PESHAWAR: In another incident of violence against minorities, two Sikhs were shot dead by unidentified armed men in Peshawar.
The deceased were identified as Ranjeet Singh and Kanwaljeet Singh.
According to the police, the assailants arrived on a motorcycle and fled after the shooting. A search operation has been launched to trace the culprits, the police said.
Meanwhile, the Counter-Terrorism Department registered a case against the murder of the Sikh men, Saddar SP Aqiq Hussain informed Geo News.
The official said that the incident seems to be a terrorist attack. He resolved to gather the CCTV footage and other evidence and arrest the suspects as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and directed the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ensure immediate arrest and punishment of the murderers.
He also urged the chief minister to ensure steps for the protection of the lives and properties of the citizens, particularly non-Muslims.
The prime minister expressed sympathies with the bereaved families of the deceased and observed that enmity with Pakistan was the reason behind this act of terrorism. He also expressed his resolve to eliminate the enemies of the country and assured the bereaved families of complete support from the federal government.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan also ordered immediate action to arrest the murderers.
Declaring the incident a conspiracy to destabilise Peshawar's environment and inter-faith harmony, Khan assured justice to the affected families.
"The provincial government will not let such bids harm the inter-religious harmony be successful," the chief minister said.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah sought a report from the KP chief secretary and inspector general of police.
"The KP government has terribly failed at protecting the minorities," Rana Sanaullah said, indicating past incidents of violence against Sikh citizens in KP.
He urged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the provincial government to ensure the security of minorities and assured assistance from the federal government for the arrest of the culprits.
Peshawar CCPO Aijaz Khan said that "the attack on Ranjeet and Kanwaljeet is an attack on Pakistan."
He said that none of the deceased had any enmity with anyone and added that "anti-state elements will not be spared under any circumstances" and the culprits will be arrested soon.
He further stated that there was a general threat to minorities, but it was "not specific to any minority group."
Moreover, the All Pakistan Ulema Council (APUC) also condemned the murder. APUC head Tahir Ashrafi said that the Peshawar administration should ensure the protection of non-Muslim citizens and arrest the murderers of Ranjeet and Kanwaljeet.
— With additional input from APP.
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