Pakistan Arrests Six in Sikh Leader Killing, Denies Taliban Role

The police rejected Taliban’s claim of taking responsibility for the shooting as false, and arrested six people.

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Police rejected Taliban’s claim, where they took responsibility for the shooting, as false. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Police in northwestern Pakistan on Monday arrested six people accused of gunning down a Sikh political figure, attributing the killing to rivalry rather than a Taliban attack, as the militants had claimed.

The gunmen shot and killed Soran Singh, a prominent leader of Pakistan’s tiny Sikh religious minority and a lawmaker from cricket legend Imran Khan’s opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, outside his home in the town of Buner on Friday.

Azad Khan, a senior police official, told reporters in Peshawar, capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province:

We arrested six people, including a member of the Sikh community, Buldev Singh. During initial investigations, Buldev Singh and other people acknowledged their involvement in the murder of Soran Singh. Soran Singh reportedly refused a party ticket to Buldev Singh, which enraged him and he hired assassins to kill Soran Singh
Azad Khan

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility soon after the shooting, saying they would continue attacks until their strict interpretation of Islamic law was enforced across Pakistan.

Police official Khan rejected that claim as false.

This is totally wrong. The Taliban aren’t behind this murder.
Azad Khan

Religious minorities make up about two percent of Pakistan’s population of 190 million, according to government data, and religiously motivated violence against them has become increasingly common.

An Easter Sunday bombing targeting Christians in a public park in Lahore killed 72 people last month.

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