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Sikhs in Pakistan pay 20 mn to Taliban as jazia

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pakistan's Sikh community has been forced to pay Rs 20 million as jazia (religious tax) to the Taliban so as to return to their homes and resume business, a newspaper said on Thursday.
The minority Sikh community on Wednesday met the Taliban demand in return for "protection" in Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the Daily Times reported.

The Taliban then released Sikh leader Sardar Saiwang Singh and vacated the community's houses. The militia announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in the area.

"They also announced protection for the Sikh community, saying no one would harm them after they paid jazia. Sikhs who had left the agency would now return to their houses and resume business," an official said.