] vision” for the country, and that Islamabad has “zero tolerance” for such actions.
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